Cardiff Museum: Searching for the perfect object.Posted: September 18, 2014
I took a trip to Cardiff Museum to see what they have on offer. Unfortunately a large section of the contemporary art was closed, but I found a number of artefacts that were intriguing.
This piece is an inkstand by John Robins, its an interesting artefact as it has moveable parts and miniature bottles for ink inside. It dates back to 1792-3 where at the time having elaborate and prestigious items was a sign of belonging to a bourgeois society. The Neoclassical style of this piece means it is ornate in its design yet unemotional. The novelty of this artefact is the miniature bottles housed inside, it is almost reminiscent of the globe shaped drinks cabinets.
These two silver egg cups date back to the Art Nouveau period and were created between 1907-08 by Arthur Mason in Birmingham. At the time many silverwares were created in a similar style to what was available from Liberty & Co, and these are inspired by pewter vases and candlesticks available at the time. What is appealing about these artefacts is that they have been carefully constructed using rivets and surface design, which nods to the Arts and Crafts Movement. I feel there is a lot of potential for working in this way as large objects and small can be created using similar techniques.
This hot water jug was designed by Archibald Knox for Liberty & Co and manufactured between 1904-26. The Art Nouveau design is defined by the hammered appearance of the pewter, although the piece has been cast. It was originally a part of a set including a tea pot, coffee pot, sugar jug, milk jug and tray. The wooden detail on the handle adds a more craft feel to it rather than a mass produced factory item.
This pomander dates back to the 17th century and was made in the Netherlands. Originally it would have been filled with a variety of perfumes to fill the many compartments. Originally this would have been used in a religious setting, it is similar in style to the large incense that is still used in Catholic churches today. The many parts and the mechanisms are what is interesting about this piece. I have found myself drawn to objects that are small in size or miniatures whilst at the museum, but really the interest is in artefacts that can become a part of a set.