Thursday, 6 May 2010

◸▚ a real magpie

as I mentioned on Tuesday
I finally visited the John Soanes Museum
at Lincolns' Inn Fields, London:
the website advised that there is sometimes a
queue, due to the delicate nature of the building
and the exhibits:
luckily, only two people were in front of us
and a short five minute wait:
after placing our handbags within clear plastic carriers,
we signed in:
strict instructions, that 'no photography' is permitted
and a wealth of invigilators meant that
sneaky Dee could only catch one photo on her
*nothing can do any justice to the true
of this little museum*
{the colonnade and dome}
squeezing through narrow walkways:
every surface and wall and built-in nook,
covered in fabulous artifacts and curios:
every ceiling painted or domed with coloured glass:
* I did ask permission to photograph these
 from the window to the outside*
libraries of books with leather spines and 
gold embossed titles:
the painting room with amusing Hogarths and shuttered walls
~ opened, by a white gloved lady, to reveal 
intricately rendered drawings by Joseph Gandy
of Soanes realised architectural designs:
{and some dreamlike unrealised ones}
this place is a riot of inspiration:
you want to know more about every piece:
and there are thousands!

my favourite room has to be the Breakfast Parlour:
under a beautiful painted glass dome,
a large cabinet symmetrically filled with shells,
jars, small animal skeletons, cups, thimbles, fossils
 and fanciful effects:
hanging close by ~
a miniature of Napoleon thought to be one of the earliest
paintings of the emperor:
a table with jars of small white shells,
a book opened at a botanical drawing and 
small drawered boxes containing insects that 
I just ached to pull open and peep inside:

I could go on for ever telling you about divine pieces,
the shrine to Mrs Soanes departed dog "Alas, poor Fanny!'
the Monks Parlour, 
the crypt with it's Egyptian alabaster sarcophagus,
Soanes personal rooms ~ the study and dressing room,
the dining room painted in *Pompeian red
with it's exquisite Apulian vases
and every chair adorned with a teasel to deter bottoms from
resting there:

if you're ever near Holborn,
you simply have to visit:
I know I shall again & again:

*apparently Soanes pocketed a piece of of wall plaster from the excavations
at Pompeii


  1. sounds utterly fabulous.....and I'm so glad you had a great birthday :D

    skeletons, fossils, shells. Bliss.

    {didn't the wonderful Cornelia Parker make something relating to this museum?}

  2. Sounds delicious, I may have to go. I, too, have been meaning to for sometime. Boxes with insects? Ohhhhhh that's enough x


☺ thank you for taking the time to leave a comment ~ I might not always reply but they really are valued ☺