Tag: 17th century

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17th Century Modern Materials

A while back I was given six small samples to analyse – nothing unusual about this till I looked at the images of the object that the samples had come from and immediately had grand notions of treasure hunting for the Holy Grail with Indiana Jones! These thoughts were soon followed by me humming ‘knights […]

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The Ballet of Apollo (plus some incredible costumes!)

Today in 1621 the Ballet d’Apollon (Ballet of Apollo), also known as the Ballet du Roy (the King’s Ballet), was first performed by the Ballet de Cour of Louis XIII. This costume design for role of Apollo the Shepherd in the Ballet d’Apollon will feature in the Europe Galleries’ Music display. The costume consists of a […]

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Frontispiece to 1620 version of 'Don Quixote' NAL: Dyce 2000. ©V&A Museum.

Searching for Don Quixote in the NAL

In Spain, there are efforts afoot to discover the exact location of the grave of one of the country’s greatest writers, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Despite the instant popularity of his masterpiece ‘Don Quixote’, he died in poverty and was buried somewhere in the Convent of Trinitarians in Madrid, but the exact location is unknown.  […]

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The reverse of the medal, depicting Hercules and activities relating to the Pas de Suze

A King, a War, a Pas, a Siege and a Master of Medals

Commemorative medals combine portraiture with designs that commemorate their subjects’ principal deeds. This medal was made to celebrate the success of Louis XIII, King of France, in forcing the passage of the Pas de Suze (the Suza Pass) in January 1629. It will feature in The Cabinet gallery display, which will explore the types of objects collected in […]

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Little Moreton Hall, Cheshire, photograph by Mike Harris. CC-BY-SA-2.0

Manners of Building: Architectural Style in England, 1550-1750

by Melissa Evans, MA candidate, V&A/RCA History of Design Some clichés are ubiquitous. Take ‘Home is where the heart is’ – it’s one of those sayings where, once you start to look, you find it everywhere: from cushions, plates and plaques in gift shops, to sachets of lavender, embroidered samplers and biscuit tins.  These objects, […]

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Pyramus and Thisbe (detail)

Love and Nature in a Gold Beaker

This is an updated version of an earlier post, first published on this site on 7 October 2014   An outstanding object in the wonderful Gilbert Collection  of the V&A caught my eye as curator Heike Zech and assistant curator Melodie Doumy took me around the storage facilities while the galleries are being renovated. My own […]

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Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part II

 Continuing on from the previous post … Sculpture The V&A’s sculpture collection is designated the National Collection of Sculpture. It concentrates on Western European Sculpture from the 4th century to the end of the 19th century and comprises of approximately 22,000 objects intotal. Highlights of the collection include masterpieces from the Italian Renaissance, ivory carvings of all […]

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Welcome to Hell!

Looking at the V&A blog page this morning, I can see that Halloween has caught the imagination of a number of fellow Museum bloggers. However, I can’t pass up such an apt occasion on which to introduce you to two of the most gruesome and macabre objects going into the Europe Galleries. Both, fittingly, will […]

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It's a bit of a balancing act! Dog balancing on two chairs on the balcony of 5 Princes Gardens, albumen print, Clementina, Lady Hawarden, London, ca.1861. V&A PH.457:330-1968

Selecting Furniture & Sculpture Part I

Today’s post has been prompted by a comment from Robert Thornhill on a previous entry. Robert asked for more information on how and why choices were made in selecting furniture and sculpture objects for the new galleries. I previously described the overall process of selecting objects back in the early days of the blog, but […]

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Doublet-dealing

This morning we welcomed to Blythe House a visitor from the Emerald Isle, looking at a selection of 16th and 17th century objects; two caps, a doublet, embroidered sleeve and the famous Margaret Layton jacket, hoping to learn something about their construction.     Let’s take a closer look at that doublet, which is laying […]

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