What a wonderful labrynthine treasure trove
the Victoria and Albert Museum is.
I spent a while familiarising myself
with the floor plan.
And then set off in search of James Leman
and his influences -
Might he have seen this bottle?
or this dish with tulips and roses from 1575?
Might he have admired these tiles from
the mosque of Piyale Pasha north of Istanbul?
I saw so many beautiful things,
but sadly the camera didn't cope well with the low light levels
so I can't show you the Ottoman hanging
with silk embroidered flowers and serrated leaves,
or the Turkey kemha silk with gold tulips and pomegranates
on a green ground
scattered with red and blue rosebuds .
There were chintzes from the coast of Coromandel
(where lived the Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo)
and pull out frames of medieval tapestries and
William Morris's own take on
Tulips in 1875.
I reached the Prints and Drawings Study Room
just too late to request sight of the fifty or so boxes
of James Leman's designs,
but they are mine for the asking next time.
I was ready to assume the horizontal
and rather envied these folks
their cool marble bed.