I often seem to be more interested in the former wearers of objects in our collection than the objects themselves. That is even more true in the case of former owners who seem to resist revealing themselves. The following (and I’m afraid there will be more than one instalment) could be the script of a silent movie, complete with over-made-up villain, deceivingly pretty villainess and impressively shocked bystanders, although the writer of the title cards for this one would have their work cut out. Where to start? Well, it’s always good to begin with some lovely shoes. The image below […]
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The story of London Tweed
So this is how the story goes. In 1826 a London merchant decides to buy some cloth from a weaver in Hawick, a town in the Scottish borders famous for its cloth production. Very happy with his order, he decides to get some more but – crucially – misreads the weaver’s dashed handwriting. Instead of ‘twill’ this Londoner reads ‘tweed’, and assumes this new cloth must take after the River Tweed which runs fast and clear through the textile areas of lower Scotland. ‘Tweed’ and not ’twill’ has been the term used ever since.
London Street Views 1840
New to London? Here for business or perhaps a little shopping? Looking for a specific building? These days we might use the internet or our smartphones to find the right places and navigate around the city, technology of which the Victorian visitor to London could only dream.
From saintly to saucy: the medieval badge that wasn’t as innocent as it seemed
Cataloguing the Museum’s collection of medieval pilgrim badges for Collections Online has been a great opportunity for me to look really closely at our objects and sometimes to find out that items are not at all what they appear to be. A great example recently has been a tiny little badge in the shape of a comb.