Physical description


General visual appearance of an object.

How to record

Use normal grammar and punctuation. Include a description of an object’s completeness if appropriate (eg lacks left arm). Comment on condition only as it affects completeness. Describe items which would be made using an object, eg clothing from paper patterns. The frame and mount should also be described if appropriate. The following issues might be addressed: What shape or form does it take? Describe an object in reference to the direction the work faces (ie a sculpture’s right side (proper right) not as the viewer). Do not use ‘sinister’ or ‘dexter’. Where and how is it decorated? How is it mounted? How is it constructed? What colours have been used? What scale is used?


A draped figure of a woman stands with her arms out-stretched.

Blue damask carpet of pomegranate pattern upon a ground of old cloth, with a broader border of purple velvet, at each corner of which are embroidered the arms of Pope Leo XI cut out of coloured silks, applied and outlined with gold thread stitched down.


Record once only for an object.

Information group

Object description information

Date created: 2017

Author: Collections Trust

Publisher: Collections Trust