12 February 2010

...is not gold

I have been totally captivated over the last month by the British Museum/BBC's History of the World in 100 Objects. I look forward each day to the unearthing of another of the museum's treasures via my radio, rather like opening the door on an advent calendar. Then I peek at the website to see whether the aural description does justice to the chosen item. Across the country, local museums are telling history through their choices and individuals have been invited to identify the objects they would include. And there have been such wonderful things to see - the achingly beautiful carved reindeer, the Mesopotamian clay writing tablet with its descriptions of beer rations, the Jomon cooking pot, the jade axe, the clay cattle - objects so beautiful in their simplicity that they make your heart jump.

Today's object was the Mold Gold Cape, finely crafted and still a bit of a mystery as to when t was worn. One theory is that it was a ceremonial piece, worn to display the wealth and power of the wearer - and like a lot of power goods both then and now, difficult to wear with any degree of comfort.

I have a fancy for anything with a touch of gold and I just love these ancient, bashed-up gold artefacts - it must be the East End show- off coming to the surface. As it is, my gold ceremonial wear is much simpler - a strip of coloured silk, sewn up at the sides, washed, wrung out and tied in a knot to dry to make some rough pleats. Took about an hour to make. I'll be wearing it tomorrow when I meet the good people of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners at the Mansion House (not my usual kind of hangout, but it is my year of being bolder). Pretty though my mock cape is, somehow I don't think the Lord Mayor will be eating his heart out.

I hope to add my two penn'orth to the 100 objects project. You can add your own objects to the website; read about the objects other bloggers have chosen, like Kate's knitting sticks and Anna's exploration ; or post something on your own blog. Whatever, I do hope you enjoy teh project as much as I am.


60 going on 16 said...

Absolutely agree; it's been a brilliant series and yet another reminder of why BBC R4 is so special. It doesn't always get things right - for example, the lamentable decision a few years ago to change the Woman's Hour serial from a narrative to a drama -
but most of the time it does very well indeed. Having worked from home for more than 20 years, R4 has been a daily companion.

Anyway, C, you have set us another fascinating challenge so I will do a bit of reflecting on the subject and may even manage to come up with something.

Threadspider said...

I too am entranced by my daily virtual visit to the museum and by the excellent narrative that accompanies the objects. There have bee some thought provoking ideas that I have been hapily mulling since I heard them.
My good friend VP introduced me to your blog yesterday. Lovely to have discovered it.

Liz said...

Your version of the mock gold cape looks gorgeous and, I'm sure, perfect for hob nobbing at the MH. Hope you tell us all about it.

Val said...

Gosh that really works!
how lovely..
I must admit a fondness for gilded pottery..there is something about gold

Anonymous said...


there some pictures and some
daily mail paranoia form my night out
ps love the new hair do

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoy your trip to the Mansion House. Having not taken much notice of 'the City' I've noticed it a bit more recently since my eldest son played in a brass band with London Symphony Orchestra brass players at the Lord Mayor's Show. The Lord Mayor's charity this year is supporting LSO outreach activities which my son directly benefits from (he'll be playing in one of their junior orchestras again in the coming week). I also went to the Red Cross Christmas Fair in the Guildhall this year which made me aware of a world of ladies on committees which I didn't know existed outside of something like a Barbara Pym novel. It was fascinating and I hope you'll be reporting back on your glimpse into that world.
Best wishes,