The costume collection at the Manchester Art Gallery has some nice mini online exhibitions, including one on work clothes through the ages. The overall worn by a worker in a jam factory in 1900 looks amazingly elegant:
And maids were equally well turned out:
As were poachers in 1840:
Most appealing is the country woman's red cloak from 1800 - the hood, we are told, was used to carry shopping:
Talking of cloaks, this site has an exhaustive history of the cloak, and drawings to help you distinguish between the cape, mantelet, pelisse, paletot and pardessus. All essential knowledge for the cloak wearer.
Created by 18th-century German mapmaker Matthäus Seutter. Seutter seems to have the most amazing colours in all his maps.
Actually, the first at least is still in print
Hope that's all straight now. On the subject of Stanley Unwin, I never realised that he was the star of a very peculiar Gerry Anderson Supermarionation series, The Secret Service. Apparently every week Father Stanley Unwin foiled someone's evil plan by talking nonsense, and sometimes taking the form of a puppet.
A visit to the British Museum always raises the important question: who had the best jewellery? Was it the Romans:
Merovingian betrothal rings have a lot of charm:
The Egyptians are strong contenders, with a necklace decorated with gold flies:
18th-century England had a good line in spooky mourning jewellery:
Although they might be trumped by 16th-century Italians, who were happy to wear a rock crystal engraving of Tityus having his liver eaten by birds:
The 'Ram in a thicket' from the Death Pit of Ur might not strictly qualify as jewellery, but it does have gold genitals, copper ears and a fleece made of lapis lazuli. Also nice knees:
It's good to discover new ways of decorating yourself, such as this Etruscan ear cover:
But when it comes down to it, you can't beat a Viking hoard:
Since quite a few people seem to end up here after searching for 'the world's most beautiful birds', here are a couple who live up to their names: