Monday, 5 March 2018

Museum Pieces

Isn't it strange how you notice a reference to a place or a person or a book...and then for the next few weeks, other things related to it keep popping up unexpectedly. I am sure there is a proper scientific name for when something gets into your mindset like that [please do tell me, if anyone out there knows the word!]
It started 5 weeks ago, the day we visited Salisbury Museum. As we strolled up from the Park&Ride stop, we pottered round a few CS. Bob found a book "You should buy this!" he told me "It's all about quilts, I think you'd love it!"
It was £1.49 - but the original price was £25. The book was published in 2010, for an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It's about 10" square.

It was entitled "Quilts 1700-2010, Hidden Histories, Untold Stories"
As I flicked through the book on the bus later, I was really excited by the details and stories. But some of the pictures seemed familiar.
When I got home, I went upstairs - sure enough, at the back of the desk drawer was a little packet of 20 exhibition postcards. I'd bought this for £1 in a CS in Leicester- but never actually used any of the cards. So now I have the cards and the book telling the stories of each quilt.
The next V&A connection came on a Sunday two weeks ago. We were on our way home from church when we saw a sign saying "Garage Sale, Everything FREE!". Bob declared it would be impolite not to stop and check it out.
An elderly couple had died, and his family had sold his house, and cleared most of the contents - but were having a final attempt to get rid of stuff purposefully, not just to landfill. I found a nice pair of pinking shears ['Mum would be so pleased to know they are going to someone who sews' said the lady] a folding rule, and two mugs. Bob picked up a few tools, and a huge 1930s table saw on its original cast iron base [just don't ask!]
I picked up the mugs because they were a pair, and I liked the shape and design. They were utterly filthy. 
A good wash revealed their full beauty, and that they too were from the V&A. The Inspired collection was a range of homewares with designs based on textiles and papers in the Museum.
The pretty floral print is based on an Indian cotton from the 1770s, made somewhere along the Coromandel Coast and probably shipped back by the Dutch East India Company to be made into this gorgeous gown.
My final find was on Wednesday, as I continued the Great Haberdashery Audit. Neatly folded in the bottom of a box was an apron - one I hadn't seen since we moved here 3 years ago [a gift from my SIL in 2012]. This too is from the V&A Inspired range, and based on a chinese wallpaper, also from the late 1700s [discovered on the wall of a brewery house in Watford!]
So these are my treasures from the V&A collection. 
Quilts, mugs, and an apron - from inspiration dating back 250 years. These designs were already over a century old when Victoria laid the foundation stone for the great Museum in Cromwell Road back in 1899.
They fit Mr Morris' mantra- I know them to be useful, and believe them to be beautiful - so they are all staying!


  1. How lovely to find such treasures. The mugs are particularly delightful.

  2. What wonderful things to find and how nicely they seem to connect to each other! Maybe the word is "connectivity"? Whatever the word is, your mugs and apron are very lovely and the quilt book sounds like something I would like to read!


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