The V&A has an extensive permanent collection on display throughout the building. I sometimes think the permanent exhibition gets a bit neglected because lots of people go for the special exhibitions. On a recent visit, I decided to go up the grand staircase and explore an upstairs gallery.
Some of the articles in the Sewing gallery were expected, such as the manual sewing machine. Some of the others were a little perplexing, like the one that look a little like vice. It is a workholder, used to clamp fabric to a table to enable it to be kept taught for sewing straight lines in the days before sewing machines.
The book above was published by the National Society for Promoting Education of the Poor. The book was written for teachers in charity schools. They taught girls sewing and knitting which they were expected to use to support themselves.
Along the way, I stumbled upon the collection of biscuit tins. There are two whole cabinets filled with all sorts of novelty biscuit tins like these three. I particularly liked some of the Huntley & Palmer ones having worked next to one of its old factories depicted on one of them.
My favourite item from that day is this ‘Negative’ bowl by Ane Christensen. The illusion of a box inside the bowl disappears when looked at from the side.