Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire, UK
The Uffington White Horse is a highly stylised prehistoric hill figure, 110 m long, formed from deep trenches filled with crushed white chalk. The figure has been shown to date back some 3, 000 years, to the Bronze Age, by means of optically stimulated luminescence dating carried out following archaeological investigations in 1994. These studies produced three dates ranging between 1400 and 600 BC. Iron Age coins that bear a representation comparable to the Uffington White Horse have been found, supporting the early dating of this artifact; counter suggestions that the figure was fashioned in the Anglo-Saxon period now seem untenable. Numerous other prominent prehistoric sites are located nearby, notably Wayland's Smithy long barrow. The Uffington is by far the oldest of the white horse figures in Britain, and is of an entirely different design from the others
© DAVID PARKER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Orrery by Joseph Wright
The Orrery by Joseph Wright (1734-1797). This artwork was painted in 1766. Its full title is 'A Philospher giving a Lecture on the Orrery in which a Lamp is put in place of the Sun' and is the first of the series of 'candlelight' compositions that established Wright's name. It depicts a public demonstration of an orrery (bottom centre), a piece of equipment that shows the movement of planets around the Sun (represented by a lamp) during the course of the year. 'The Orrery' was influenced by meetings between Wright and his friends, when they demonstrated experiments and discussed the latest scientific developments.
© SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
'East Coast Joys' No 3 LNER poster, 1932
Poster produced by London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) to promote rail travel to the East coast of England. This poster, entitled 'Safe Sands', was third in a series of six posters illustrating the various pastimes that could be enjoyed on the east coast. The posters formed a continuous scene when placed next to each other, but each was designed so that it could also stand alone. Artwork by Tom Purvis (1888-1957), who rallied for the professionalisation of commercial art. In 1930 he was one of the group of artists who founded the Society of Industrial Artists, which campaigned for improved standards of training for commercial artists in order to broaden their scope of employment.
© NRM/Pictorial Collection