Secrets of the Museum – 2.2 expanded

Digital Media and Publishing
July 28, 2021

This week our focus shifts between some of our smallest objects and some of the largest, or longest. And soup.

Moving quickly beyond the continuity complexities provided by Will’s facial hair over the last year, we discover the story of the teddy bear Little Tommy Tittlemouse, who has to get ready for his birthday – 24 November. You can find out how to send a card yourself here,

It seems very likely that the well-loved bear spent at least some time eating with his friends (birthday cake, I imagine), but I doubt he was ever doused in soup. Unfortunately, the presence of a soup stain on Andrew Sachs’s costume for Manuel in Fawlty Towers, presented a problem for our conservation team, resolved – of course – in inimitable style. You can see the costume, glorious stain and all, in the galleries in South Kensington.

Inside the Epic Iran exhibition
Epic Iran exhibition photography, 19 May 2021

The Epic Iran exhibition is also on at South Kensington – read more about it here. The show presents a journey through 5000 years of art, design and culture, but the set-piece ceiling designs in the central room are remarkable even in that context. One of several designs held in the collection, Robert Murdoch Smith and Ernst Hoeltzer, both of whom worked for the Anglo-Persian Telegraph Department, apparently hired a team of Isfahani contractors to produce the paintings, who needed ‘light scaffolding and other mechanical appliances’ to reach difficult areas. You can see a group of objects featured in the exhibition in this slideshow, and there is much more in the book that accompanies the exhibition (in fact, there’s a list of books that might be interesting if you’re enjoying the series).

Finally this week, we also looked at two pieces to recently enter the jewellery collection – the Vulcan Series Ring by Emefa Cole and a brooch designed by Cindy Chao in the shape of a peony. In this film, curator Clare Phillips introduces the collection – and presents just a few of its many highlights:

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About the author

Digital Media and Publishing
July 28, 2021

I am Head of Content at the V&A, working across publishing, the website and video.

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