Our first port of call was the Wallace Collection, which I'd somehow managed not to visit before. As our primary mission was to look at sharp pointy things, our first port of call was the armouries, although I did get rather distracted by a Landseer painting titled The Arab Tent with a little grey pony that looked a lot like our Ghost. But onwards...
In the armouries, we found many sharp pointly, almost as many heavy blunt instruments, and quite a collection of armour in varying degrees of bling. Photography was allowed, but not particularly successful due to the glass fronts to the cases. However, I took a few shots for reference purposes.
European pointy things, including poignards:
Armour of varying degrees of bling:
Better photos of bling armour can be found on the website here and here. We also found a less bling piece, which was labelled as a pauldron (yes I had to look it up when I got home). Website photo here.
Eventually we'd had enough of pointy things and bling and went to look at Art. As well as the Laughing Cavalier, we found the famous painting of the Princes in the Tower and were amused by the presence of a wholly anachronistic Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in the bottom left corner.
My favourite painting was Rousseau and Mlle. Galley gathering Cherries, mainly for the lady behind Mlle. Galley who was apparently Mlle. de Graffenried. According to this which I may attempt to translate in full at some point, she was a paid companion and a convert to Christianity (not necessarily in that order).
I also liked Mademoiselle de Clermont en sultane, although I'm yet to discover if all those people were really her servants or if the artist invented some of them.
We'd planned to have coffee and cakes at the Collection, but suddenly it was time for them to throw us out and close for the day, so we had to go elsewhere. And then we walked all the way across Hyde Park to get me on a train (via Selfridges where we admired shoes and I overheard a conversation about someone's husband being persistently late for meals due to playing Real Tennis).
More London Research Trips are planned, particularly if we get decent summer weather this year.