Casting bottle. 1553-4, London, England.

This bottle, with its characteristic flagon shape, was used to hold and sprinkle rose water or other scented essence. Such objects were highly fashionable but never particularly common. Now there are only four known surviving examples of pear-shaped casting bottles, of which this is the least altered or damaged. The decoration of the piece is indicative of an early Renaissance style, which went out of fashion around the middle of the 16th century.

Source: V&A Museum

Relief of St. George and the Dragon. 19th century, Germany. 

This statuette was executed in the 19th century as an imitation of a 15th century work. 


The production of ivories in historicizing styles in the 19th century flourished in a number of centres, including Cologne, Milan, Toulouse and Cordoba. Although not always made to deceive, unscrupulous dealers often sold them as genuine objects to their clients. 


George is a legendary warrior saint and martyr. His origins lie in Greece and he became popular in the West from the 13th century. He is the patron saint of several European Cities, one of them Venice. He was also made patron of England in 1222. 


To the early Christians the dragon symbolised the evil. St. George slaying the dragon thus refers to the conversion of a heathen country to Christianity. Later ages interpreted the story following the ancient Greek meaning.

Source: V&A Museum

Teapot. 1690-1700, Vauxhall, England. Salt-glaze stoneware, painted enamel and silver spout (not original spout).

Source: V&A Museum

Teacup & Saucer. 1770, Worcester, England. Soft-paste porcelain painted over the glaze with blue enamel and gilded. Fluted with a scalloped edge, and decorated with sprays of flowers in overglaze blue enamel, and with a border of scrollwork and diaper pattern in gold.

Source: V&A Museum.

Teapot. 1770 (made), 1850 (decorated), Worcester, England. Porcelain, enamel and gild.

This teapot was made at the Worcester porcelain factory in about 1770 but the decoration is likely to be much later, and probably dates to about 1850. The period from 1765 to 1776 is associated the use of blue grounds at Worcester and the stripes of royal blue colour on this teapot are in keeping with late eighteenth-century taste. However, Worcester wares do not usually bear both an underglaze blue factory mark, as is evident on the base of this teapot, and overglaze blue painting, as is evident in the decoration (usually an underglaze blue mark was only used for patterns which included underglaze blue in their decoration). This suggests that the teapot was probably painted outside the factory and the thickly applied gilding suggests a much later date than the manufacture of the teapot.

Source: V&A Museum

Statue of St. George & the Dragon. 1640, London, England. 

Source: V&A Museum

Gloves. 1600-25, England. Gloves served several purposes in early 17th century Britain, apart from the obvious ones of protection and warmth. Many were solely decorative, to display the wealth and status of their owner. They were worn in the hat or belt, as well as carried in the hand. Gloves were popular as gifts and were often given by a young gallant to his favourite mistress. In combat, a glove was thrown down as a gage, or challenge.

Source: V&A Museum

Candelabrum. 1771, Birmingham, England. Blue John, gilt-bronze and copper. 

Purse. 1600-25, England. Silk, silver thread and gilt. Usually, in the 17th century, purses of this calibre did not contain money as the rich did not tend to carry it on them. Instead, purses like these were sometimes used to carry sweets, candies, trinkets, small mirrors and small sewing instruments. 

A Milanese ambassador’s views on Henry VII

One day, while out hunting in 1497, Henry VII was being observed by the Milanese ambassador. Contrary to the popular image of Henry being a tight-fisted miser, the Milanese ambassador noted that;

"His majesty is accustomed to spending the summer hunting. [Henry VII] was adorned with a most rich collar, full of great pearls and many other jewels, in four rows, and in his bonnet he had a pear-shaped pearl, which seemed to me like something most rich."

Ian Dawson, ‘Henry VII: Out of the Shadows’

(Source: )

Did you know…

That for Henry VII’s coronation, his accounts show different payments for pieces of scarlet cloth - suggesting he was shopping around for the best price.

MonarchySupermarket.com anyone?

The things you find out whilst revising….

Waistcoat. 1805 England.  This was the very waistcoat worn by Lord Horatio Nelson as he died at the Battle of Trafalgar on the HMS Victory. The heavy bloodstains on the left shoulder are from his famed and fatal bullet wound. A French sniper aboard an enemy ship aimed and fired a musket ball at his right shoulder. The bullet ripped through his right shoulder and tore through his upper body until it finally smashed into his spine. He died below deck and is one of the most venerated heroes of English history. 

(Source: travellinganachronism)

News report, 1962, London, England. 

In the 1960’s England 70% of men and 40% of women smoked. Watching the attitudes of those in the 1960s to smoking and comparing them to those of today is very interesting - to say the least.

(Source: travellinganachronism)

Sword. 1757, England, Great Britain. Silver gilt with rubies, diamonds and emeralds. 

(Source: travellinganachronism)

Helmet. 1811-12, London, England. This helmet fashioned from silver and gilt is an extravagant piece. This type of helmet was introduced for cavalry soldiers in the Napoleonic wars. A wolf, a symbol of ferocity, sits on top of the helmet.

(Source: travellinganachronism)