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Object of the Month

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection.

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Headrest

Headrest

Ready for the hot weather (hopefully), our object of the month for July is an Ancient Egyptian headrest, or pillow. Made from wood, it was designed for someone around 3,000 years ago to rest their head on at night. The cool wood and air flow around the neck would have been ideal in the hot, dry, desert climate of Egypt.

Stuart spectacles

Stuart spectacles

This pair of spectacles from the Stuart and Jacobite collection is our Object of the Month for June. The spectacles themselves are a simple design that would be worn pinches on the bridge of the nose, but their luxurious Italian leather case hints at the status and importance of their previous owner.

Tobacco pouch set

Tobacco pouch set

Our May Object of the Month is a wooden Japanese tobacco pouch with a pipe holder in the form of a foreigner. The pipe holder is attached to the pouch with a silk cord and a bead used to secure the lid of the pouch. It would have been worn attached to the belt as part of traditional Japanese dress for men.

Tsongkhapa

Tsongkhapa

Our April Object of the Month is a highlight of Chiddingstone Castle’s Buddhist collection. It is a gilt bronze statue of Tsongkhapa, an important Tibetan Buddhist teacher or Lama who lived from 1357 to 1419.

Amulet

Amulet

This tiny stone amulet is inscribed with the throne name of the pharaoh Thutmoses III on one side, and an image of the pharaoh as a sphinx on the other. It was made to be worn in daily life for protection and in honour of the pharaoh, whose image as a divine ruler lasted long after his death.

Silver button

Silver button

According to Denys Eyre Bower, this small silver button has a fascinating past. He attributed it to the ‘Cycle Club’ which was established in Wales in the early 18th century as a secret Jacobite society.

Lacquer box with itomari

Lacquer box with itomari

Our object of the month for January is a small round lacquer box decorated with two items which are important for New Year celebrations in Japan – itomari and mizuhiki. Itomari, or ‘thread balls’ are decorative balls made from silk and colourful threads which are gifted to children. Mizuhiki, or decorative knots, are tied around gifts or money envelopes.

Nefertiti

Nefertiti

Replica of Bust of Nefertiti Maker unknown20th centuryPainted plaster The bust of Nefertiti, which was purchased by Denys Eyre Bower, is a copy of the original one and is part of his Egyptian collection. It can be seen on the mantelpiece in the Egyptian room at...

Guardian lions

Guardian lions

This miniature pair of fierce guardian lions have been chosen as our November object of the month. Made from gilt bronze in China in the 18th century, they are smaller versions of the statues which stand either side of the entrance to important buildings, in particular Buddhist temples.

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