Students working outside the History of Art explore the ornate and unusual, each focusing on one object at The Courtauld that sparks their curiosity. Check out their discoveries below.


Please Do Not Touch

Sophie-Nicole Dodds, Goldsmiths College

A socially distanced process of selection through discussion, drawing and documenting 3D narrative pieces through a screen.

Three part drawing of museum artefacts


Getting in a Scrap with the Avant-Garde

Jack Monaghan, Imperial College

Know your atoms from your alloys? Leap into the history and production methods of César’s fabulous Habitation, of 1960.

Metal Sculpture Habitation by César
Habitation by César, © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London / DACS.

closed ivory box front viewGlobal Union

Katrina Brain, Imperial College

Exotic beasts and precious materials from international trade networks define an exquisite marriage casket from seventeenth-century Germany.


Venetian Glow

The Front of the sulpture titled Habitation by CesarMelisa Lenero, Royal College of Art & Imperial College

How an eighteenth-century glass dish emulates bioluminescent sea creatures through expert craft techniques.


Puzzling Construction

Anabel Hazeldine, Central Saint Martins

Part drinks vessel and part game, a jug that would have invited playful usage across seventeenth-century taverns and dining rooms alike.


decorated frame with precious stones on the side and a painted biblical scene in the middle

Sumptuous Devotion

Nathasha Gertler, Imperial College

Pinpointing which semi-precious stones are inlaid into the frame of this portable altarpiece proves harder than you might imagine.


Faith Suspended

a pendant in the form of a book

Devon Abts, Kings College

This miniature pendant from the early seventeenth century raises questions about who it was for and what holy object it held close to the wearer’s heart


Man-made Magic in Murano 

glass bowl

Eleanor Magson, Imperial College

Learn the secrets of eighteenth-century Venetian glass-makers through this bowl, and see how they competed with Mother Nature herself.


silver coffee pot

Coffee Culture

Maryam Ala Amjadi, University of Kent

The game-changing drink became known in England from the seventeenth century via travellers to the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Isfahan. What can an eighteenth-century coffee pot recall about the ensuing social and intellectual pursuits that boomed in coffeehouses throughout the country?


carved wooden loom pulleyWeaving and Masquerade in the Côte d’Ivoire

Niahm Collard, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Find out why this loom pulley is shaped like a beautiful female mask and is the object of the Guro weaver’s gaze.


painted ceramic dish, with floral motivLyrical Flowers

Laila El-Sayed, University of Kent

Carnations and tulips abound: do the swirling flowers on this Iznik dish hold a deeper cultural symbolism?


elegant decorated English wine glass from 18th centuryFiligree Fancy

Victoria Druce, Imperial College

Get granular with the techniques and chemical components of glasses made in Venice and England.


miniature picture bible Piety Reformed

Josephine Neil, Kings College

A pair of German miniature picture bibles bears witness to the talents of the Küsel sisters, who produced these devotional objects while navigating a time of religious upheaval.


decorated ceramic plateIllustrious Craft

Tanja Tolar, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)

Islamic and Christian heritages intertwine in this Spanish lustreware dish.


wooden carved crossArtisans on Athos

Eleni Dimitriadou, The Courtauld Institute of Art

The monks of Mount Athos worked painstakingly on this carved wooden cross. Can you follow the biblical stories whittled intricately across it?


Sculpture and Decorative Arts including Illuminating Objects is proudly supported by McQueens Flowers.

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