Found: Blue at the V&A

During my recent trip to London, shades of blue caught my eye time and again during a blissfully long day of looking at densely packed displays of glass, ceramics, jewels, and decorative wares at the Victoria and Albert Museum.  I found the same deep-bright tones spanning objects from ancient Asia and the Middle East, 4th century Rome to the French revolution and the US in the 1970’s. 

It’s funny how a color can weave a thread over centuries and centuries, time and time again, as can the objects that wear it. Blue gives me the feeling of water, smooth, cold, moving, swimming.  A pool, a lake, the beach, the ocean.  A dramatic gray-blue storm front and purple-blue sunset on my wedding day.  Rain.  My favorite wool bathrobe, soft and warm; our ceramic teapot in the morning; the clear, bright Santa Fe sky.  My mother’s eyes, and her old silver necklace with the narrow blue stone, the one with a white stripe down its middle.  A small cup, tasting sake in Japan.  Clean sheets, my husband’s jeans, my dog’s collar.  Chinatown, buying cheap silk scarves and pashminas with my sister and laughing together in the city. The cover of Sinatra on vinyl passed on to us from a friend, playing next to the fireplace and a navy blue night full of stars.

I hope you enjoy these pretty finds as much as I did—ordered very roughly from oldest to newish within each medium, for your viewing pleasure.  Let color inspire you, wherever you find it.


Sky blue vessel from ancient Rome
Sky blue vessel from ancient Rome
Fancy for drinks: European blues
Fancy for drinks: European blues
Fancy for drinks: European blues
Fancy for drinks: European blues
Fancy for drinks: European blues
Lovely little mystery object in deep green-blue
Captured this egg cup specially for Jackie, due to the George Washington-esque onlooker behind
North American blue
70’s US glass: Featuring elaborate and beautiful blue
70’s US glass: One beautiful blue cup
Middle Eastern ceramics: Stunning in cobalt
Ancient ceramics found shipwrecked and preserved in salt water off the coast of Southeast Asia
Mediterranean vessel in blue
Fan vaulted interior from Britain: Palest blue walls
Typical French ceramics: Robin’s egg blue
Famous Wedgwood blue
Danish modern ceramics: One teacup in blue
Present-day birds in Wedgwood blue
Ceramics viewing room: Blues on the upper left, lower right, and sprinkled around
Jewel encrusted jewel box: Tiniest dots of bright blue
More jewels: Biggest blue diamonds you’ve ever seen

Photos by Kristin Carlson

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