RogerBW's Blog

Horniman Museum, Forest Hill 10 January 2017

I'd driven past it many times when living in Lee Green, but had never been inside; over Christmas I remedied this. Images follow: cc-by-sa on everything.

We started with the Natural History room, a pleasingly old-fashioned "things in cases" display.

Some of the many beetles that the Lord loves.

A fine nacreous shell.

Marmoset, for reference during my current GURPS demo adventure.

Brain shapes of various animals, scaled to show relative lobe size.

The skull of a proto-elephant - though if one came across this, might one not reasonably think "one-eyed giant"?

Golded-headed Trogon with iridescent feathers.

There's something about the crest and glass eye that remind me of a certain political figure.

Alas, the glossy starlings occur south of the Sahara, and the Lovely Cotinga in central America.

The merman. (I think they should put it next to the duck-billed platypus.)

Rattus, in a display on animal defences. Apparently feeding out of sight is a defence…

A variety of shells. (The entire point of the pangolin is to curl up like that, I reckon.)

Because it can glide 300× its own length, that's why.

The Infamous Walrus.

Yes, chevrotains (also "mouse-deer") are a real thing.

The main gallery from above.

Lots of fossil-finding information on the balcony.

And an entirely new (to me) sort of arthropod. (More usually now known as chitons or loricates.)

Do not mess with beetle.

More pangolin. Love those scales.

Lunch. (Did not taste of walrus, I am informed.)

After lunch, the Music Gallery, which seems to be trying to have one of every form of sound production. This is an early organ.

And a virginal.

Decorated viol.

A serpent. I particularly like the transition from vaguely sensible product of technological civilisation, at the top, to deep and barely-restrained wildness at the bottom.

A variety of clarinet forms.

Various horns. (Ah, so that's why so many jazzmen are also steam locomotive enthusiasts.)

Fanfare trumpet, which looks as if it should have a tripod mount.

This was described as a "mélodéon", but it's nothing like the instrument usually known by that name. I think the tiny white keys above open the valves below…

Giant display tuba. (With a little extra support where one feels they weren't quite sure of their brasswork.)

Various bassoon-ish woodwinds.

And of course the pipes.

Glass armonica.

Do not take your tuba down Trumpeters' Row.

And there's a not-bad pub nearby.


  1. Posted by Owen Smith at 01:58pm on 10 January 2017

    That's the kind of museum I'd love to be let loose with the musical instruments to see how many I could get a half decent tune out of. I reckon all of the brass and any of the woodwind that don't have a reed would be possibilities. Reeds are something I haven't tried before.

    I agree with you on the Serpent, it's a marvellous looking instrument. I'd love to have a go on one.

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