A poem from North East Scotland’s Makar about a visit to the National Museum of Scotland

Objects from National Museums Scotland
Objects from National Museums Scotland mentioned in this poem by Sheena Blackhall

At the National Museum of Scotland

Blast off! Space Travel! Astronomic energy

A steam engine by Watt that powered a brewery

Sculpture, Art, Scots place in industry

Chinese tomb figure, the Tang dynasty

A glass roofed atrium, Victorian light

A Blue John vase in banded fluorite

The jaw bone of a whale from the woodlark

Where sailors cut scrimshaw to make their mark

Photograph of  the zoo panda,  Ching Ching

The grim carved head of a dead Benin king

An astrolabe and astronomical tools

Acasta gneiss from Canada, gold, jewels

Mercedes-benz coffin from the Ga of Ghana

Suspended canoes –Japanese Nō drama

R.L.Stevenson’s Samoan fan

Haniwa horse tomb figure from Japan

Mexican opal, malachite, Siberia

Kingfisher head dress representing China

A Hindu painting of the Goddess Ganga,

Freize tiles inscribed in Arabic from Persia

Samurai warrior, netsuke, glass and jewellery

Porcelain storage jar,  Joseon dynasty

Limestone carving of an Assyrian king

A prayer wheel house from monks of Samyé Ling

Thunderbird transformation mask and outfit

Amethyst geodes, fossils, Kenyan garnet

A Grecian amphora of Hercules

The Wolfson gallery, great sharks and trees

Coconut fibre armour, Kiribati

Portrait of Sirdar Iqbal Singh of Butley

The Darien chest, a relic of that scheme

Bonnie Prince Charlie’s travelling canteen

Flags, drums, Morse code, satellite navigation

Shaping our world with new communication

Maiolica dishes-the Calini family

Porcelain lion, Meissen, Germany

Sir James Black’s famous find..the beta blocker

Panorama of tundra and Hugh Miller

Skeleton fossil of an ancient deer

The Monarch of the glen… Edwin Landseer

The Lewis chessmen, walrus ivory

Dunlop, Baird, bike tyre and the TV

Hunterston brooch. Carved Neolithic balls

Queen Mary’s clarsach harp, once in royal halls

A loving cup produced by Edward Spencer

Two boys. A double coffin from Luxor

Monymusk reliquary, a house-shaped shrine

The Bute mazer-   for shared communal wine

Windows on the world- the restless earth

Patterns of life- insights on Scotland’s birth

Statue of James Watt, the famed engineer

Petrified wood donated by John Muir

Feast bowl from Atiu,  the South Pacific

The sometsuke tradition of ceramic

Dounreay nuclear reactor, uranium glass

Lady Ivy Wu – a man’s court dress,

Lulu, Ewan Mcgregor, Ian Rankin

Frock, screenplay, manuscript, all handed in

Sir Alexander Fleming’s penicillin

Tyrannosaurus Rex, a fearsome villain

Connecting the world by Scottish inspiration

Imagine -Adventure Planet -next generation

Piper Laidlaw’s medal won at Loos

Discovery zones- events- so much to choose

Torcs from the Iron Age -a printing press

So much to educate and to impress

Timorous beasties. The millennium clock

The silver silk suit of the grand Duke Lennox

A lighthouse lens- a cast iron drinking fountain

A 15th century crozier of St Fillan

Statue of Arensnuphis, Nubian guard

Shaman rattle, oyster catcher bird

The Buddha Amida. A whale hunt hat

Double- spout bottle with a spotted cat

Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s copper lamp

Telephone kiosk with the royal stamp

Tibetan armour- iron lamellae

A wildlife panorama in the sky

A Karnak mummy of a senior priest

The Pembridge helm..a warrior’s head peace

Soaring column -spreading balustrade

Blaschka models,miniscule, glass made

Dodo, a tiger, a svelte Burmese python

St George embroidered, destroying the dragon

A Scottish hydrographer, A. Dalrymple

A reliquary cask-  electric fiddle

Travelling service, dining, toilette, sewing

Jean Jenkins, records of performers singing

Dolly the sheep –a simulated drive

A most eclectic, wonderful archive

A Cham dance skeleton, a feather collar

Sir Walter Scott the writer’s hour glass timer

Napoleon’s tea service of gilded silver

Mask and wig of a preaching covenanter

SS Nerbudda, model cargo ship

A book plate showing parliament in session

Where Scots democracy first found expression

Newcomen engine, Caprington colliery

Computer circuit board and tapestry

Lioness devouring man -a Roman sculpture

A silver hoard, St Ninian’s island treasure

Lid of a grand piano, Phoebe Traquair

Furniture textiles rare and domestic ware

Four storeys- a cast-iron, glass, timber keep

Stupendous, brave in its wide ranging sweep

Sheena Blackhall

Objects from National Museums Scotland
Objects from National Museums Scotland mentioned in this poem by Sheena Blackhall


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