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Elizabeth and the Medal Cabinet

Medal Cabinet Appeal – Elizabeth Bisley, Assistant Curator

‘This cabinet is an incredibly important example of Napoleonic design, it tells so many stories about design, craftsmanship, politics and luxury in early nineteenth-century France, and would be an amazing addition to our new European galleries.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come in contact with the Napoleonic Medal […]

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Nei and the Medal Cabinet in the Silver Galleries, Level 3

Medal Cabinet Appeal – Neide Gentelini, Gallery Assistant

‘The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design; we can safeguard the cabinet and care for it, not just in the short term but for years to come, and ensure that it is on display for everyone to see.’ In this series of blogs we’re interviewing various members of staff who come […]

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Help Save This Cabinet for the Nation!

As you will have seen if you’ve visited the Silver Galleries lately, we have just launched an urgent new appeal trying to raise the £534,000 needed to save this incredibly rare and important medal cabinet from export. The cabinet was made in around 1810, for someone in the circle of the Emperor Napoleon. Stunning in […]

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Making Silver Sculpture for the Victorian Home

The V&A has the largest collection of metal casting models for silver sculpture in the world. Over the last year these models have been giving up their secrets to staff researching their manufacture and design. Staff examining metal patterns for “High Life”, originally modelled by Louis Victor Fréret in c.1860. © Victoria and Albert Museum, […]

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Twenty Objects for Twenty Years: The Ramsey Abbey Censer and Incense Boat

The Ramsey Abbey Incense Boat and Censer, England, Silver and Silver Gilt, Medieval and Renaissance, room 10, case 13, Muse ref: M.269-1923 and M.268-1923 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London The silver-gilt censer and incense boat, exhibited side by side in the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, are extremely rare survivals of 14th-century English, ecclesiastical, goldsmiths’ […]

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Ooh, Shiny

One of the fascinating things about design drawings, at least to me, is that you often can’t tell whether they are for presentation, for working out a design concept, or just recording an object once it’s finished. Sometimes, perhaps, there is a bit of all three going on. The confusion really sets in when you see aesthetic touches on what you would otherwise expect to be a ‘working sketch.’ For whose benefit has the drawing been prettied up? Maybe the draftsman was taking pride in the work. Maybe there was an internal politics in play, where the designer wants the …

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