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Among the outstanding items are the Saint-Porchaire ewer, the Meissen lion, the travelling service of Napoleon’s sister, Princess Pauline Borghese, and half of the huge silver-gilt ‘tea service’ supplied in connection with the Emperor Napoleon’s marriage to the Archduchess Marie-Louise of Austria in 1810.
Other highlights include the seventeen-piece, silver-gilt Lennoxlove toilet service (one of only three Parisian toilet services to survive from the reign of the ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV), the gold snuffboxes from the James Cathcart White collection, and the porcelain made at Worcester, Bristol and the Wedgwood factory during the eighteenth century.
In addition to metalwork and ceramics, the section is responsible for two of the largest collections of historic dress and textiles and of furniture in the United Kingdom. Among the principal items in these collections are the 17th-century Venetian baroque table by Lucio de Lucci and the Kinghorne table carpet from Glamis Castle. The section also curates Scottish furniture and Scottish dress and textiles, and we have important holdings of domestic and professional embroidery, woven and printed fabrics, 18th and 19th-century dress and accessories, and lace.
There are also a large number of items owned by the Dukes of Hamilton, from Hamilton Palace, and such Scottish artist-collectors as Horatio McCulloch and Sir Joseph Noel Paton, along with major collections of Italian maiolica, Venetian glass, and sculptors’ terracotta and plaster models.
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Collection responsibility: European precious and base metalwork, sculpture, ceramics, glass, enamels, and arms and armour from c.1200 to 1850.
Research interests: Hamilton Palace and the collections of the Dukes of Hamilton; Continental silver; and Scottish fireclay sculpture.
Collection responsibility: European and Scottish textiles and dress, 1400 to 1850.
Research interest: European tapestry, 1400 to the present; textiles and the sacred in early modern Europe; Renaissance jewels; early modern domestic embroidery; Scottish pre-industrial textile production; Jacobite material culture; collections and collectors, 1850-1950.
Collection responsibility: British and European furniture and woodwork (and musical instruments, excluding bagpipes).
Research interests: Scottish furniture makers and manufacturers; representations and perceptions of domestic life and material culture in early modern Scotland.
Collection responsibility: Working with European Decorative Arts collections before 1850, specialist in fashion and textiles 1700-1900.
Research interests: Dress and identity, European sartorial cultures and global influences, performative dress and fancy dress costume, garment construction and materials, collectors and collecting.
Our collections from Asia represent its cultural diversity. More than 50,000 items from across the continent allow an insight into artistic exchange, trade relations, imperial histories and religious beliefs.
The European Decorative Arts section encompasses gold and silver, sculpture, ceramics, glass, enamels, arms and armour, dress, tapestries, textiles and furniture made between 1200 and 1850.
Our Mediterranean, Africa, Americas and Oceania collections consist of over 35,000 objects ranging from the archaeological to the contemporary.
Our Modern and Contemporary Design collections comprise over 35,000 objects dating from c.1850 to the present.