A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Birthday British Museum - 255 Years Old

Happy Birthday to the British Museum. Only 255 years old! 


The Grand Court is every bit as grand as it looks with this central building area and staircase. But I'm getting ahead of myself....


After entering the wrought iron gates, you see the front of the museum....


And just before you enter outside is a wonderful sculpture...


In 1967, I spent a month in London when I was 20 with my dear Aunt Ruth, whom I was named for, my father's sister, as she spent her sabbatical year in Europe. We spent 8 months all over, but a month in the UK, based in London.  We stayed at The Bonnington Hotel, reccommended as fashionable and safe for two single women.  The photos of that trip aren't digitized yet, but I found this old postcard of the hotel....


and a 2 press photographs of the hotel from the Daily Mail archives...



I remember it as elegant and pretty stuffy for me in the 1960s who couldn't wait to get to Carnaby Street and get my Mary Quant white eye make up! The lifts...or elevators...had fancy metal lift doors and were quite creaky....Anyway, we loved it because it was quite close to the British Museum...the hotel is now a Doubletree where we stayed a few years ago. Notice the change to the lobby...it was amazing! These 2 photos are from the hotel website...last time we stayed, I wasn't in the photoing everything mode...



Anyway...I was a Physical Anthropology major with a minor in Archaeology at the time, which is why I loved the British Museum....


a 5th century Greek 24 karat gold laurel wreath....



A sculpture of Ramses II....and lots of things in the Egyptian gallery including mummies...I was in heaven!


And for a bit of controversy...the Elgin Marble s collection from the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, which is was to hear much about a few months later in 1967 when we spent a month in Greece. Lord Elgin "collected" the statues, supposedly to protect them....but the Greek's say "looted" in 1801 and brought them to England where they are still a bone of contention and have been since...


My favorite as a horse person...worked at a stable in high school and owned a horse...is this exquisite marble horse head from the frieze...


If you can tell from the photo above this, the marbles originally were placed in a tapering installation from the top of the Parthenon, just below the roof.

So happy Birthday British Museum, one of my most favorite haunts in London. All the photos unless noted are mine.

5 comments:

  1. What an exciting time you have have had in England in the 60's - the days of the British pop music explosion and the latest in fashion trends from Mary Quant and Twiggy. The museum would be very interesting to see and I think we passed on it when we were there. Too bad. Interesting post, Ruth.

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  2. Fascinating! Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories!

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  3. I cannot imagine having the opportunity to travel in Europe for that long, especially with a loving Aunt! LUCKY you. Thank you, Ruth, for stopping by my blog. Happy New Year, by the way. Your post is fascinating- and great pics, too. Have a nice weekend,
    S

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  4. If I could go back to London I'd spend as many days as I could in the museums - what treasures! .............then I'd hit the bookstores!

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  5. Sure looks good for it's age. lol! what a wonderful opportunity to travel in Europe! I remember when the Ramses collection came to Prove, UT and we viewed it. Really amazing! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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