Jane Ridley

‘Thou, silent form, doth tease us out of thought’

One February day in 1845 a well-dressed young man walked into Gallery Nine of the British Museum and hurled a lump of sculpture at a glass case. He smashed the case and shattered its contents — the Portland Vase, a famous piece of Roman glass. The vase was broken into 200 pieces.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in