Tag: Halloween

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A gold spider web

Spider web on the lid of an eighteenth-century Paris snuffbox

The Gilbert Collection was formed by an American Englishman, Arthur Gilbert, who loved to tell the stories behind his treasures. Here are two eighteenth-century masterpieces which Arthur Gilbert might have shown his guests on a dark and stormy Halloween night. Are you sitting comfortably? A golden spider web This intricate mother-of-pearl box is an unmissable […]

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Welcome to Hell!

hell - Copy

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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Terrifying Tales

Illustration to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, Alphonse Legros, ca. 1860-1861.

Today marks Halloween and with the chill in the air and the nights drawing in it is easy to see why this time of year has been seen as dark and sinister. As a keen reader of Gothic fiction and avid watcher of horror movies, Halloween has to be one of my favourite events in […]

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A Wander among the Tombstones

Design for a gravestone for Caleb Hill by Philip Webb, 1888

Anyone who came to this page hoping for some shots of Liam Neeson looking menacing in a corduroy coat, please click here now. To anyone still reading, I thought Halloween was a good time to introduce you to some unexpected objects that keep popping up in the work of 19th-century architect-designers… Designs for tombstones. Philip […]

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Halloween greetings from beyond the grave

The Screaming Skull! Courtesy of Susanna Pinney

All is not quite what it seems in the bustling Pinney household. There are rumours of ghosts that roam the halls, tales of ghouls that scare the staff and sightings of spirits that send shivers up the spines of visitors. This Halloween the Legend of the Screaming Skull is revealed… During research for Small Stories […]

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Just in time for Halloween: A disembodied skull comes to the studio


The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, and as such, one might surmise that its conservation department would not have to deal with the issues surrounding human remains. That said, the theatre and performance collection at the V&A contains a number of unusual objects, one of them being this somewhat macabre […]

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Don’t have nightmares!


It’s that time of year again, when the supernatural starts to stir and everything gets a little bit spookier. To get you in the mood for some trick or treating, we’ve been down to the crypt and dug up some terrifyingly ghoulish items from the collections. Let’s ease ourselves in with something that’s not too […]

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