This post comes from a damp and gray England where the Laundry King, his sister and her husband and I are spending the holidays. Our home exchange house is situated near St Albans to the north of London and makes a great base for day trips. Our first excursion was to Bletchley Park, the central site for Britain’s codebreakers during World War II and location of the recent movie The Imitation Game. Another excursion was to Oxford. The weather was not conducive to much sightseeing and colleges we went to were closed for visitors but we did enjoy the Covered Market, the Ashmolean Museum of Art & Archaeology and a cosy pub or two.
The Ashmolean is the world’s first university museum and was established to house the collection of curiosities that Elias Ashmole gave to the University of Oxford in 1677. The interior of the museum has been extensively modernised and is a fabulous space for the world famous collections ranging from Egyptian mummies to contemporary art.
Exploring the Ancient World galleries on the entry level, I was fascinated by the inverted, 3D log cabin design on this mummy. The artistry is awesome:
As my friend Kirsten Duncan pointed out, these tiles appear to be the inspiration for Kaffe Fassett’s Persian Vase fabric design
Elsewhere, there were beautiful Asian silks:
And the fragments of Egyptian embroideries and samplers dating from the 10th-16th centuries:
Not to mention such curiosities such as Lawrence of Arabia’s robe and the extravagant tapestry The Battle of the Animals: