Wrong Again

No matter how good and right a revelation seems, it can be wrong. Perhaps that is why most people think of revelations as being spiritual in nature, because a spiritual revelation requires no proof. I, however, like to try and figure things out and when I think I have, I revel in revelation. If I get it wrong, then I start again.

In any case, I am wrong about the decoration on the front of my wine cooler (the strigliation or wavy flutes). It was used at least until 1805. After that date, I have no clear indication of whether it continued to be used. What is clear is that strigliation was introduced post 1760 and that is about all that we can be clear about.

My error was to rely on style as a dating device. Will someone who comes across a pair of Tom Wolfe’s spats in one hundred years think they date from 1929 or 2009? Stylistically, they would be deemed to be out of fashion in 2009 and such a dating would be incorrect. And yet 2009 is the correct date.

It would be and always is better to judge by the factual evidence such as the leather, the aglets, the machine work or even the label. These are the clues that can render a relatively accurate date. Even so, I will never rescind the revelation of dental floss. It feels too good.

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