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The human body

The human figure was a popular source of inspiration for silverware, and silversmiths explored a great range of different body types to adorn various objects.

Looking good

Silver has always been used to impress, whether at home or in public displays of wealth or power. How people used it in order to look good varied greatly.

Feeling fine

Silver has always been used in the pursuit of good health. Silversmiths made containers for medicine, amulets to ward off evil spirits and mounts for cups carved from materials simply believed to make you feel good.

Tea, coffee & chocolate

The arrival of non-alcoholic hot drinks in England sparked major changes in the way people socialised. A whole series of intricate ceremonies sprang up around the drinking of tea, coffee and chocolate, with accessories to match.

Fun & games

Not all silver objects were for serious purposes. Silver could be used just as effectively to reflect sporting success, challenge others at drinking games or to make toys for children.

Wildlife

Nature has always been a great source of inspiration for designers. Animal depictions in silver range from mortally wounded horses falling in dramatic battle scenes to novelty drinking cups in the shape of birds, bears and cows.

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Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design

Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design

Surrealism was one of the most influential movements of the 20th century and had a profound impact on all forms of culture. It was a philosophy and a …

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Shoes: Pleasure and Pain

13 June 2015 – 31 January 2016. An exhibition looking at the extremes of footwear from around the globe. From a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf originating from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers.

VIsit the V&A exhibition

Event - Tudors and Early Stuarts: Architecture and Interiors

Thu 08 October 2015–Thu 03 December 2015

8 WEEK SHORT COURSE: Study the buildings and interiors of the Tudors and early Stuarts, c. 1500 – 1650. This was a time of great change both socially and politically which directly affected the way in which culture and the arts were created, displayed and interpreted.

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