Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Forthcoming New Displays: Woodwork

Pair of Egyptian shoes inlaid with mother-of-pearl, made by 1918;
PRM 1918.49.1 © Pitt Rivers Museum

Work is underway for a forthcoming display highlighting woodwork from around the world. This will include various decorative techniques. Here you can see some of the inlaid objects being considered for this display.

Hurdy gurdy PRM 1938.34.653 © Pitt Rivers Museum

The Egyptian shoes you can see above were made by 1918 and are inlaid with mother-of-pearl. On the left is a nineteenth century French hurdy-gurdy inlaid with ivory.

The table you can see below is from Papua New Guinea. The stand, in the shape of a marsupial, is decoratively carved with incisions inlaid with white mineral lime to emphasis the details.

Table PRM 1992.15.2
© Pitt Rivers Museum

Box lid, inlaid with wood veneers PRM 1989.44.157
© Pitt Rivers Museum
On the left you can see the lid from a Japanese box, where thin pieces of wood, or veneers, have been used to create a decorative pattern. This technique of applying pieces of veneer to create a pattern is known as marquetry.

I can't promise all these objects will be in the actual display.  There are so many interesting objects in the Museum collection that there is never room for everything. The VERVE team, who are working on this display, are busy deciding the final selection.

I do know team member Sian has spent time looking for plenty of woodworking examples from the reserve collections. This means this new display will provide you with the opportunity to see objects currently not on public view.

I am looking forward to seeing the results of their hard work in this interesting forthcoming display.

Zena McGreevy
Senior Assistant Curator

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