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Materials and their Uses

Location: Materials and Masters

Raw materials range from minerals and rocks found in the earth, to living and growing things on the surface. Many have an intrinsic beauty and can take different forms; volcanic obsidian, for example, is made of silica (glass) but so is the exoskeleton of the Venus Flower Basket sponge. Materials have been creatively transformed by people over the centuries into a huge range of useful and decorative items.

Items on display include:

  • Earth
  • Stone
  • Metal
  • Galena
  • Glass
  • Venus Flower Basket
  • Vegetable
  • Animal
South Indian shield made of rhino hide

South Indian shield made of rhino hide. To provide protection at the same time as sufficient transparency to allow one to see the enemy. Acquired by Stephen Rumbold Lushington in Madras during the nineteenth century.