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 our favourite object of the week! An amazing, very large shield painted with two human faces.

Unfortunately we don’t know much about it yet.

This is our favourite object of the week! An amazing, very large shield painted with two human faces.

Unfortunately we don’t know much about it yet.

— 2 hours ago with 40 notes

#shield  #face  #paint  #human 
The weekend is here, so have a cigar! This is a tobacco pouch and pipe case from Japan. Handy little smoking tool… (The Horniman Reviews team does not promote smoking!!)

The weekend is here, so have a cigar! This is a tobacco pouch and pipe case from Japan. Handy little smoking tool… (The Horniman Reviews team does not promote smoking!!)

— 4 hours ago with 22 notes

#pipe  #tobacco  #Japan  #Horniman  #cigar 

Some of the objects from our collection are currently on display at the British Folk Art exhibition at Tate Britain, London. It closes this Sunday, so if you happen to be in the city, now is your last chance to catch it!

These two objects are trade-signs. One is a chimney sweep sign, from 1800, and the large shoe is for a shoemakers.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/british-folk-art

— 4 hours ago with 18 notes

#folk  #art  #british  #tate britain  #tate  #anthropology  #trade  #collecting  #signs  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #british folk art 
This collection of bones includes the cranium, mandible and near complete postcranial skeleton of a fallow deer (Dama dama). Collected in 1963 from Kent, England.

This collection of bones includes the cranium, mandible and near complete postcranial skeleton of a fallow deer (Dama dama). Collected in 1963 from Kent, England.

— 7 hours ago with 24 notes

#bones  #things organised neatly  #deer  #skeleton  #natural history  #collecting  #museum  #Horniman Museum 
This Australian returning boomerang is a piece of tourist art, bought in Adelaide, but it is beautifully crafted and features two engraved kangaroos!

This Australian returning boomerang is a piece of tourist art, bought in Adelaide, but it is beautifully crafted and features two engraved kangaroos!

— 1 day ago with 24 notes

#boomerang  #Australia  #Adelaide  #kangaroo 

From offensive weapons (swords) to defensive! We are now looking at our collection of shields. These two painted model shields are from Brunei, and each is carved from a single piece of lightweight wood.

— 2 days ago with 30 notes

#shield  #paint  #Brunei 
A domino set from Yorkshire. This set is made of bone, and includes a container and lid also made of bone.

A domino set from Yorkshire. This set is made of bone, and includes a container and lid also made of bone.

— 2 days ago with 124 notes

#yorkshire  #dominos  #bone  #anthropology  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #collecting  #games  #history  #social history 
Well done to those who guessed correctly- last week’s Stick of the Week was a Sword stick. This one is from Spain.

Well done to those who guessed correctly- last week’s Stick of the Week was a Sword stick. This one is from Spain.

— 3 days ago with 28 notes

#sword stick  #spain 

This is a lovely series of objects illustrating the stages of carving a figure of Hanuman, from raw stone to a fully carved and polished statuette. We also have the tools used to make these figures in our collection.

They are from Hospet, India, and were acquired by the Horniman in 1993.

(object numbers 1993.157i - iv)

— 1 week ago with 40 notes

#figure  #Hanuman  #India  #stone  #carving 
Two dolls from the Inuit people of Canada. The dolls are dressed in seal skin and have faces made of bone.
These dolls were probably made to sell to tourists, but by tradition similar dolls have been made by Inuit women to give to Inuit girls as toys. Dolls like these, although dressed as adults and not children, were made for Inuit girls to play with. By playing with these dolls girls could learn about their roles as adults. Also, as they were shown how to make the dolls for themselves, they learnt how to make clothing from seal skin, a vital skill for surviving the freezing conditions in the Arctic.

Two dolls from the Inuit people of Canada. The dolls are dressed in seal skin and have faces made of bone.

These dolls were probably made to sell to tourists, but by tradition similar dolls have been made by Inuit women to give to Inuit girls as toys. Dolls like these, although dressed as adults and not children, were made for Inuit girls to play with. By playing with these dolls girls could learn about their roles as adults. Also, as they were shown how to make the dolls for themselves, they learnt how to make clothing from seal skin, a vital skill for surviving the freezing conditions in the Arctic.

— 1 week ago with 129 notes

#inuit  #dolls  #arctic  #canada  #bone  #Sealskin  #skin  #anthropology  #museum  #Horniman Museum 

This beautiful object is a begging bowl from Iran. It is made from half of a Coco de Mer seed, and has a copper alloy chain attached. The bowl is carved with animal designs, including a lion attacking a cow.

— 1 week ago with 47 notes

#begging  #bowl  #iran  #coco de mer  #Carving  #lion  #cow  #anthropology  #collecting  #museum  #Horniman Museum 
It’s time for another Stick of the Week. Can anyone guess the purpose of this object?

It’s time for another Stick of the Week. Can anyone guess the purpose of this object?

— 1 week ago with 27 notes

#stickoftheweek  #stick 
These are Chinese twin swords, from the Qing Dynasty. The swords are known as ’yin yan qi xing jian’, translated as ‘twin seven stars sword’. Both sides of the blade are inlaid with seven brass dots depicting the seven stars or qi xing.
In China the seven stars, known in the West as the Big Dipper, were referred to as the Northern Ladle. These seven stars were said to represent the Emperor’s carriage rotating around the centre of the universe. The constellation was said to govern the Four Directions, and to divide Yin from Yang. It determined the Four Seasons, balanced the Five Elements, regulated the divisions of time and so on.

These are Chinese twin swords, from the Qing Dynasty. The swords are known as ’yin yan qi xing jian’, translated as ‘twin seven stars sword’. Both sides of the blade are inlaid with seven brass dots depicting the seven stars or qi xing.

In China the seven stars, known in the West as the Big Dipper, were referred to as the Northern Ladle. These seven stars were said to represent the Emperor’s carriage rotating around the centre of the universe. The constellation was said to govern the Four Directions, and to divide Yin from Yang. It determined the Four Seasons, balanced the Five Elements, regulated the divisions of time and so on.

— 1 week ago with 55 notes

#swords  #weapons  #china  #constellation  #universe  #ying and yang  #four seasons  #elements  #museum  #Horniman Museum  #anthropology  #collecting 
This club comes from Viti Levu island in Fiji, and is carved to represent an archerfish!

It was acquired in 1907.

This club comes from Viti Levu island in Fiji, and is carved to represent an archerfish!

It was acquired in 1907.

— 2 weeks ago with 30 notes

#club  #Fiji  #archerfish  #fish 
This is a very nice headdress from the Wai Wai of Guyana. It is made from parrot feathers, and was collected by Nicolas Guppy in 1952.

This is a very nice headdress from the Wai Wai of Guyana. It is made from parrot feathers, and was collected by Nicolas Guppy in 1952.

— 2 weeks ago with 34 notes

#headdress  #wai wai  #guyana  #south america  #anthropology  #collecting  #museum  #Horniman Museum