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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Lewis Mettayer (British, active 1700, died 1740)
Date: 1709–10Accession Number: 68.141.132
Watchmaker: Thomas Tompion (British, 1639–1713)
Date: ca. 1680Accession Number: 17.190.1512
Date: mid-17th centuryAccession Number: 64.101.1325
Date: 1600–1620Accession Number: 64.101.1241
Date: early 17th centuryAccession Number: 28.220.1, .2
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On view in this gallery are small luxury items and objects intended for use in private spaces. Embroidered gloves and purses were often exchanged as tokens of either friendship and loyalty, or of romantic love. Prayer books and bibles with decorative covers were also treasured gifts; such objects were made in Britain by both professional embroiderers and talented amateurs. Daily routines such as dressing or having breakfast bridged the gap between public and private moments. Silver toilet sets and accessories displayed while entertaining close friends were both practical and indicative of the owner's taste and sophistication. Biblical subjects were popular in the seventeenth century, appearing on watches and household furnishings. Floral decoration, whether symbolic or simply decorative, played a major role throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Pattern books and illustrated bibles from Continental Europe were important sources of inspiration for British artisans.
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