Photography was allowed in the Ashmolean but I usually don't think it is worthwhile to take pictures of paintings. I did photograph two objects, however. The first is this amazing piece of furniture, The Prioress's Tale Wardrobe. It was a wedding present to William Morris and his wife Jane from the architect Philip Webb, who designed it, and Edward Burne-Jones, who painted it. It depicts scenes from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. It is a very famous object in the history of the Pre-Raphaelites and I am glad I got to see it.
This is the Alfred Jewel, the single most famous object in the Ashmolean. I simply could not get a good picture of it and there were lots of people crowding around to see it, so I couldn't stand there trying . It has been dated to the late 9th century, during the reign of Alfred the Great. The general consensus now is that it was at one time attached to a rod, and was a pointer stick for following words while reading a book. It's about 2 1/2 inches long and made of filigreed gold enclosing a tear-shaped piece of rock crystal with the figure of a man (perhaps Christ). Around the sides there is a rim with the inscription: "Aelfred mec heht gewyrcan" (Alfred ordered me to be made). The gold animal head base has a hollow socket. The jewel was found on a country estate in 1693.
Blackwell's Bookstore--the Mother Ship! I only bought one book in there---proud of myself.