Every Object Tells A Story ... Part I

Last week we visited the incredible exhibition in Fitzroy Square 'Every Object Tells A Story'. The exhibition showcases art dealer Oliver Hoare’s wonderfully eclectic and unique  ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’, with 250 personally chosen objects that span across 5,000 years. Truly unique, this exhibition certainly explores and proves its title’s statement; ‘Every Object Tells a Story’.

Every object on display has its own history, tales, aesthetic symbolism and secrets … so it was a tricky choice to pick our favourites, but we wanted to share some of the items that truly stood out for us. In fact we had so many favourite pieces we've split them into two blog posts!

This stone piece from Western Asia, 3rd millennium BC represents the mythical ‘Hero’ figure. It is astounding in its implications, linking to the earliest questionings of human beings of the purpose of existence. The figure relates to the old Babylonian tablets that bear the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero-king of Urak.

As with all of the pieces, this Gandhara grey schist head of the Buddha has a personal history for Oliver. During his time at Christie’s in the late 60s, Oliver cleared shipments through customs for Oxus owner David Lindhal making sure they were genuinely antique. He was stunned when he saw this 3rd Century AD work from Afghanistan. It reflects the Indian embodiment of spiritual beauty and shows the influence of ancient Greek ideals of beauty on Ghandara art.

This was one of the most powerfully totemic pieces from the exhibition; the ‘Mirror of the Soul’ from Iran around 12-13th Century. Although it originated in China, this type mirror became increasingly familiar in Iran from the 12th Century as well as in Iranian literature. It was used as a mystical symbol of the soul, an allegory for its polished possibilities to be enlightened by spiritual practices.