Shakespeare - staging the world
The Shakespeare exhibition at the British Museum ends on 25 November but is worth a visit if you haven't been. There are some fascinating objects on display, three of which particularly took my eye. There's a very handsome Spanish rapier, made in Toledo with an intricate sparkling silver handle. There are four large Scottish brooches dating from around 1600, each with a substantial polished crystal in the centre and with pearls around the frame. They were used for warding off disease and one of them has a much earlier heritage: it belonged to Robert the Bruce. There is also an obsidian mirror used by Dr Dee, Elizabeth I's astronomer which he got from the Aztecs. I gazed into this mirror for some minutes but I am sorry to report that the future remained black.