Sunday, March 15, 2015

2 Temple Place.......

It was this kind of morning in London.
Pre-Spring sunshine with a chill breeze. Idea for a stroll through  the Embankment Gardens to 2 Temple Place built by William Waldorf Astor as his estate office in the 1890's and now  home to the Bulldog Trust Charity.  This is their website ,

We went to see their current exhibiton "Cotton to Gold" which I mentioned in a previous post but the building turned out to be as interesting as the exhibition.

The highlight of the exhibition was the books, from a rare Shakespeare Folio to exquisite Book of Hours. Like this one.
 We are so used to the printed image you have to remind yourself that these are all hand painted. 

Another favourite was this icon.

Their were coins, not something that usually grasps my attention but this caught my eye.  A large but thin Charles the First £3 piece.
Probably a very large sum of money then and probably worth a small fortune now. My one criticism was the textiles were badly hung, above head height so you couldn't examine them closely.

 The central hallway has a pattered marble floor which would fill a post on it's own and these fine fellows on the wall.(also marble)
There were beetles in the hall, hundred's of them.
A strange obsession.
 The staircase is decorated with carved characters from "The Three Musketeers", there is amazing carving everywhere. This is the most elaborate door to the "Ladies" I have ever seen. (It was quite grand inside too.)

We skipped the room with the taxidermy but I was amused by this.
The last room was a little too dark to photograph. It had more magnificent carving, more books,some ivory and some beautiful glass and  these windows, one at each end.
Before we left we lunched on delicious Lancashire cheese baps. I will look forward to their next exhibition  (it is only open during exhibitions) in the meanwhile there is a very good virtual tour of the building from Google here 
We finished out day with a wander through Covent Garden  and I don't like to end such a good day on a sad note but we spotted this little fellow.
I like to think someone came and claimed him.  Sad to think there are real children in the world in this position.

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