Caerlaverock Castle: Leather Fragment

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On display in the museum area of Caerlaverock Castle is a piece of richly decorated leather. Identified as either a section of a side-laced boot or a mitt, the leather features ornamental leaf scrolls with punched decoration on the background. The fragment details stitching around the edges and dates to the early 15th century.

Abbot Hall: Emma Hart

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On display at Abbot Hall Art Gallery is a portrait of Emma Hart, who later became Lady Hamilton. Dating to 1785-1786, the oil on canvas painting is the work of the 18th century English portrait painter George Romney. After serving his apprenticeship in Kendal, Romney became the most fashionable artist of his day. Emma was described by Romney as his muse and sat for the artist over one hundred times. Romney finished sixty paintings of Emma with the above painting depicting the heroine Miranda taken from Shakespeare’s Tempest. The painting is one of several compositions intended for Boydell’s Shakespeare Gallery in London.

Blackwell Arts & Crafts House: Dwarf Cabinet

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On display in the White Drawing Room is an oak cabinet designed and made by Alec McCurdy. McCurdy was a short term student of Stanley Webb Davies who was a prolific furniture maker of the Arts & Crafts movement based in Windermere. Davies aligned himself closely to the philosophy of John Ruskin and produced furniture by only using traditional techniques and the finest quality materials. McCurdy went on to study at the Barnsley workshop and became a well known maker in his own right.

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