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Every Donkey has his Carte de Visite.

Satirical card showing a dog delivering a carte-de-visite

In 1854, a Frenchman, André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri, patented a new form of photograph called the carte de visite. These were small images, typically about 54 mm × 89 mm, mounted on thicker cards that measured 64 by 100 mm; about the same size as visiting-cards (literally, carte de visite). Disidéri’s invention meant that multiple copies […]

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Pet Cemetery: Henry Cole, Jim, Tycho and Pickle


This blog was prompted by an enquiry we received recently about the two commemorative plaques for ‘Jim’ and ‘Tycho’ set into the wall in an obscure corner of the V&A’s John Madejski garden. On Thursday, 30 January 1879, Sir Henry Cole (1808-82), the V&A’s first Director, wrote this poignant entry in his diary: 49 Wilton […]

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The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.27

07_N13_2014-11-19 11.12.14b

The Tower of Babel – Shop of the Day No.27 Friday – film night!  Now we could have gone pretty much anywhere in the world with speciality video rentals and sales in London but this week let’s go to Green Lanes in Enfield and let’s go Greek.  Enfield has a large Greek and Greek Cypriot […]

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Paw Prints

The start of Crufts at the end of this week seemed like the perfect excuse to search the Prints, Drawings, and Paintings collection for a selection of works featuring the nation’s most popular pet. Sadly, I couldn’t find any images of dogs playing flyball or competing in heelwork to music (doggy dancing, that is), but I’m […]

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Spot the Dog

I never though I would spend a morning running around the Museum looking for a dog, but it transpires that you can never quite predict the day’s task when it comes to exhibition design. In this particular battle of wits I had youth and speed on my side since the dog is almost 300 years […]

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