Natural Decoration and Lotherton Hall

What do camels, elephants, baths and gloves have in common?

This Chinese camel is over 1,000 years old. What material do you think it is made from and how big would you guess it is? How do you think it was transported to Yorkshire?

The footstool, made from the foot of an elephant, we would think a very strange thing to have in a house today. It came from an elephant that was shot in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1896! Why do you think people would have liked this kind of object in 1900? What do you think people's views are now about this kind of object and how it came to be brought to Britain?

This bath with a fitted shower was made in about 1900 for Colonel Gascoigne who was the head of the family at Lotherton Hall at that time. The bath was considered very modern and luxurious and cost a lot of money, over £27. Notice the decoration on the bath and the Chinese tile pattern wallpaper around it. See if you can find out what £27 in 1900 would be worth today.

This collage of gloves, shoes and fans all have something in common - they are highly decorated. What is a 'collage'? Look carefully at the picture and see how many different patterns are in it.  

The objects on this page are just some of the ones collected by the Gascoigne family of Lotherton Hall. The family lived at Lotherton Hall from 1825 and collected objects from all over the world including China and Japan. They are typical of the things you might see when visiting an historic house. There is often a lot of decoration on them, sometimes inspired by the shapes and patterns we see in nature.  

The Teachers' notes page has discussion and activity ideas that you might like to try out.

Document icon Learning article provided by: Lotherton Hall, Leeds Museums and Galleries | 
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