In the Horniman

We work at the Horniman Museum and Gardens' stores and come across all manner of interesting, unusual and fascinating finds.
Here we share a few we like with you, but there are lots more listed on our website.


At the moment, we're mainly working on a collections review project: Collections People Stories, reviewing our Anthropology collections. You can learn more about all the collections at the Horniman on our website.

NB: we're not responsible for others reblogging or writing about our objects, but we hope you like these objects as much as we do.

Hear more about our projects on twitter @HornimanReviews.

Browse our: Anthropology collections   Natural History collections   Musical Instrument collections   Archive collections   Blogs on Collections People Stories   

Any questions?  

This is a sample of dried fruit from a Kigelia tree (Kigelia africana), collected in Kenya. The tree is also known as the ‘sausage tree’, and it’s easy to see why!

This is a sample of dried fruit from a Kigelia tree (Kigelia africana), collected in Kenya. The tree is also known as the ‘sausage tree’, and it’s easy to see why!

— 1 week ago with 17 notes

#Kigelia  #fruit  #Kenya  #Africa  #Samburu 
This is a beautiful glass perfume bottle from China. The bottle is actually painted on the inside, and copies scenes from a 4000 year old painting, San ch’ing ke liang. This method of painting on the inside of glass bottles was common in the Shandong province. The artist would lie down and look up into the glass bottle in order to paint them. They were painted with very fine bamboo sticks made supple by holding them in a flame.

This is a beautiful glass perfume bottle from China. The bottle is actually painted on the inside, and copies scenes from a 4000 year old painting, San ch’ing ke liang. This method of painting on the inside of glass bottles was common in the Shandong province. The artist would lie down and look up into the glass bottle in order to paint them. They were painted with very fine bamboo sticks made supple by holding them in a flame.

— 1 week ago with 79 notes

#perfume  #bottle  #China  #painting  #artist  #art  #anthropology  #collecting  #Horniman Museum  #museum 
This is a rather lovely beaded headband from South Africa. Our volunteers have been marking the items with textile labels, and insisted we shared their beauty with you all!

This is a rather lovely beaded headband from South Africa. Our volunteers have been marking the items with textile labels, and insisted we shared their beauty with you all!

— 1 week ago with 26 notes

#bead  #southafrica  #hornimanreviews  #headband 
Thanks for all of your guesses on Stick of the Week! Many of you were in the right area…this stick IS used for hunting. But it is not an atlatl (throwing spear). It is a springhare hook. 

Springhares are small burrowing African rodents. The hook would be extended into the springhare’s burrow and used to kill the animal. Extra lengths could be added if necessary to accommodate the depth of the burrow. The number of lengths needed to reach the springhare would then be counted, and used to calculate where the hunters needed to dig to reach their prize.

However, this object was originally in one piece, and our records say that it was cut into three pieces for ease of transport! It was acquired by the Horniman in 1978.

Thanks for all of your guesses on Stick of the Week! Many of you were in the right area…this stick IS used for hunting. But it is not an atlatl (throwing spear). It is a springhare hook.

Springhares are small burrowing African rodents. The hook would be extended into the springhare’s burrow and used to kill the animal. Extra lengths could be added if necessary to accommodate the depth of the burrow. The number of lengths needed to reach the springhare would then be counted, and used to calculate where the hunters needed to dig to reach their prize.

However, this object was originally in one piece, and our records say that it was cut into three pieces for ease of transport! It was acquired by the Horniman in 1978.

— 2 weeks ago with 31 notes

#stick of the week  #springhare hook  #rodent  #hunting  #stick 

The top image is from a silver gelatin glass plate negative. It depicts Place de La Concorde in Paris, with Cleopatra’s needle in full view. As we don’t have the positive plate for this image, our photographer managed to develop it on Photoshop.

— 2 weeks ago with 59 notes

#paris  #cleopatra  #cleopatras needle  #place de la concorde  #glass plate  #negative  #silver gelati  #anthropology  #museum  #Horniman Museum 
It’s time for Stick of the Week again! Any ideas what this three-part object is?

It’s time for Stick of the Week again! Any ideas what this three-part object is?

— 2 weeks ago with 42 notes

#stick of the week  #sotw  #stick  #Horniman  #museum 
We love this face ornament from Kenya. After working through many boxes of predominantly brown objects, it’s lovely to have such beautiful colours on an object!

We love this face ornament from Kenya. After working through many boxes of predominantly brown objects, it’s lovely to have such beautiful colours on an object!

— 2 weeks ago with 22 notes

This beautiful object is a carved wooden snuff grater, from Russia. It was made in 1729.

This beautiful object is a carved wooden snuff grater, from Russia. It was made in 1729.

— 2 weeks ago with 44 notes

#snuff  #Russia  #18th century  #collecting  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #anthropology 
Like them or loath them, pigeons are part of city life. They’re also part of our collection! This domed taxidermy mount is an Archangel breed of domestic pigeon (Columba livia).

One of our Anthropology collections review team (who is also a zoologist) will be talking about pigeons at a special Animal edition of Science Showoff tonight at the Grant Museum of Zoology in London:

http://scienceshowoff.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/animal-showoff-july-8th-ucl-grant-museum/

Like them or loath them, pigeons are part of city life. They’re also part of our collection! This domed taxidermy mount is an Archangel breed of domestic pigeon (Columba livia).

One of our Anthropology collections review team (who is also a zoologist) will be talking about pigeons at a special Animal edition of Science Showoff tonight at the Grant Museum of Zoology in London:

http://scienceshowoff.wordpress.com/2014/06/16/animal-showoff-july-8th-ucl-grant-museum/

— 2 weeks ago with 34 notes

#pigeon  #bird  #London  #Animal Showoff  #Science Showoff 
Stick of the week- answer

Some of you were correct in your guesses as to what last week’s Stick of the Week was- it is indeed a rattle! Made from sections of gourd mounted on a stick, this rattle is from Mali, where it is used in circumcision ceremonies. I think on Friday we’ll have to pick a stick which is more difficult to identify!

— 3 weeks ago with 15 notes

We love this wooden Russian doll. It depicts the Cossak Yermak Timofeyevich.

We love this wooden Russian doll. It depicts the Cossak Yermak Timofeyevich.

— 3 weeks ago with 67 notes

#russian doll  #Russia  #yermak timofeyevich  #anthropology  #collecting  #Museums  #Horniman Museum 
This balaclava is from Peru. These type of balaclavas are used as protection against stones thrown by sling-shots in ritual battles called tinku, which would happen between opposing villages. The idea is to fight until enough blood has been spilled as an offering to the earth. The offering of blood in this way is part of a very complex cosmological process of continuing fertility.
 

This balaclava is from Peru. These type of balaclavas are used as protection against stones thrown by sling-shots in ritual battles called tinku, which would happen between opposing villages. The idea is to fight until enough blood has been spilled as an offering to the earth. The offering of blood in this way is part of a very complex cosmological process of continuing fertility.

 

— 3 weeks ago with 86 notes

#peru  #balaclava  #ritual  #battle  #tinku  #blood  #offering  #fertitlity  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #anthropology  #collecting  #cosmology 
This morning we have reached 30,001 followers! Thank you all for your amazing support. In celebration, here is a 19th century Chinese watercolour of two children carrying festival lanterns. The red bat represents good fortune, and the fish represents abundance. 

We feel very fortunate to have such an abundance of amazing followers with whom we can share our love of all things Horniman!

This morning we have reached 30,001 followers! Thank you all for your amazing support. In celebration, here is a 19th century Chinese watercolour of two children carrying festival lanterns. The red bat represents good fortune, and the fish represents abundance.

We feel very fortunate to have such an abundance of amazing followers with whom we can share our love of all things Horniman!

— 3 weeks ago with 39 notes

#followers  #milestone  #Horniman  #fish  #bat  #abundance  #fortune  #lantern  #festival 
It’s time for stick of the week again…any ideas?

It’s time for stick of the week again…any ideas?

— 3 weeks ago with 17 notes

This is a very small copper alloy cast of Shiva’s lingam. Used for a domestic shrine, India.

This is a very small copper alloy cast of Shiva’s lingam. Used for a domestic shrine, India.

— 3 weeks ago with 30 notes

#Shiva  #India  #shrine  #anthropology  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #collecting  #lingam