Favourites on Friday - The British Museum

I know, I know, it’s Saturday today, not Friday, but I did go to the British Museum yesterday, so it still ticks the box for ‘Favourites on Friday’ ;)

Been wanting to go to the Museum for ages; was originally going to go with Jennifer who is, unfortunately, not feeling well at all – get well soon, my lovely.  Thought I would be going on my own, but it turned out Hatty was feeling recovered enough from her operation, so she came with me :)  We had a fantabulous time – had lunch first at a very affordable little Italian restaurant down one of the side streets close to the Museum, then took our time meandering around the place.

There was an exhibition on Ganesha – only a small one, but nicely done.  There was even an altar made up; what I especially enjoyed was seeing Indian people coming in, so excited and full of smiles.

We went around a bit of Egypt, then to Assyria – we both adore the winged angels, they’re so robust, and full of character.  

Lion guardian

Detail on a sword

I’d taken pictures of the giant wooden gates before -- the Balawat Gates, thanks Hatty -- but this is the first time I noticed that the metal bands depicted scenes.

As I’d already taken loads of pictures during previous visits that are usually associated with the Museum, this time I just took pictures of whatever caught my attention.

We spent time in the Enlightenment Room, which has all sorts of items … they didn’t seem to be laid out in any particular order, with things from Egypt next to the Americas, next to Australasia, then Asia … Though, more than anything, I really wanted to take the books out and touch them, smell them, have a close look at them, but they’re locked away.  

Beautiful Minerva

Hermes ...

... and his winged sandal

Base of a large, child-height bowl 

Love the detail ...

Managed to ‘find’ Dr. John Dee’s magical items – previous visits with the boys, and I’d failed miserably, much to Jennifer’s bemusement ;)  The large wax disc is called the ‘Seal of God’, and is engraved with magical names and symbols.  

Because the items are in a glass case, with the reflection, I couldn’t get a good enough picture of the black obsidian mirror; this is the fitted case for it, and the handwriting is that of Horace Walpole, the 18th century author and collector who once owned it.

After stopping for coffee and a sit down, we then found our way to India, stopping to check out these beautiful Bodhisattvas …

Guan-yin

Avalokiteshvara

The detail on the sculptures are stunning ...

'Harihara', a combination of Shiva and Vishnu; he is holding Shiva's trident and rosary on the left, and Visnhu's conch shell and discus on the right.

Vishnu

Shiva and Parvathi

Buddha

Both of us were utterly captivated by his beautiful face

Lion in the Great Court

Love the ceiling, though look at it for long enough and it makes your vision go weird

First time I noticed that you can see the birds walking about the outside of the ceiling ... love the little feet.

As I've been wanting to do so for long enough, yesterday I treated myself to the Museum's membership; it may not be L'Oreal but decided that I am worth it :)

The best thing about yesterday was not having to rush because, on Fridays, the British Museum is open till 20:30!  Planning on going with the boys next month – there’s a Viking exhibition on which they’re interested in – and I think it only makes sense to go on a Friday.