In this year when political relationships have been so hotly debated, we have put together a selection of items from our collections that explore our rich and ancient cultural connections to the European continent.
Drawing inspiration from the British Museum’s ‘History of the World in 100 Objects’, this selection of objects – a digital diary of sorts – will help examine our nation’s cultural influence on the Continent, and equally, its influence on us.
Each weekday over a period of 99 days, my colleague Gabriella de la Rosa will be highlighting a particular object on our collections website. She’ll be looking at everything from Old Master paintings and priceless heirlooms to some of the more humble and unusual items in our collections.
The series has started with a prosthetic limb made for the 1st Marquess of Anglesey who lost his leg at the Battle of Waterloo, a marble bust by Antonio Canova that was used as a pawn in a diplomatic game and a Roman ring that may have inspired the fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien.
Drawn from over 200 special places, this digital attic of oddities and treasures will show that Britain’s story is one of a two-way traffic of delights, where the English Channel is not so much a fortress as a trading highway of influences and culture that has helped define who we are as a nation today.
The digital diary will be unfolding on the National Trust Collections website. Please check in regularly to uncover the remarkable stories these objects have to tell.