JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There haven't been many entries in the "Tech Quiz" category for this bl, and today's addition really isn't all that techy, though it may be--it is definitely a what-is-going-on-here image, though.
I saved this a long time, and it has been mostly lost in archives more so than found, but here it is--except that I do not have a good hold on the "is" part of that statement. I suspect it is French and late 18th c, which puts it at about the time of the Diderot encyclopedia. It seems as though this may be a design for some sort of fishing operation--the wall in the background may be a dyke with a sluice (?), or it may be a part of another irrigation system. Most of the structure seems anti-structural per se, the thing being mostly a dug-out, though it does look like there is a wall in the foreground.
I am not sure.
Also, what is the pyramidal thing in the yard of the building at the upper right? Everything beyond the drawing of the structure is filler material, and a house would have been as much filler as a house with a pyramid, so why is that pyramid there?
And what about the other house? What's going on with that roof? And what about that post at the end of the fence? It is an open gate, or a solitary post? What? These are tiny (1-3mm) details that could easily have been excluded, but they were included for a reason beyond what I can probably know--perhaps it was as simple as the engraver indulging himself with some late night doodles to make the work a little more interesting and to invest it with some personality.
Anyway, if the ghost of the anonymous engraver is listening, I would like it to know that we see your "stuff".