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News from our friends
Stone handaxe
THIS small handaxe is one of the most beautiful in the British Museum. It is made from quartz with attractive amethyst banding, a difficult material from which to make tools because it is extremely hard. The toolmaker would have had to hit with considerable force and accuracy to remove flakes. Such a high degree of difficulty makes the thin, symmetrical shape of this piece a masterpiece of the toolmakers’ art.
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George V (1910 - 1936)
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George V (1910 - 1936)Edward vii's eldest son Albert died at the age of 28, and so it was his second son, George, who followed him as king. George had learned the navy's traditions of duty and. Blue-eyed, blunt, and unafraid to express an opinion on things he did not care for, George was more interested in guns and boats than intellectual pursuits. In 1893 he was married to Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, the intended bride of his elder brother.

George V's reign was overshadowed by the First World War (1914 -18), troubles in Ireland and the Russian revolution that removed Tsar Nicholas, a relative who shared a marked likeness to the king.

'The most perfect present that anyone could receive.' Queen Mary, on the royal dolls' house

[b]Queen Mary's dolls' house
Probably the most magnificently complete dolls' house in the world is Queen Mary's, on display at Windsor Castle. Created both as a gift to the king's consort and to raise funds for charity, the house first went on public view at the British Empire Exhibition of 1924, and was moved to Windsor the following year.

Perfect to the smallest detail, the house was built under the direction of the architect Sir Edwin Lutyens to the scale of one-twelfth normal size. It has over 40 rooms, and is a microcosm of 1920s life, mingling the old and new. The house has electric light, two lifts, hot and cold water plumbing, a miniature vacuum cleaner and a coal-burning kitchen range. Externally the house represents a mansion in the classical tradition. It has gardens designed by Gertrude Jekyll, with metal flowers (and even tiny snails), a library and specially created paintings. The dining room has a table measuring 50 centimetres (20 inches) when extended and is set for 14 places. The largest room is the saloon, in which there are two thrones, a grand piano and a silk wall-covering woven to the incredible scale of 120 threads to the inch.[/b]

The monarch performed his role as national figurehead with energy and dignity. In 1911 he became the first British emperor to visit India. During the war he frequently visited the Western Front, besides touring factories and hospitals at home. To placate anti-German feeling, he gave up the family name. In 1921 he inaugurated the Parliament of Northern Ireland and in 1924 opened the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley. The same year saw the election of Britain's first Labour government, led by Ramsay MacDonald.

Following a virus infection in 1929, the king's health was less robust - not that he cared much for medical opinion. The 'Sailor King' lived out his last years as a constitutional monarch in the fast-changing world of the 1930s -uncertain times in which the throne's popularity and people's affection for the monarch steadily grew. In 1932 King George made the first royal Christmas radio broad¬cast, and in 1935 his Silver Jubilee generated real popular affection - somewhat to the king's surprise. He died at Sandringham, his Norfolk home, in January 1936.

Imperial monarch
George V's manner and bearing suited his role as monarch to the British Empire, even at a time when that empire was evolving into the new, less coherent organization of the Commonwealth.

George V (1910 - 1936)

Queen Mary
Here painted by C.S. Jagger, Queen Mary was admired for her dignity and devotion to duty, qualities she passed on to her granddaughter Elizabeth.

George V (1910 - 1936)

Wonders revealed
An outer shell lifts to show the interior of Queen Mary's dolls' house. Its garage stores six cars, including a tiny Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost.

George V (1910 - 1936)

Masterworks in miniature
A cricket bat from the dolls' house, shown beside a full-size ball.

George V (1910 - 1936)

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