One year of objects!
From two altar cruets to a golden locket

Luisa Coscarelli


When I started the History of Design M.A. I knew I liked the decorative arts. Studying beautiful objects that were nice to look at – what more could you want? However, once the course began I realised that behind the pretty (or not so pretty) surface of every object lies so much more meaning than I had ever come to realise before. I asked myself how an academic discipline that was able to provide such fascinating insights into the life of the past and present, with the help of objects and the contexts they were made and used in, was not more prominent and wide-spread than it is at the moment.

This is where the idea for the Object of the Week column was born. The intention was to show a broader audience how we can look at objects and use them as main pieces of evidence in conducting historical research. By doing this every week, another aim was to show the broad variety in which this could be done, and the number of approaches one could take, as well as giving truly beautiful objects the opportunity to shine and be seen.

In achieving this goal we had many people contribute to the column, and Emily and I would like to thank Hannah Lee, Annie Thwaite, Lani McGuinness, Sophie Cope, Elodie Mallet, Jo Tierney, Benjamin Koslowski, Caterina Tiezzi, and Dr. Lydia Pyne for their fantastic contributions. We would also like to thank our editors-in-chief Annie Thwaite and Charlotte Flint for putting up with us posting every week! You have been fantastic, lovely, amazing editors!

It was a great experience and I hope you – our audience – enjoyed every object of the week (see all of them in the pictures below)!

Thank you!

Luisa and Emily


Two Altar Cruets, Underground Poster, Venetian Trade Beads, Bashaw. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Clepsydra, Lego, Japanese Pillar Clock, Hair Jewellery. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Pyx, Willow Pattern Update, African Mask, Wine Bottle. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Bone Chair, Toothpick Holder, Coconut Cup, Eye Miniature. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Ring, Devil Print, Wifi Router, Payment Cards. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Taung Child’s Box, Mother Shipton, Apothecary Jar, Falcon Hood. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Perfume Burner, Pug, British Clock, Scent Snail, Royal Chair. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Salad Container, The V&A, Clouds, Pastiglia Box. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Work Table, Porcelain Coin, Chopines, Knife Box. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.


Bronze Frog, EXPO Mascot, Nautilus Cup, Spinet, Locket. Image © Luisa Coscarelli, 2014.

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