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In Focus

The following objects represents a selection of topical, unusual or interesting records from our collection. These records have been selected by our team of curators.

ID number:  ECM 1593
Title / Object name:  Duamutef (Four Sons of Horus Amulet)
Object type:  Amulet

Large polychrome faience amulet of Duamutef facing to viewer's right; black dog's head with eye picked out in white, blue tripartite wig, white mummiform body with schematised black collar, blue mat base with black stripes. Three suspension loops on back.   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRUG 22784
Title / Object name:  Murex aduncus
Category:  Recent
Object type:  Gastropod

   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRBI-B4437
Title / Object name:  Tremissis
Category:  Numismatics
Object type:  Coin
Artist / Maker:  Leontios; Constantinople
Place made:  Istanbul
Date made:  695-698

Obverse: bust of Leontios facing, bearded, wearing loros and crown, holding globus cruciger in r. hand. Reverse: cross potent.   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRBI-2013.1
Title / Object name:  Maria Marow Gideon (1767-1834) and her Brother, William (1775-1805)
Category:  Visual art
Object type:  Painting
Artist / Maker:  Reynolds, Joshua (1723-1792)
Place made:  London
Date made:  1786/7

Maria Marow Gideon was born in November 1767, married Gregory, 14th Lord Saye and Sele in 1794, and died in September 1834. Her brother, William, born in May 1775, rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Army but died aged just 30 and unmarried in September 1805. Maria was the eldest daughter, and William the second son, of Sir Sampson Gideon, Bt, and his wife, Maria Marow Wilmot. Sir Sampson was the sole heir of his father, the immensely wealthy Jewish financier Samson Gideon, who assembled an important collection of paintings.

Maria sat four times for Reynolds in September 1786, and again in May 1787 and February 1788. William's name appears three or four times in Reynolds' pocket-books between September and December 1786, while his father visited the artist in April 1787, and paid Reynolds £300 for the portrait in June that year.

This splendid portrait marks a high watermark in Reynolds’s late style. It is as much about high fashion as personality. As the costume historian Aileen Ribeiro has observed: ‘Maria Gideon is extremely up-to-date in her black and white ensemble, white muslin dress with long, tight sleeves, matching fichu over the breast, black silk stole, black beaver hat with white ostrich feathers – even her hair, with its elaborately dishevelled curls, is powdered white. The only touch of colour [in] her dress is her sash of blue watered silk. Her brother is dressed in what…would have [been] called “the highest ton” with his cutaway coat, short double-breasted waistcoat, buff-coloured breeches and jockey boots.'   [More Info]