Buildings or architectural elements have often been used to provide form or decoration for some apparently unrelated objects, such as a wine jars, biscuit tins or workboxes.
Wine pot in the form of a Chinese gate
Miyagawa Kozan (1842-1916)
Porcelain with underglaze blue decoration
Height 17 cm x width 20 cm x 8 cm
Museum no. C.562 &A-1920
Gift of Kenneth Dingwall through the National Art Collections Fund
This porcelain wine pot depicts various architectural features including a gateway and the lid shaped as a pagoda-style building reminiscent of ancient Chinese city wall architecture. The dragon-shaped handle and spout also add to the whimsical character of the vessel.
Model of a Chinese garden with pavilions
Wood, metal, kingfisher feathers, pearls and ivory
Height 59 cm x width 62 cm x depth 46 cm
Museum no. 9348 (IS)
Acquired by the V&A in 1880 from the India Museum, part of the East India Company which disbanded in 1858, this model shows imaginary building structures. These large rocky landscape scenes dotted with pavilions were often produced for Chinese export to the west. Unusually, this example is almost entirely inlaid with kingfisher feathers rather than the customary carved ivory.
Biscuit tin in the shape of a windmill
Huntley & Palmers
Probably manufactured by Huntley, Boone & Stevens
Lithograph printed tin
Museum no. M.388-1983
It is unusual to find decorative additions, such as the blades on this windmill tin, intact, as tins were often played with by children. A particularly charming detail on this tin is the miller's wife in the doorway, holding a large tin of Huntley & Palmers biscuits.
Ring with an architectural motif
Designed and made by Michael Burton
Height 6 cm x width 2 cm x depth 2 cm
Museum no. M.296-1975
The design of this ring was inspired by traditional Jewish marriage rings. These rings are often decorated with a representation of a miniature building, said to portray the Temple, the synagogue or the new home the married couple were about to set up.