This week, my workplace has been slowly filling up with strange objects and people, in preparation for today. Part of the new Christopher Nolan film is being shot in our beautiful Flaxman Gallery; it’s rumoured that Leonardo di Caprio* and Michael Caine are gracing us. Aside from the men in fluorescent jackets with walkie-talkies, it’s been interesting to see the library gradually change. Windows have been blacked-out, giant lights hide in corners, antique-looking shelves and benches (far too grand even for our listed building) have accumulated against walls…and today, film stars and extras will, presumably, look studious and read books, in the midst of people who really are studious and reading books. Weird.
I’m not there, sadly, so I can’t report any more than that. But I’ll let you know how it went when I talk to my workmates later.
Speaking of strange objects, I found a mobile down the back of the Periodicals Shelves in the English section, yesterday. It has five little characters suspended from it, mostly broken and in bits, that seem to be dressed in 18th Century style. There are two ladies with big hats or hair and crinolines. There’s one head, with a tall, coned hat and a pompom atop it. There’s a sailor (he’s wearing a tunic, trews, bare feet – and boots on his hands) who is trying to grasp the noose that’s throttling him. And then there’s an officer in blue tunic and tricorn hat with an oak leaf design on it.
My guess is that it was a free gift with some publication or other, possibly relating to some 18th Century play. The Sage of Stores says it used to hang above the balcony in English some years ago. He thinks it’s creepy. The Art and Film Studies Librarian thinks it’s beautiful. And the Laws Librarian thinks it’s both. But no-one can tell me where it comes from or what it’s about. Any ideas?
* Don’t you think that he’s tended away from Beauty and more towards Ferret as he’s aged? I think this must be a good thing, as he can now get down to The Acting, and not have to worry about pesky distractions such as Looking Good and Having Fans.