Tuesday 4 May 2010

A foray at the V & A

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 -
specifically tulips.

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.

By then
I was ready to assume the horizontal
and rather envied these folks

their cool marble bed. 


  1. Ah yes, the sudden exhaustion that strikes one after a lengthy trawl through a gallery or museum! I'm always so relieved to reach the teashop (and then I tut at the prices!)....

  2. what a great tour ... I think I need some tea, now, too ...

  3. Yonghy-Bonghy-Bo? Why he's my neighbour!
    It is just a quick trip across the Western Ghats to the Coromandel coast. I will ask him to send you some new chintz.
    Incidentally, chintz was originally printed on calico cloth. Calico being woven in Calicut, just a few miles north from my home.

  4. I once took my sandals off in the V & A to walk on the marble floors and cool my feet. An American gentleman saw me, smiled and did the same....... Something about museums is so very, very tiring.....

  5. lovely photos... I feel as though I slept in that marble position last night, must go get coffee....