Untold lives blog

143 posts categorized "Arts and crafts"

27 October 2022

‘Dear old Squirrel’ - Cyril Davenport of the British Museum

Cyril Davenport, pictured below in his 80s, does not appear to be as careworn as his life and career should demand!  Not only did he devote 45 years to work at the British Museum Library, he also found time to paint, engrave, photograph, write and edit reference works, lecture on diverse subjects, and judge for international exhibitions.  In addition, he was a Justice of the Peace and Major of the 37th Middlesex Rifle Volunteers.  Only someone with a lifespan of around 93 years could have managed it!

Portrait of Cyril Davenport in his 80s by Edward Patry from Hastings Museum and Art Gallery - white hair, beard and moustache, dressed in a black formal coatPortrait of Cyril Davenport by Edward Patry - Image courtesy of Hastings Museum and Art Gallery

Davenport was not an obvious candidate for a job in the Museum, which he joined as an assistant in 1868 and later supervised the bookbindings department.  He was born in Sterling to an army family, educated at Charterhouse and worked as a draftsman for the War Office.  It seems likely that this training gave him technical and practical understanding in the analysis and description of objects, an experience lacking in his more academic Museum and Library colleagues.

Davenport recognised the importance of identifying and recording the outsides of books.  His ledgers containing descriptions, sketches and rubbings of the remarkable bindings held in the Museum Library are still useful to researchers.

Davenport’s ledger of descriptions and sketches of bindingsDavenport’s descriptions and sketches of bindings in the Library’s Case 20 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Davenport’s publications did not always meet with universal approbation.  His book English Heraldic Book-stamps was subject to particular censure; errors in the heraldry were noted in reviews.  Other books addressed subjects as diverse as coronation regalia, cameos, architecture, mezzotints, and miniatures.

Davenport was much in demand as a public speaker, by learned institutions as well as local societies of amateurs.  There is evidence that he could be inspirational, in one case at least.  The well-known bookbinder Cedric Chivers resolved to create his own decorated vellum covers ('vellucent') after hearing Davenport lecture on the subject.

Vellucent binding by Chivers showing a naked woman draped in mauve cloth with a wine jug on her shoulder, against an Art Nouveau backgroundThe Rubaiyat (1903) with a ‘vellucent’ binding by Cedric Chivers - Shelfmark c108bbb3. Image by permission of the copyright holder. Database of Bookbindings

After his retirement in 1913, Davenport moved to Hastings with his wife Constance (d.1932) and arts-loving daughter Dorothy (b.1891).  His son Cyril Henry had died in the previous year.

There was a rich social life in Sussex with many communal activities, a notable example being the Hastings historical pageant in 1914.  Davenport participated and was apparently a great help in the costume and banner department!

Newspaper article reporting Davenports’s third prize in a national art competitionNews of Davenports’s third prize in a national art competition includes a character analysis! Weekly Dispatch (London), 1 June 1925 p.7 British Newspaper Archive

Perhaps the most sympathetic view of Davenport’s character came from his eccentric friend and British Museum colleague, poet Theo Marzials.  In  a condolence letter to Davenport’s daughter, Marzials wrote: 'Cyril is a bit of me – of course, and always was and ever will be.  We just meet and are side by side, arm in arm, heart to heart …. Dear old Squirrel'.

P J M Marks
Curator, Bookbindings, Printed Historical Sources

Further reading;
Theo Marzials and Davenport in The Best of Betjeman 1878 Selected by John Guest 
British Newspaper Archive e.g. The Hastings pageant - Hastings and St Leonards Observer Saturday 27 June 1914 p.9; Lecture by Davenport entitled ‘Beautiful Bookbindings’ - Hastings and St Leonards Observer 24 October 1914 p.7

 

27 September 2022

Sale of jewels and silver by the India Office

In February 1862 a sale of jewels and silver on behalf of the Secretary of State for India was announced in the press.

Announcement of sale of jewels and silver by Secretary of State for India - Daily News 24 February 1862Announcement of sale of jewels and silver by Secretary of State for India  - Daily News (London) 24 February 1862 British Newspaper Archive.  Six sarpeshs were sold, not five as stated here.

The jewels and ornaments to be sold had transferred to the India Office from the East India Company.  They are included in a list made by Charles Wilkins in 1831 of items deposited with the Company Librarian.  At the beginning of 1861, the items were passed to Garrard & Co for valuation:

• Eight jighas worn on the side of the turban by Indian men of rank, and six sapeshs worn on the front of the turban, made of gold and enamel and set with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls.
• Eight necklaces – pearls, diamonds, rubies, musk beads covered with gold filigree, one with a gold locket containing a picture of the King of Travancore.
• Two bracelets – pearls, diamonds, rubies, emeralds.
• Four rings – diamond, ruby and sapphire.
• A pearl tassel.
• Glass models of diamonds.
• Two gold and two silver boxes, a gold casket, and a gold and enamel snuff box with diamonds.
• A ‘curious’ gold mask.
• Two gold nuggets, one with quartz.

Turban jewelExample of a turban jewel in the Royal Collection - Gold, diamonds, emerald, rubies and red cord, mid-19th century

Garrard assessed the turban jewels set with precious stones and pearls to be of inferior quality and therefore of an uncertain value.  The articles without precious stones had been computed at the weight of the metal only.  The jewellers warned that values were ‘very capricious’ and that the India Office would probably realise more at a public auction than through a private sale.

First page of an inventory of  jewelsFirst page of an inventory of  jewels made in 1831 - British Library Mss Eur D562/33 Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

Some items sent for valuation were not included in the auction at Christie, Manson and Woods at St James’s in London:

• ‘A round silver salver of great antiquity supposed to be of Greek or Byzantine art, the period ascribed to this work is the 3rd century’.  There was speculation that this salver had been taken to India by Alexander the Great.  Garrard agreed that it was very old and very valuable.
• A gold plate beautifully enamelled with flowers and birds, and in the centre a lion and sun with Persian characters.
• Sheet gold with Burmese characters inscribed, and sheet silver.
• One small box ‘selected by Mr Mills’.

In addition, the India Office sent for auction a number of silver items which had been used by the housekeeper at East India House - tea pots, coffee pots, sugar tongs, spoons, forks, cream jugs, and a toast rack.

Newspaper report of sale of Indian jewels Newspaper report of sale of Indian jewelsReport of sale of Indian jewels - Glasgow Morning Journal 22 March 1862 British Newspaper Archive

The auction on 13 March 1862 realised a total of £1160 1s 9d for the India Office, with some items returned unsold.  A deduction of £87 was made for commission and advertising, leaving a net sum of £1073 1s 9d.  According to newspaper reports, the Rothschild family purchased some of the India Office lots - a necklace of pearls, rubies, emeralds and diamonds for £119 10s, as well as turban jewels.

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
Incomplete catalogue of the India Museum, including a list made by Dr Wilkins in 1831 of jewels deposited under the charge of the Librarian Mss Eur D562/33.
Papers relating to the transfer of the medals, coins and jewels in the Masson and other collections to the India Office Library, 1861-1868 Mss Eur F303/448.
Finance Committee Papers – IOR/L/F/2/247 no.283; IOR/L/F/2/257 no.200; IOR/L/F/2/258 no, 410.
Minutes of the Council of India about the sale - 5 Jul 1861 IOR/C/7 f.4; 11 & 25 Apr 1862 IOR/C/8 ff.475, 499.

 

25 April 2022

The Prayer Book of a Queen: Isabella of Castile and Inquisitorial Culture in Late Medieval Spain

In the British Library’s illuminated manuscript collection lies the breviary of Isabella of Castile, queen of Spain alongside her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon, in the late 15th century.  This breviary, much like Isabella’s book of hours that is held by the Cleveland Museum of Art in the United States, was designed to be used by Isabella on a daily basis to recite daily prayers and record the lives of saints.  Beyond its daily function as a prayer book, what can this book tell us about Isabella herself?  What can it tell us about religious life in late medieval Castile, particularly for Jews and Muslims living in Isabella’s domains?

The month of January as depicted in the calendar section of the manuscriptThe month of January as depicted in the calendar section of the manuscript (MS 18851, c. 1497)  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

To place this manuscript in its 1497 context, we must first travel back to 1494 when Pope Alexander VI (born Rodrigo Borgia of Valencia) bestowed both Isabella and Ferdinand with the title ‘The Catholic Kings’ following their annexation of the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada in 1492.  This title came to characterise the reign of Isabella and Ferdinand since quickly after the extension of their rule into Granada, the Muslim and Jewish residents of Iberia were made to convert to Latin Christianity or leave the peninsula entirely.  Many travelled to the Americas to live in Iberian controlled territories in North and South America, while others fled to the Ottoman Empire or the North African coast.  For those that did remain, called conversos in Castilian Spanish, life under Isabella and Ferdinand was tumultuous as the establishment of the ‘heretical’.  Their religious practices, dress, interactions with their neighbours, and daily lives were scrutinised by the Inquisition in violent and, often, deadly ways.

The coat of arms of Isabella and FerdinandThe coat of arms of Isabella and Ferdinand Digitised Manuscripts (bl.uk)  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

What, then, does MS 18851 have to do with this history of religious persecution and violence?  Like the books of hours and breviaries of other Iberian monarchs, notably of Alfonso V of in the British Library’s collection, they were crafted both for personal use and for performance since these manuscripts were often shared at court and read among the ladies of a queen’s household.  Since Isabella’s breviary was not only for her eyes, its importance as a symbol for her piety and position as a ‘Catholic Monarch’ meant that it embodied the social, political, and religious violence occurring in late 15th century Iberia since she used books, artwork, architecture, and dress to perform the role of the Catholic Queen.  While those within her domains were forced to convert and tried before the Inquisition, Isabella’s books, both the breviary and the book of hours, were symbols of her position as a Christian ruler for her own subjects and courtesans, and for those that flip through its digitised pages at the British Library today.

Jessica Minieri
Doctoral Researcher in the Department of History at Binghamton University

Further Reading:
Catlos, Brian A. Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom, c. 1050-1614. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Downey, Kirstin. Isabella: The Warrior Queen. New York: Doubleday, 2014.
Edwards, John. Isabella of Castile: Spain’s Inquisitor Queen. Tempus Publishing, 2005.
García-Arenal, Mercedes, Gerard Wiegers, Consuela López-Morillas, and Martin Beagles, eds. The Expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain: A Mediterranean Diaspora. Leiden: Brill, 2014.
Piera, Montserrat. Women Readers and Writers in Medieval Iberia: Spinning the Text. Leiden: Brill, 2019.

This blog post is part of a collaborative series with Medieval and Early Modern Orients (MEMOs). On the last Monday of every month, both Untold Lives and MEMOs' own blog will feature a post written by a member of the MEMOs team, showcasing their research in the British Library collections. Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #BLMEMOS.

 

14 April 2022

Mary Marshall – JMW Turner’s Mother

Mary Marshall was born into a prosperous family of butchers and shopkeepers.  She was baptised at St Mary’s Islington on 13 November 1735.  She married William Turner, a barber and wigmaker, at St Paul’s Covent Garden, on 29 August 1773.  Turner was newly arrived from Devon and eager to establish himself.  When he applied for the marriage licence William declared his age as 28 and Mary’s as only 34, perhaps indicating someone‘s embarrassment at her being about ten years older than her husband to be. 

West front of St Paul's Covent GardenThe west front of St Paul’s Covent Garden by Edward Rooker (1766) British Library Maps K.Top.24.1.a. BL flickrPublic Domain Creative Commons Licence

Mary’s younger brother had moved to the thriving west London community of New Brentford to become a butcher.  His name was Joseph Mallord William Marshall and when Mary gave birth to a son in 1775, he was given the names Joseph Mallord William Turner, possibly with an eye to inheritance.  A daughter, Mary Ann, was born in 1778.

There is very little reliable evidence of Mary Turner’s appearance or personality. Turner's first biographer, Walter Thornbury, built his picture of her around the supposed existence of an unfinished portrait by her son, ‘one of his first attempts’.  Thornbury writes: ‘There was a strong likeness to Turner about the nose and eyes; her eyes being represented as blue, of a lighter hue than her son's; her nose aquiline, and the nether lip having a slight fall.  Her hair was well frizzed . . . and it was surmounted by a cap with large flappers.  Her posture therein was erect, and her aspect masculine, not to say fierce.’   No-one has, as yet, been able to trace this portrait and Thornbury had not seen it himself.

There does, however, exist a sketch in one of Turner’s notebooks that has been widely believed to be of his mother.  Intriguingly, the recent scanning of Turner’s painting 'Mountain Scene With Castle, Probably Martigny', has revealed two previously unknown portraits, one of which might be of his mother. 

Thornbury described Mary Turner as ‘a person of ungovernable temper’.  Her fragile mental health deteriorated, probably exacerbated by the death of her daughter, Mary Ann, just before her fifth birthday in 1783.  When the situation at home became difficult, Turner was sent at the age of ten to live with his uncle, Joseph Marshall, in Brentford.

Although his parents’ unhappy marriage may have contributed to Turner’s negative view of that institution, there is evidence that Mary supported her son’s artistic ambitions and promoted his work amongst her friends and neighbours in Covent Garden.

In 1799 Mary Turner was admitted to St Luke’s Hospital, a public mental health asylum in Old Street.  Turner, by this time a successful and prosperous artist, has been criticised for not paying for private care.  However, St Luke’s was a highly respected establishment with specialist provision and Turner probably had to use his influential connections to get his mother admitted.   She remained in St Luke’s until December 1800, when she was discharged as incurable.

Hospitals - St Luke's and Bethlem WellcomeSt. Luke's and Bethlem Hospitals in Moorfields. Engraving by J. Peltro. Wellcome Library no. 26125i

Once again, Turner’s friends pulled strings and Mary was transferred to the Bethlem Hospital in nearby Moorfields (‘Bedlam’), now, surprisingly, described as curable.  On Boxing Day 1801, she was discharged uncured but within a week Turner managed to get her readmitted to the incurable ward, where she remained until her death on 15 April 1804.  Her name was later included on her husband’s memorial plaque in St Paul’s Covent Garden.

Turner memorialThe memorial to Turner’s parents in St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden - photograph by the author Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

David Meaden
Independent Researcher

Further reading:
Franny Moyle, The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W.Turner (London, 2016).
Anthony Bailey, Standing In The Sun – a life of J.M.W.Turner (1997).
Walter Thornbury, The Life of J.M.W. Turner R.A. founded on letters and papers furnished by his friends and fellow Academicians, Volume 2 (London, 1862).
Records of patients at Bethlem Hospital  are available via Findmypast.
Explore Archives and Manuscripts for papers at the British Library relating to JMW Turner.

“Old Dad” – Turner and Son in Twickenham

Turner's House logoTurner’s restored house in Twickenham is open to visitors.

 

12 April 2022

The early life of painter Sarah Biffen

Sarah Biffen was a celebrated Georgian painter.  At the height of her career, she was patronised by royalty and commended by the Society of Arts.  She was self-taught, and her achievements are all the more laudable in consideration to the circumstances of her birth: born to a Somerset farming family with no arms nor hands, and only vestigial legs.

Miniature self-portrait by the artist Sarah Biffin, set in a gilt-metal frame and with a little eye for a chain, which would allow the owner to wear it like a piece of jewellery.Miniature self-portrait by the artist Sarah Biffin (1830) Scottish National Portrait Gallery Creative Commons CC by NC

At the will of her parents, Biffen spent her formative years travelling from town to town as the subject of public exhibition.  She was bound to her ‘conductor’, Emmanuel Dukes, with whom she toured fairs where curious punters would pay to watch her sew, draw and paint using her mouth.  The young artist’s life during these years is chronicled by handbills and ephemera, many examples of which survive in the British Library collections.

Handbill for Wells Fair featuring Miss BeffinHandbill for Wells Fair featuring Miss Beffin from Lysons’s Collectanea  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence


The greatest density of this material can be found among Lysons’s Collectanea, several scrapbooks compiled by the antiquarian Daniel Lysons during the early 19th century.  Lysons was fascinated with a variety of topics including the people whom he encountered at fairs and exhibitions, and he accumulated a wide selection of printed ephemera on this subject.  Lysons’s Collectanea offers a glimpse into the touring life of Sarah Biffen, providing handbills from Tetford, Sheffield, Wells, Rochester, and Lyson’s own hometown, Gloucester.  These handbills advertised the opportunity for members of the public to observe Biffen for an admittance of 1s or 6d for children, servants and ‘working people’.  These advertisements highlight Biffen’s exceptional artistry as a selling point, and challenge doubting readers with a wager: ’if she cannot [do as claimed], and even much more, the Conductor will forfeit one thousand guineas’.  Touring the fairs was big business and there was money to be made.  Her miniatures often sold for three guineas each. However it is believed that Dukes compensated Biffen as little as £5 a year.

Handbill for Barton Fair, Gloucester in 1810, where Miss Beffin was advertised as ‘the eighth wonder!!!’  Handbill for Barton Fair, Gloucester in 1810, where Miss Beffin was advertised as ‘the eighth wonder!!!’  Public Domain Creative Commons Licence


Lysons most likely met Biffen at the Barton Fair, Gloucester in 1810, where she was advertised as ‘the eighth wonder!!!’.  This encounter sparked a correspondence between the two, which Lysons pasted alongside his printed ephemera in the Collectanea.  The letters illustrate that Lysons wrote to Biffen, asking questions about her life and experiences.  Biffen subsequently provides Lysons with a short biographical note.  Interestingly, in one of her responses, dated 25 March 1810, she explains: ‘I feel wonderful pleasure in being exhibited and will go so far as to say I think it my duty’.  Yet sixteen years later, her sentiments are changed.  In 1826, Lysons received a proposal for a new print of Biffen’s work.  In the printed matter, she recounts her time on tour with Dukes unfavourably: ‘the result was by no means equal to the expectations raised, and fourteen years of my life thus passed away without any substantial benefits to me’.  Between those years Biffen’s life had changed considerably, and so too had her opinion of her early life as a touring exhibition.

Lysons’s collection of printed and manuscript materials relating to Biffen opens a unique insight into how the artist lived and felt during her early life, and also how her own opinion of her early life changed.  It is rare to gain such an intimate glimpse into the life of one such as Biffen, yet countless similar stories can be uncovered throughout the rich pages of Lysons’s Collectanea.

Alex Kither
Cataloguer, Printed Heritage Collections

Further reading:
Lysons’s Collectanea (C.103.k.11.)
Obituary for Sarah Biffen Gentlemen’s Magazine. vol. xxxiv. new series, 1850, p. 668.

 

05 April 2022

The Bookbinders’ Provident Asylum

The foundation stone of this building in London’s Balls Pond Road was inscribed; ‘Bookbinders’ Provident Asylum, established A.D. 1839, erected 1843’.  It was funded thanks to The Bookbinders' Pension and Asylum Society (created in 1830); its aim to ‘provide a weekly pension of 6s. to 12s. and an asylum for aged and incapacitated members and their widows; also for females who have worked at the business for at least ten years’.

Bookbinders’ Provident Asylum - black and white drawing of outside of building.Bookbinders’ Provident Asylum from Illustrated London News 8 July 1843 British Newspaper Archive

Many 19th century London workers were only a step away from the breadline and a misfortune like illness or losing one’s job meant destitution, imprisonment for debt or being dispatched to the workhouse.  It is no wonder that bookbinders banded together to help people in their trade who could no longer look after themselves.  Their fund raising work attracted interest in the newspapers, including this column in The Planet.

Bookbinders Asylum  - Planet 1 Nov 1840Report of meeting of the Bookbinders’ Provident Asylum Society from The Planet 1 November 1840 British Newspaper Archive

Money-raising activities included dinners, theatrical performances, outings, and securing donations.  The latter came from a surprising variety of patrons, from Prince Albert (£25) to a miser resident in Hoxton who left the majority of his estate (£900) to the Asylum.

Unusually, we can see the faces of two early residents, James England (b.1797) (who appears in the newspaper cutting above) and Richard Stagg (b.1791).

James England

Richard Stagg

Photographs of James England and Richard Stagg from The British Bookmaker Vol. 4, no. 38  p.16 (August 1890) and Vol. 4 , no. 42  p.17 (December 1890)

By the early 20th century it had become impossible maintain the asylum in its existing set up.  The land, which had been located on the outskirts of the capital, now occupied a prime situation.  The asylum closed in 1927 and a new establishment, called The Bookbinders’ Cottages, was built in Whetstone.  It consisted of seven semi-detached two-storey blocks, each containing two dwellings.  Subsequently, the foundation was modernised and is now owned by the Book Trade Charity.

P J M Marks
Curator, Bookbindings

Further reading;
Lost Hospitals of London 
Herbert Fry's Royal Guide to the London Charities – the quote about the purpose of the Society is taken from the 1917 edition p.22 
The British Bookmaker - a journal which recorded the history of the bookbinding trade societies.
British Newspaper Archive also via Findmypast

 

27 January 2022

The 1914 United Missionary Exhibition 'Other Lands in Leicester': a global and colonial aspiration

In April 1914 the newly built De Montfort Hall in Leicester hosted a United Missionary Exhibition.  ‘Other Lands in Leicester’ was described as ‘A picturesque and vivid representation of work in many lands’.  The exhibition was deliberately fixed during Easter week, between 6 and 16 April, as this is the most important celebration for the Christian religion, and this period must have been thought of as ideal for attracting visitors from all over the country and engaging more volunteers.  The aim was to educate and inspire the public about missionary work abroad.

Advert for ‘Other Lands in Leicester’ at the De Montfort Hall in April 1914Leicester Daily Post, Thursday 19 March 1914, The British Newspaper Archive.

Missionary exhibitions aimed to bring different fields of activity together in one city.   Visitors could tour the colonised world without travelling, through the convenience of a settled exhibition organized by comfortable explanatory pavilions.  In the ethnographic and anthropological museums emerging at the beginning of the 20th century, it was common practice to collect and reframe objects based on colonial contemporary categories.  Material culture circulated in international exhibitions, which emerged around the 1840s and lasted until the 1960s, albeit with substantial changes due to mutations in ideology, politics, and taste after the Second World War.  Both museums and these events played a crucial role in shaping knowledge around the relationship between Britain and Empire through the use of material culture, and therefore the history of collections and taste is closely linked with the objects arrived in Europe through colonial missions abroad.

The concept of a standalone exhibition of missionary objects began with the first independent missionary exhibition organised by the London Missionary Society in 1908 with the name ‘The Orient in London’.  This – and ‘Africa and the East’ the following year, still in London - set the pattern for other exhibitions in Europe and the United States.  These were events to display and sell objects produced before and after the arrival of missionaries.

But what was the idea behind such huge object-based lessons?

While the broader public participated in missionary exhibitions for elements of spectacle, amusement, and exoticism, the Church wanted to show the success of missionary work in converting local population to Christianity, and therefore justify the cost of the Empire and raise funds for further missions.

In ‘Other Lands in Leicester’, three different ecclesiastical institutions – the Baptist Missionary Society, the London Missionary Society, and the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society - gathered together to show their union and will in achieving the goal of the evangelization of the Empire.  This ‘union’, which saw no major divisions between different branches of the Christian Church, might be considered as the will to foster an imperial civilising mission toward ‘the heathens’.   An article inThe Leicester Mail  clarifies that the exhibition’s scope was ‘Not merely the show, but the coming into contact with the nations that would be represented’.

Plan of the Hall at the United Missionary Exhibition in Leicester 1914Plan of the Hall at the United Missionary Exhibition. It is possible to see evocative sections dedicated to the display of a Chinese Tea Garden, a Congo Village, or a Malagasy Market. The Exhibition Herald, 3, February 1914,  The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, box 4D56/91.

But who decided the narrative in the representation of those nations?  How could missionary exhibitions be neutral if they were imperial institutions that conveyed a religious, artistic and political message?

Around 1200 stewards were hired at Leicester with the purpose of explaining the exhibits to the public.  This suggests that objects were used as a means to educate visitors in Leicester about their global place, and to illustrate the national progress and religious success of Christianity through missions.

Maria Chiara Scuderi
AHRC PhD researcher – University of Leicester

Further reading:
Leicester Daily Post, Thursday 19 March 1914, The British Newspaper Archive.
The Leicester Mail, Thursday 4 March 1913, The British Newspaper Archive.
The Exhibition Herald, 1, October 1913, The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, box 4D56/91.
The Exhibition Herald, 3, February 1914, The Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, box 4D56/91.
Corbey, R., Weener, F., K., 2015, ‘Collecting while converting: missionaries and ethnographics’, Journal of Art Historiography, 12, pp. 1-14.
Filipová, M., 2016, Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940. Great Exhibitions in the Margins, London: Routledge.
Groten, M., 2018. ‘Difference Between the Self and the Heathen. European Imperial Culture in Dutch Missionary Exhibitions, 1909–1957’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 47,3, pp. 490-513.
Hasinoff, E. L., 2011, Faith in Objects. American Missionary Exposition in the Early 20th century, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jacobs, K., Knowles, C., Wingfield, C., 2015, Trophies, Relics and Curious? Missionary Heritage from Africa and the Pacific, London: Sidestone.
Longair, S., McAleer, J., 2012, Curating Empire, Museums and the British imperial experience, Manchester: Manchester United Press.
McAleer, J., Mackenzie, J., M., 2015, Exhibiting Empire. Cultures of display and the British Empire, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

 

31 December 2021

New Year greetings from a Victorian scrapbook

To welcome the New Year, we’re sharing some Victorian greetings cards taken from a scrapbook in the British Library collections.  An inscription at the front of the volume reads ‘E.M.L. from J.M. 76’.  The identity of these people is a mystery.  There are several items in the book linked to Church of England clergy and members of the gentry in Buckinghamshire - Princes Risborough, Stokenchurch, Horsenden, Aylesbury, Wendover, Hughenden.  Does this clue help any of our readers to identify E.M.L. or J.M. in the 1870s?

New Year card with red holly berries and foliage - 'May the Old Year's last smile brighten thy Christmas hours'.

New Year card with pink and red flowers -  'May your New Year be full of gladness and joy'.

 

New Year card with pink rose buds - 'Opening rosebuds fair as ye, May the coming New Year be'.

New Year card with anchor and white and pink flowers - 'Happiness attend thee through the coming year'.            Card with 'A Happy New Year'  surrounded by white and pink, and red carnations.Public Domain Creative Commons Licence

New Year greetings from Untold Lives!

Margaret Makepeace
Lead Curator, East India Company Records

Further reading:
A scrapbook of printed ephemera British Library RB.23.b.7952

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