Wednesday 24 September 2014

MOOCHING IN MUSEUMS: A photo roundup by Elizabeth Chadwick

Over the last couple of months I've had occasion to be out and about at various appointments and events that have brought me to London.  Whenever I'm in in the capital I always make sure to have my trusty camera with me, and if I can squeeze in a visit to a museum to take research shots and photographs of interesting images (some outside my medieval timeline) then I do.  Those shots, being my personal property can then be used to illustrate my blog, enhance reader interest and enjoyment on my website page, Facebook page and Twitter. They spark lively discussions and help readers to visualise aspects of bygone ages.
My photo archive is also a great inspiration for scene setting and character moments in my novels. I can imagine my characters using these items. I can create anything from an ambience to an entire scene from a photograph.  They are portals through which my imagination can step into the past.
I thought for my monthly turn on the blog, I'd post a selection of my recent shots from The Wallace Museum, the British Museum, the Victorian and Albert Museum and The Museum of London. (and one from a recent visit to Lincoln Cathedral).  My specialist period is the twelfth century, but the wider Medieval is fair game, and I've been known to go earlier and later if something particularly intrigues me!  Enjoy!

Reliquary head of St. Euistace circa 1180 - 1200 from Basle, Switzerland. Fits over a sycamore core containing relics. Made from silver gilt with gems of recycled Roman glass, amethyst, rock crystal and chalcedony.  British Museum.

Anglo Saxon crozier head with what's known as a 'Tau' design to rrepresent the Green letter 'T'. Christ's crucifixion is carved on one side and on the other the risen Christ tramples a lion and a dragon.  Walrus ivory. British Musem.

German horse armour circa 1480.  The Wallace Collection.
Shoe 1660-1680. Leather with silk, embroidered with silk. Wooden heel. English. V&A
Wonderful Italian smoothing iron circa 1700. V&A
Fabulous ring brooch circa 800.  Gilded silver decorated with gold wire and green glass. Elements of both Irish and Scottish design.
Close up of 12thc column from Lincoln Cathedral showing Adam and Eve eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge while the serpent gnaws on their genitals!
Flintlock duelling pistols in case dating to 1810.  Museum of London.
Shoe dating to 1300.  Museum of London.
White flower brooch set with a Sri Lankan pink tourmaline. Possibly a man's hat badge. Circa 1400 British Museum
Water sprinkler for watering tender young plants. 1400-1500 British Musem
Leather protective case to hold a high status drinking cup of Syrian glass. Circa 1400-1500 V&A
And here is the cup itself. Known as the Luck of Edenhall, talisman of the Musgrave family in Cumbria and said to have belonged to the fairies.  In actual fact it's Syrian glass and dates to around 1350. V&A
The V&A also has an area known as 'The Cast Court' where Victorian replica casts of effigies and famous objects can be seen.  This particular one is the head of the effigy of Berengaria of Navarre, queen to Richard I. What especially interests me is the pillow case design.  I love little details like this!

Detail from the Syon Cope 1300-20. Originally a chasuble but adapted foruse as a cope. It's made from linen embroideredwith silk, gilded silver and silver.It probably originates from London.  V&A.

And finally, to finish, something from a later century, but very apt.  A bookish biscuit tin dating to 1901.  I'd love one of these. I've seen them for sale on e-bay but a bit too pricey. The V&A should sell replicas in their shop!


Joan Lennon said...

Beautiful - thank you for these!

Sue Purkiss said...

Lovely - very story-provoking!

Carol Drinkwater said...

What exquisite objects you have photographed, Elizabeth. I LOVE the embroidered shoe, and I would quite like to own the watering device for young plants. Thank you.

E S Moxon said...

Beautiful objects. Thank you so much for sharing. I always collect photos on my travels and when I'm writing I usually have a few pictures for inspiration. Nothing can compare to seeing these delightful objects first hand though. I'm eager for a museum trip now!