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Victorian designs

By August 18, 2016 Art, History of Art 4 Comments

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One more blog entry from my trip to England…
I went to Osborne House, which was Queen Victoria’s family home and estate on the Isle of Wight. What better place to look at Victorian design? Of course, the place was vast, and every single shelf, corridor, cupboard and table were jam-packed with beautiful objects. Victorians were not into singling out one item to have on display here, one single other one there. Every inch of space was crowded with beautiful objects. Above, is a silver brooch made for Victoria in India (which she also ruled over). One small three-inch object in a very big home:
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Here are a few other objects that gave me pause. The entryway was guarded by a boar and a dog (mastiff, I think):

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The long hallways had dozens of large sculptures – and this one was my favorite:
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Everywhere you looked, there were things of lovely design, all crowded in together. Here are the tops of two small tables, both inset with designs created from chips of minerals and semi-precious stone:

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And of course the ceramic tile floors had me buzzing with ideas for rugs and rug borders:

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Dizzying! Here is a little doll bed (about 7″ long), again made from semi-precious stones. It was one of dozens of lovely things in a single cabinet:

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There were no hooked rugs. One rug, though, in the dining room, was pretty impressive, though, and the ribbon and rose detail had good hooked-rug possibilities:

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And there were lovely designs just carved into the wall decorations, too:

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All a bit overwhelming! So I went to a window, thinking I would just take a momentary break from design overload:

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Right. I could have gone through this palatial house again the next day, and the day after that, and could have taken just as many photos of completely different things, and then come back the next day and noticed still more. And yet, I got the strong impression that Victoria and Albert and their nine children lived relaxed and happy (though clearly exalted and priviledged) lives at Osbourne House. The kids ran around in the hallways, played dress-up, swam in the sea, were taught to grow vegetables and cook, took care of their own animals.

For me, it’s back to real life, but the designs of Osborne House will stay with me, and at some point, might well be reborn in a rug design, or a dozen. And maybe in these photos there is an idea for you – for a border, an arc of a nice swirl, or… who knows? I’ve never yet seen a hooked rug of a boar…

4 Comments

  • Mary Miller says:

    A treasure throve of wonderful sights and ideas. The bouquet of lilies is my favorite and a design I hope to see in one of my rugs in the near future! Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful trip and all of these great ideas.

  • mjanep says:

    That lily bouquet tabletop was my favorite, too…

  • Sheila Kilgore says:

    awesome place!

  • jeni says:

    I especially loved the tiles. They blew me away. I was only in England once, but my favorite place to visit was the Albert and Victorian museum. Design overload, but I went 3 times. I would love to visit the house. Maybe someday.

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