, 22 tweets, 13 min read Read on Twitter
Welcome, stranger (see what I did there?) I’m @sayraphim, an intern at the Gold Museum and I’m taking over the account for a Twitter tour of the current #WonderfulThings exhibition. We’re going to start with two guessing games which are right near the door of the museum...
First up we have this wonderful thing. It’s a gorgeous piece of Victorian engineering, look at those wheels! If you’re at the museum you can lift the photograph to find out what it does, but never fear, I am here and I've peeked. Can you guess what it is? #WonderfulThings
Here's the second head scratcher... I'll admit, this one had me stumped, do you know what it is? I’ll give you two hints. 1) it’s not a Victorian bingo machine, and 2) it looks more like a porcupine when it’s in use. Answers at the end of the tour! #WonderfulThings
Ok, now onto the exhibition proper. It’s always nice when connect. Here in a display of various pills, creams and unguents are these Pink Pills for Pale People. And, if you feel you’re too pale, you can always apply these Tan Caps. It’s safe! It’s capsulated! #WonderfulThings
Some rather awesome examples of graphic design from the turn of the century on pill boxes for various (or, in a few cases, all the) ailments. . #WonderfulThings
This turtle skull is huge, standing in front of it I can only imagine the size of the actual turtle. This could have been part of a #wunderkammer, a cabinet of curiosities that any well traveled gentleman would have to impress visitors. #WonderfulThings
I loved seeing these in real life! On the left is a garter gun, the right is a parlour pistol. Although it’s true that they are capable of shooting bullets, I have it on good authority that you’d do more damage by throwing it at someone (thanks @BBC_ARoadshow) #WonderfulThings
Now something from another dangerous collection, the chemical collection. It was probably a shop display for a window or above a counter. Rhubarb was a popular medical treatment in the 18C in the UK, which is where this jar originates. #WonderfulThings
This embroidered panel is amazing. In Chinese mythology, a crane symbolises longevity and peace and a crane standing on a rock gazing at the sun means an important authority who can see everything. The little bats symbolise good fortune. A truly auspicious item! #WonderfulThings
These are just too cute. Kids slippers and boots from China. I love the whimsy of the tigers face’s on the boots and the little bees on the slippers. Being a craft nerd, my eyes water at the fine detail that the maker has hand embroidered on both items. #WonderfulThings
I picked this item because of it’s provenance. It’s got none. It's been in the collection since 1970, but with no info on what it was from or for. This was fascinating to me, that not every item is accompanied by copious notes of who, what, when, where and why. #WonderfulThings
This item proves that people talking about historical things can also be historic. Wait, does that make this thread historic too? #WonderfulThings
The museum has a number of historic Chinese Lions and this one is my favourite due to the fact that it has a little companion bird on perched on it’s head. Every big cat needs a little bird! #WonderfulThings
Here is the Lion's companion bird. I think it's looking mischievous, I wonder what it's trying to convince the Lion to do... #WonderfulThings
Victorians liked titles with fistfuls of specifics such as Bunce's ‘Language of the Aborigines of the Colony of Victoria & Other Australian Districts’ He also wrote ‘Twenty-Three Years Wanderings in the Australias & Tasmania Including Travels w Dr Leichhardt’ #WonderfulThings
We’re coming to the end of our #WonderfulThings twitter tour, so let’s round it out with a game. What’s the connection between these two items? Answers at the end of the tour...
That last tweet was so much fun I’m going to give you one more. What’s the connection between these two items? #WonderfulThings
Alright, it's time for some answers... What was this machine? It’s a coffee grinder! Coffee was big in Victorian times, especially after the introduction of the Temperance Movement, where people pledged to stop drinking alcohol and needed alternative beverages. #WonderfulThings
And this? Well, this is a knife sharpener! There are holes in the side where you can insert your blunt knives. Give the handle a couple of turns and then remove your newly wicked sharp* blades carefully!
*Sharpness of blades not guaranteed #WonderfulThings
And what's the connection between these items? Left is the Home Handbook of Hygiene and Medicine, opened to the Narcotics and Stimulants page, specifically the effects of alcohol. On the right is a parade head of Ballarat Bertie, a local mascot for a local beer. #WonderfulThings
And finally, the connection between these two? On the right is a Belgium Pepperbox Pistol, so called as it resembled a household pepper shaker, and left is Magnesium Sulfate, also know as... EPSOM SALTS! Ta daa! Oo, I'm quite pleased with that one... #WonderfulThings
Thank you for joining me on this twitter tour of the excellent #WonderfulThings exhibition. It's on here at the Gold Museum until June 9th, so come see the whole set of eclectic, strange and wonderful things for yourself!
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