Category: British Museum

the holy thorn reliquary detail
A bit more medieval from the British Museum (read all about a 700 year old citole here), but this time we’re not in my favourite Room 40, but Room 2a, the home of the Waddesdon Bequest. We’re going to look at the Holy Thorn Reliquary, a late 14th century gold, enamel and rock crystal devotional […]
Back in the British Museum for the first time since lockdown and prepping for a real life tour with a real life guest. The Standard of Ur is an object I’ve walked past on numerous occasions, but until yesterday hadn’t ever really spent any time looking at. Its history and what it tells us about […]
Another free talk from me and my four friends at UKToursOnline. Here we look forward to the reopening of the UK’s galleries and museums by picking some of our favourites, and sharing our favourite objects in the British Museum and the V+A.
Online tours and talks about some of the most interesting sites in the UK
In the British Museum is a remarkable Iron Age corpse, a wonderfully preserved ‘bog body’ from the 1st century CE discovered in a place called Lindow Moss near Wilmslow in Chesire in 1984. Lindow Moss is a peat bog and while workmen were harvesting this peat they discovered a leg. The previous year the head […]
Walk into Room 40 in the British Museum via the staircase in the entrance lobby and the first thing that hits you is this wonderful piece of medieval metalwork – The Royal Gold Cup, created around 1380 in France by John, Duc de Berry for his brother Charles V (or, some sources say, for his nephew […]
Up in Room 40 of the British Museum you will find one of the most stunning bits of medieval carving to survive – a citole (an early type of guitar) that dates from around 1300. It’s carved from box (a slow-growing shrub that produces dense, hard wood). When it was nearly 300 years old, someone […]
One of the oldest pieces in the museum is not stone or porcelain or metal, but an actual human being – someone who walked around and felt the sun on their back nearly 5,500 years ago. Looking at the desiccated corpse we can see how wonderfully he is preserved;  the skin is like leather, you […]
One of the most famous of the early medieval exhibits from the museum is the Lewis chessmen. 93 separate pieces, in a variety of sizes, were discovered in 1831 on the Isle of Lewis, hidden, presumably, by someone who was trading the sets. These 93 are now split between the British Museum and the National […]
The Tang dynasty – 618AD to 907AD –  was one of the golden ages of China. We’re often a bit unspecific about the dates of exhibits in the museum – placing things in a century or even a millennium, but we know that these figures date to 728AD. They are tomb figures for a general called Liu […]
Get the Newsletter

Follow me on Twitter