An exhibit for the future Victoria and Albert Museum in 1852 at Marlborough House on Pall Mall in London, UK. Curated by Henry Cole and Richard Redgrave, it was filled with a selection of objects they considered to exemplify everything that was wrong with design in England. Critics dubbed it the Chamber of Horrors.

Items included a bottle in the shape of a pink snake, a blue flower-pot in the form of reeds tied with a yellow ribbon, a pair of scissors shaped like a stork, and a large jug like a tree-trunk. The only items still in existence from the gallery are a red, green and lilac floral furnishing fabric and a brass gas-lamp with blue convolvulus jets. ('Gas flaming from the petal of a convulvulus! One of a class of ornaments very popular, but entirely indefensible in principle.")

In their detailed catalogue, Cole and Redgrave condemned the 'heresy' of English designers 'who think novelty better than chaste design, and show preferable to truth'. Excessive decoration was 'improper', while tableware with pictures on is 'objectionable' because you cannot see the picture when food covers it up. Specifically, they called for the following decorations eradicated:

    highly decorated depictions of flowers and plants;
    anything depicted on a carpet that one would not normally walk on -- animals, buildings, clouds;
    wallpapers that endlessly repeat a picture;
    pictures reproduced on a surface to be covered up;
    glass that has been made to look unlike glass;
    and glass wherein the user is not allowed to see the liquid inside.

The exhibit only lasted a few weeks, as manufacturers of the products displayed withdrew them after such criticism.

Paraphrased from Space in The Guardian UK

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