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Features > London, England (July 2006) > Victoria and Albert Museum

I figured it would be nice to see the prestegious Victoria and Albert Museum. The museum specializes in decoritive items, fashion, and other applied arts. The museum covers 11 acres and has 145 galleries.

The Harrow-on-the-Hill station from whence I departed

The sun was shining through the skylight on the steps and railing going up to the ticket area of the station that morning

This sculpture hangs above a library area in a corner of the V&A Museum
Breathless (2001)
By Cornelia Parker (British, born 1956)
Made in London, Silver-plated brass musical instruments suspended on stainless steel wire

I thought this was a very nicely-made device
Astronomical Compendium (1617)
This ingenious instrument tells the time by day using a sundial, and at night by sighting on two stars. On the cover are engraved the royal arms and inside are the latitudes of 30 towns in Britain, which helped to set the dial accurately. Elias Allen made scientific instruments for James I and Charles I.
Brass, engraved
Designed and made in the London workshop of Elias Allen (bron in Ashurt, Kent, about 1588, died in Lond, 1653); probably made for James I
Given by the Council of the Royal United Service Institution, M.51-1963

A very romantic and dramatic piece of anonymous art
Inscribed Glass (Possibly 1646), Made in England
We do not know who scratched these impassioned lines onto glass quarries with a diamond, or why it was done. He or she was clearly preoccupied with thoughts of love and mortality for the central panel reads, 'I am yours and only yours till death separates.'
Glass quarries with diamond-engraved inscriptions
Reputed to have been inscribed by Charles I (1600-1649) while imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wright, in 1646, C142-1984

A beautiful piece of Chihuly glass hangs above the information desk near the main entrance of the museum, here I've made the background greyscale to emphasize the color of the sculpture

People used scissors (and nice ones) even way back in 675!
Pair of scissors, chased silver
675-750, Tang dynasty, M.38-1935

The Cast Courts of the V&A hold an amazing array of copies of famous sculptures. In the background is a full size copy of Michelangelo's David.
"In the reign of Queen Victoria, displays of male nudity was contentious and the Queen herself was said to find it shocking. The museum commissioned a suitably proportioned fig leaf that was kept in readiness in case of a visit by the Queen or other female dignitary: the fig leaf was then hung on the figure using a pair of hooks. Today, the fig leaf is no longer used, but it is displayed in a case at the back of the cast's plinth." - Wikipedia entry above

The library of the V&A

Here is a pointer used by the reader of the Torah in the Jewish religion, it was among a quite extensive array of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish works of art.
Pointers - The pointer or yad ('hand') is used by the reader to follow the sacred text of the Torah. It is usually made of silver, and sometimes set with precious stones on the index finger. When the yad is not being used it is kept in the Ark and hung over a Torah breastplate.
London, England, 1797-8; maker's mark indistinct
Silver, Museum no. M.275-1960

Back to the castings, here is Trajan's Column in two halves

Glass railings within a gallery dedicated to...glasswork

The namesake of the museum

Royal Albert Hall in miniature

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