Temari Ball Yarn

Temari (手まり) balls are a folk craft that originated in China and was introduced to Japan around the 7th century A.D. "Temari" means "hand ball" in Japanese. Historically, temari were constructed from the remnants of old kimonos. Pieces of silk fabric would be wadded up to form a ball, and then the wad would be wrapped with strips of fabric. As time passed, traditional temari became an art, with the functional stitching becoming more decorative and detailed, until the balls displayed intricate embroidery. Temari became an art and craft of the Japanese upper class and aristocracy, and noble women competed in creating increasingly beautiful and intricate objects.

It is part of our Modern Languages Departmental Collection, and can currently be found displayed in Cheney School's main reception.

Daruma Lucky God

The Daruma doll (達磨) is a hollow, round, traditional Japanese doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls are typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), but colour and design depend on the region and the artist. Daruma has a design that is richly symbolic and is regarded as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. When purchased, the eyes are white so a person can decide on a goal or wish and paint one eye in. Once the goal is achieved, the second eye is filled in.

It is part of our Modern Languages Departmental Collection, and can currently be found displayed in Cheney School's main reception.

Sakura Cups

Sakura is the Japanese word for cherry blossom, which blooms across Japan between March and May each year.  During cherry blossom season, people head out into local parks and gardens for a "hanami" (flower-viewing). During this period, public places take on a party-like atmosphere. 
In ancient Japan, cherry blossom had great importance because it announced the rice-planting season and was used to divine the year's harvest. Its fleeting beauty was celebrated as a metaphor for life, and it was praised in numerous poems. The Japanese believed the sakura trees contained spirits, and made offerings to them with rice wine.

These cups are part of our Modern Languages Departmental Collection, and can currently be found displayed in Cheney School's main reception.

Art Nouveau Jewellery Box

This Art Nouveau Jewellery Box is part of our Modern Foreign Languages Department collection.
This is a replica of a lavishly embellished work created in the Art Nouveau style of French artist Émile Gallé. Émile Gallé (8 May 1846 – 23 September 1904) was a French artist who worked in glass, and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement. Art Nouveau is an international style of art and architecture that was most popular between 1890 and 1910. A reaction to the academic art of the 19th century, it was inspired by natural forms and structures, not only in flowers and plants, but also in curved lines.
The movement was committed to abolishing the traditional hierarchy of the arts, which viewed the so-called liberal arts, such as painting and sculpture, as superior to craft-based decorative arts. The style went out of fashion for the most part long before the First World War, paving the way for the development of Art Deco in the 1920s, but it experienced a popular revival in the 1960s, and it is now seen as an important predecessor - if not an integral component - of modernism.

Russian Dolls

This set of Russian nesting dolls belongs to our Modern Foreign Languages Department collection.

A matryoshka doll is a set of wooden dolls of decreasing size placed one inside another. The name "matryoshka" (матрёшка), literally "little matron", is a diminutive form of Russian female first name "Matryona" (Матрёна). The first Russian nested doll set was made in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter at Abramtsevo.

Matryoshka dolls often follow a particular theme. Originally, themes were often drawn from tradition or fairy tale characters, in keeping with the craft tradition—but since the 20th century, they have embraced a larger range, including Soviet leaders. Modern artists create many new styles of nesting dolls. Common themes include floral, Christmas, Easter, religious, animal collections, portraits and caricatures of famous politicians, musicians, athletes, astronauts, "robots," and popular movie stars. Matryoshka dolls that featured communist leaders of Russia became very popular among Russian people in the early 1990s, after the collapse of the Soviet Union.