Ashmolean museum, Oxford

At the weekend I was in Oxford and visited the Ashmolean museum – a museum of art and archeology. Wondering through the galleries I was astounded by some objects whose design has remained virtually unchanged for several hundred years – notably the horseshoe, spurs and shears below. It got me thinking about how a well designed functional object need not be altered.

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These moulds were used to produce axes, each was carved from stone

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and finally the most surprising object for me in the entire museum was this piggy bank from Eastern Jave from 1300-1500. The idea of someone saving money over 500 years ago using this amused me. What’s more, I expect that not many survive as most would have been smashed to retrieve the contents.

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