This opulent pendant is shaped like a hippocamp – a mythological sea-horse. The name comes from the Greek ἵππος (horse) and κάμπος (monster) and it’s commonly shown with a horse’s front and fish-like hindquarters. This mythical creature has also given its name to the hippocampus in the brain, due to its similar shape!
This jewel was probably made in Paris in the early 19th century, but it is modelled on jewels made in the 16th century. It’s made of enamelled gold, emeralds and pearls.
You can see more objects like this in our Waddesdon Bequest Gallery – catch up with our #FacebookLive broadcast from the gallery in which Curator Dora Thronton introduces some of its treasures: facebook.com/britishmuseum #gold#jewels#jewellery#pearls#emerald#hippocamp#mythical#mythological#Paris#seahorse#BritishMuseum#Live#London
This stunning locket was sent from husband to wife during the English Civil War while the political climate kept them apart. Inside is a portrait of Sir Bevil Grenville – a Royalist general from Cornwall who sent this jewel containing his portrait to his wife Lady Grace Grenville between 1639 and 1643. The locket is decorated with enamelled pansies which were associated with loving thoughts at the time. Diamonds, emeralds, opals, rubies and pearls adorn its glittering exterior.
Join us on Friday 15 at 09.00 GMT for an exciting #FacebookLive in our Waddesdon Bequest Gallery to find out more about treasures like this! #jewellery#jewels#gemstones#diamonds#gold#craftsmanship#17thcentury#Live#London#BritishMuseum#gallery#locket#miniature
An elegantly dressed courtesan reads a letter, possibly from a suitor, in this hanging scroll painted by Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro in 1805. It has been conserved over two years in our Hirayama Studio for East Asian paintings – swipe to see the process unfold.
After conservators examined the scroll, the textile borders (old kimono silk fabric) were cleaned with a special vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt. The old and degraded lining papers of these textile borders were carefully removed using humidification, and a new lining of thin ‘kozo’ paper added using wheat starch paste, which means this conservation work can be reversed in the future without damaging the scroll. The delicate embroidery of the textile borders was then reinforced with silk thread by the Museum’s textile conservators. Find out more about what it’s like to work at the Hirayama Studio in our blog post – link in bio.
Completed in 2016, this remounting process was made possible as part of the Collaborative Project for the Conservation of Japanese Paintings in the British Museum, working with the Association for Conservation of National Treasures of Japan, sponsored by the Sumitomo Foundation. This year the Hirayama Studio is celebrating 10 years of the project, which allows complex treatments to be completed by experts, and staff and students to be trained thanks to this generous support.
Here’s a super shot of the winter sun shining through the roof of the Great Court taken by @giannispist_. The space was opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II #onthisday in 2000. Did you know it’s the largest covered square in Europe?
Share your photos with us by tagging the location – we love seeing them! #regram#repost#BritishMuseum#London#UK#Queen#TheQueen
This ferocious tiger was painted by Japanese artist Gan Ku around 1800. On this large hanging scroll, Ku has combined meticulous brushstrokes to depict the tiger, with looser strokes for the surging water and jagged rock. This painting has been painstakingly conserved in the Museum’s Hirayama Studio, where East Asian paintings are mounted using traditional scroll mounting techniques – swipe to see some pictures from the process.
Once detached from its mount, the painting was cleaned using water in a process called ‘capillary cleaning’, and support layers were added to protect the surface while old and degraded lining paper was removed. A new lining was then applied, first using ‘kozo’ paper, then ‘misu’ and ‘uda’ paper (all made from mulberry). The painting was given a new mount and backing, and finished in the hanging scroll format after three months of drying. Find out what it’s like working in the Studio in our blog post, link in bio.
The Hirayama Studio is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Collaborative Project for the Conservation of Japanese Paintings in the British Museum, working with the Association for Conservation of National Treasures of Japan, sponsored by the Sumitomo Foundation. The project, which allows complex treatments to be completed by experts, generously supports conservators and students, and gives vital training in traditional conservation methods.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes shot from the Museum’s Hirayama Studio. The studio conserves East Asian paintings – here our conservators are working on a pair of screens made by Japanese artist Kawamura Bunpō in around 1800. Swipe to see the full artwork, and more pictures from the conservation treatment.
First, the screens were carefully disassembled, and the wooden frames and metal fittings removed. Each painting was then detached from its individual panel so the old backing papers could be removed using humidification. The pigment layer was then consolidated using ‘nikawa’, an animal glue solution, and the first and second layers of ‘kozo’ backing paper were applied. You can find out more about the work that goes on here in our blog post – link in bio.
This conservation has been carried out as part of the Collaborative Project for the Conservation of Japanese Paintings in the British Museum, working with the Association for Conservation of National Treasures of Japan, sponsored by the Sumitomo Foundation. The Hirayama Studio is celebrating 10 years of the project, which allows complex treatments to be completed by experts, and staff and students to be trained thanks to this generous support. #BritishMuseum#conservation#Japan#Japanese#painting#fans#EastAsia#paper#art#JapaneseArt
I've been to my fair share of museum exhibitions in my time, but crikey oh riley this is a goodun. I feel like I've just been transported back in time 2500 years into the primordial ancient steppe-lands of Asia. Unfortunately no photography was allowed but oh my my word that was good. Having to have a sit down as it was so mind-blowing. Incredible insights into a long forgotten people- the forerunners to the #Huns , the #Mongols and the #Turks who occupied all of the territory from the Black Sea to China between 800 and 200 BC #scythians#scythian#britishmuseum#museum#exhibition#history
Actual silver coin or denarii. Which is equal to one day's pay of a roman labourer - just barely enough to feed yourself wheat for the day.
People who minted this coin sometimes shave a bit off the silver to be re minted into another silver coin.
" The majority of the sculptures are roughly equally divided between Athens and London. Important pieces are also held by other major European museums, including the Musée du Louvre in Paris, Vatican Museums, the National Museum in Copenhagen, the Kunsthistoriches Museum in Vienna, the University Museum in Würzburg, and the Glyptothek in Munich. Before they went on show at the British Museum in 1817, they were first seen from 1807 in Lord Elgin’s temporary museum. The public display of the sculptures from spring 1807 encouraged Hellenists in their love of ancient Greece while, at the same time, it inspired the Philhellene movement in its sympathy for the inhabitants of modern Greece and their struggle for independence. Since then the sculptures have always been on display to the public in the British Museum, free of charge." -Figure of Iris from the west pediment of the Parthenon