Salon: Issue 439
27 November 2019
Next issue: 10 December
Please note: the next Salon will be the last this year. We will return after the break on 28 January.
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
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From the Desk of the General Secretary
Resolution regarding H. Chesshyre and governance reform
27 November 2019
Fellows will be aware that at an Extraordinary Meeting of the Society of Antiquaries of London on 24 October 2019, Fellows considered a Resolution from the Council of the Society to remove Mr Hubert Chesshyre from the Fellowship.
The result of the vote and its subsequent press coverage (https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/23/society-antiquaries-turmoil-vote-to-back-sex-abuser) resulted in 220 Fellows signing an open letter to The Observer and to Council making clear that they were appalled by the outcome, expressing their support for the victim and emphasising their determination to reform and modernise the Society’s Statutes and governance.
Council welcomes the sentiments expressed in the letter from those Fellows, shares the views of the signatories, and takes it as a measure of support for the reforms that the trustees, with legal advice, are already working on.
The trustees (Council), the Fellows who voted in support of the motion for removal, and our staff were similarly shocked at the outcome of the meeting. The trustees and the General Secretary have thought very deeply about the implications of the result of this vote for the Society. The trustees have always been clear that their primary responsibility is the welfare of the Society and its charitable activities. All are committed to reforming the Society’s governance arrangements so that the Society is able to respond appropriately should similar cases arise in future. It is of the first importance that any Fellows who are considering resigning from the Society because of the failure to remove Mr Chesshyre understand the need for them to remain, to support and vote in favour of the necessary governance reforms.
The Society is committed to acting in a way which is consistent with its status as an educational charity which operates for the public benefit, and as an institution which publicly recognises the achievements of people engaged in the study of past times. In Council’s view, as a body of charity trustees, this means taking action to ensure the Society is seen to act charitably, with care and respect for the victims of abuse, and to remove from Fellowship people who do not meet the Society’s expectations of integrity and good character implicit in their election.
Our Charters, Statutes and Orders underwent a major re-write and modernisation in 2015 which made them far more transparent and, importantly, easier to update and adapt. Unfortunately, the Order governing the removal of Fellows was framed so as to be dependent on a vote in person at a General Meeting (in law, it is generally the case that people whose membership of an organisation is to be removed are given the right to make representations in their defence, in person).
Trustees adopted this approach with the best of intentions, but our attention has been drawn to the unintended consequence that in terms of availability, cost and mobility it sets for many Fellows an unrealistically high barrier to participation in such a decision. Council is clear that in this respect the existing governance procedures are not fit for purpose for a society with a worldwide Fellowship and is actively working on reforms that will enable the Society to take effective action in cases such as these in future.
Options for Reform
Council is presently considering a range of options which it will discuss in detail at its meeting in December. These will include:
These options are based on similar provisions adopted by many other learned, membership and professional bodies in order to deliver fair and efficient resolution of ethical and behaviour issues.
- Removing the requirement for removal to be determined solely on a vote at a meeting of Fellows in person (subject to the legal principle referred to above);
- Adopting a Code of Ethics that would support our existing Statement of Values;
- Adopting a range of “hard triggers” such as criminal convictions that would lead to the removal of a Fellow so convicted or that would prevent candidates from joining the Society;
- Appointing an Ethics Committee to investigate all complaints about the behaviour and ethical conduct of Fellows, that would be able to examine sensitive information in confidence and make recommendations to Council regarding sanctions;
- Broaden the range of sanctions available to Council so that the sanctions are proportional to the seriousness of the infringement;
- Introduce a process of appeal to an independent body.
Process and timetable
Council is bound to follow the governance rules set out in our Charter, Statutes, and Orders as well as complying with charity law and guidance issued by the Charity Commission. Reforming the Society’s governance will entail a major expansion of our governance mechanisms, and it will require careful legal drafting so that we do not face similar difficulties in the future.
The draft reforms will, as a matter of good practice, go out for consultation with the Fellowship, and it may also be desirable for them to be shared with the Charity Commission and possibly the Privy Council Office for their comments. Council will, following the consultation process, draft the final amended Statutes which will then need to be approved by:
Unlike the process to remove a Fellow, Order 2.1 specifically allows electronic and postal voting for “making, constituting and establishing, or varying, altering and revoking Statutes, rules, orders …..”. Thus, reform of the Statutes will be open to all Fellows, not just those who are able to attend a General Meeting in person. The Fellowship therefore has a crucial role to play in voting to reform the Statutes.
- two- thirds of the Council members present and voting at a [trustee] meeting called for that purpose (Statute 18.4.1) and then,
- by two-thirds of the Fellows voting at a General Meeting called for that purpose and held not less than one month and not more than four months after the Council meeting held for that purpose (Statute 18.4.2).
The scale of the task and the need for a consultation period means that Council is currently planning to bring the amended Statutes to a vote at the next Anniversary Meeting (AGM) on 23 April 2020.
In summary, Council is deeply committed to addressing the issues of ethics and governance which this issue has raised, and would also stress that it will be relying on the support of Fellows to carry through the necessary reforms. Council therefore urges all Fellows to remain members of the Society in order to provide that support.
Finally, and most importantly, the Society has been in touch with the victim throughout this process and is grateful to have received their cooperation throughout. On behalf of the Society, the General Secretary has apologised unreservedly to the victim for any hurt which the Society’s unsuccessful attempt to remove Mr Chesshyre may have caused.
Paul Drury PSA
On behalf of Council.
Protect & Respect Conference
29 November 2019 10am - 5pm
Society of Antiquaries / Historic England day conference, with support from the UK Blue Shield Committee and Newcastle University
Organised by Dr Clive Cheesman FSA (College of Arms) & Dr Helen Forde FSA
Awareness of the harm that armed conflict does to the world’s cultural heritage has probably never been higher. Events in the former Yugoslavia, Iraq and Syria are fresh – raw, even – in the communal consciousness. The issues, though pressing, are not necessarily simple, and 2019 sees a range of events, exhibitions and conferences on the general themes, in Britain and abroad. Both nationally and internationally there is a sense of being at a critical point in understanding what is at risk, and in formulating a practical response. Aimed at the archaeological, wider academic and interested lay communities, this day conference will be a chance to hear from those directly involved in this field and discuss the issues and challenges faced.
10.30 – Prof Peter Stone FSA (Newcastle University/Blue Shield): The protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict; responsibility and opportunity
11.15 – 11.30 Coffee/Tea
11.30 – Lt-Col Tim Purbrick FSA (CPPU): The formation of the Cultural Property Protection Unit
12.15 – Dr Nigel Pollard FSA (Swansea University): The Society of Antiquaries and the origins of British military CPP
12.45– 13.30 Lunch (provided)
13.30 – Dr Paul Fox FSA (Blue Shield/Newcastle University): Activating the 1954 Hague Convention: the military training environment
14.00 – Dr Emma Cunliffe (Blue Shield/Newcastle University): Geo-spatial data – gathering it and making it useful
14.30– Alexandra Warr (Historic England):
15.30 – 15.30 Tea
15.30 – Maj Mark Dunkley FSA (SGMI / Historic England): Armed non-state actors and cultural property.
16.00 – Dr Jonathan Tubb FSA (British Museum) Preparing for the Aftermath: The Iraq Scheme
16.30 – All speakers: moderated panel and Qs.
17.00 – close: Reception (wine & nibbles) to follow
Conference will take place in the Society apartments at Burlington House. You can find our more details and information on how to book on our website. Limited availability left.
New Fellowship Platform
Fellows will have started to receive email invitations to sign up to our new Fellowship platform. This is will be connect.sal.org.uk. Invitations are being sent out throughout the week with the expectation that all Fellows will have received an email by 29th November 2019.
Any personal details should be updated via this new platform. Please note that any updates made to your profile in the old system will not take affect.
Online, you can communicate and network with other Fellows, pay your subscription fees, edit your personal details, choose the personal information you would like to show or hide and indicate your communication preferences amongst other features.
Please note that subscription payments for 2020 will only be accepted online after 13th December 2019.
If you have any questions, please do email firstname.lastname@example.org
SALON subscriptions will not be affected by this change.
Raglan Castle Symposium
The regional Fellows’ Group in Wales held an extremely successful one-day conference on Raglan Castle in the Beaufort Arms, Raglan, on Saturday 23 November, attended by the President, Paul Drury, and the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism of the Welsh Government, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Independent). The event was organized in tribute to the late Rick Turner OBE FSA, who had been central to early planning for such a conference in connexion with a new fieldwork research project involving survey work on and around the castle, focussed particularly on the reports of extensive storage vaults that have never been fully relocated or planned.
The event was attended by 75 people, who heard papers on the successive noble families who held Raglan Castle from its effectively de novo construction starting in the 1430s through to the Civil War when it was one of the last Royalist strongholds to fall to the Parliamentarian forces and on into the Restoration Period; on the evidence for its importance as a centre of late medieval and early modern Welsh culture and in relation to the recusant movement; on the castle, the gardens and parks, and the presentation of the site as (variously) a picturesque ruin and an ancient monument; and on tantalizing evidence of a possible vault from recent and continuing geophysical prospection.
One of the most important outcomes from the day was the unambiguous expression of commitment from many quarters — individual expert scholars and a range of organizations and institutions — about working together in the immediate future to reveal and evaluate as much as possible of the depth and width of cultural historical importance of the site, and so to enhance its presentation, both through publication and on site to visitors. It was abundantly clear that a range of scholarly disciplines have much to contribute, and to learn from one other. The Welsh Fellows’ Group of the SAL (as we noted when introducing the meeting, the Welsh Fellows are a little cautious about using the term ‘regional’ for our group!) are enthusiastically committed to serving to coordinate and facilitate such a project, with their own expertise and in the spirit of the widest possible inclusivity.
Changing Times at the Society of Antiquaries
One of the stories on the ITV soap Coronation Street at the moment concerns a character called Paul Foreman. Abused as a teenager by his stepfather, he is struggling to bring out the truth and achieve justice. On Monday night (25 November), offered encouragement and support, he hesitates. ‘I’ve kept it all buried,’ he says. ‘You’d need an archaeologist to dig that lot up.’
On 24 October the Society of Antiquaries held an Extraordinary Meeting in Burlington House, at which several archaeologists were present, to vote on a resolution to remove a Fellow. This unusual event – said to be only the second time since the 1840s that Council has sought to amove a Fellow on grounds of misconduct – had its origins in an Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse held in Westminster in March this year. In the course of those proceedings, it was revealed that Hubert Chesshyre FSA, whose case was discussed as an example of a particular situation, had been charged and tried at Snaresbrook Crown Court in October 2015 on charges of sexual offences against children, committed between 1995 and 1998. The jury had found by a unanimous verdict that he had committed two acts on the indictment. The victim, it later emerged, had been a teenage chorister.
Jamie Doward, a journalist, wrote about Chesshyre’s case in the Observer (31 March) in a piece headlined, ‘Honours system under scrutiny after sex abuser kept title for years’. Chesshyre, born in 1940, was an Officer of Arms in Ordinary to Queen Elizabeth II and a member of Her Majesty's Household, a senior member of the College of Arms and a distinguished and high profile genealogist and heraldic consultant, among many other achievements. He was elected a Fellow of this Society in 1977 and was a member of the Croft Lyons Committee, concerned with heraldry. He was President of the Society’s Cocked Hat Club in 1986, a dining club founded in 1852 to which I believe he still belongs. His many awards included Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO), received for distinguished personal service to the monarch in the New Year Honours, 2004.
It was the last to which the Observer’s headline referred. Despite a court in 2015 having upheld evidence for sexual abuse, it was not until May 2018 that Chesshyre had had to forfeit his CVO. This was not noticed publicly until the Child Sexual Abuse Inquiry earlier this year. His victim, said Doward, had written to Sir Alan Reid, Secretary of the Royal Victorian Order, immediately after the trial asking for the forfeiture, but had been told that this was unnecessary as there had been no conviction. When informed of the situation by Doward, other organisations expressed parallel sentiments. He retained his Fellowship of the Heraldry Society, the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies still named him as a Vice President, and he continued to be a Freeman of the City of London. Responding to an email from the victim, Doward reported, the Society of Antiquaries said ‘it would not put the question of his removal to the Fellows of the Society’.
What has been going on? The answer also explains, at least partly, the outcome of the Extraordinary Meeting on 24 October. In a full room at which 109 Fellows were present, the Council’s resolution was defeated by 76 votes to 33. Hubert Chesshyre remains a Fellow.
The Crown Court trial in 2015 was not a typical trial, but a trial of (or on) the facts. The distinctions are complex and it seems their significance has sometimes been misunderstood. Fellows who voted not to amove Chesshyre have told me they did so because ‘nothing has been established with certainty’, there was no trial, ‘let alone a guilty verdict’, and that the outcome – an absolute discharge – implied innocence. It has also been pointed out to me that the late Freddie Emery-Wallis FSA, one time Lord Mayor of Portsmouth and Chairman of Hampshire County Council, and a significant champion for the county’s heritage, was still a Fellow when he died in March 2017 – despite having been convicted and gaoled for nine months in 2001, for two counts of indecent assault against two teenage boys.
I have found a clear explanation by Greg Gordon of Guildhall Chambers, Bristol, useful, and Fellows may wish to consult this. A trial of the facts occurs when a judge decides that a defendant is unfit to defend themselves; Chesshyre had had a stroke, affecting his speech, and was suffering from Alzheimer’s. In such a situation, the defendant cannot personally challenge evidence presented in court, nor can they use in defence their own state of mind at the time of the alleged offence (in a rape trial, for instance, the accused might argue that they believed sex to have been consensual, not an option in a trial of the facts).
A trial of the facts does not try criminal intent. The jury does not have the option of finding the defendant guilty or not guilty, only of determining whether any of the alleged acts occurred. Prosecution presents their evidence, and a court-appointed advocate, representing the defence, tests that evidence. The jury has to decide, beyond reasonable doubt and to standards exactly as in a normal trial, whether the evidence can be said to be true or false.
Should the evidence not stand up, the accused is acquitted. However, the jury found in Chesshyre’s case that he had committed the acts of which he was accused on two of four counts. I understand the victim was aged between 13 and 15 at the time of these offences. One count was quashed. On a third count, the most serious charge, the jury was unable to agree if there had been “indecent assault on a male person under 13 years of age”.
The judge then had a few options, of which some were to order hospital detention or supervision. In Chesshyre’s case such action was not thought necessary, leaving absolute discharge as the only possible outcome.
Chesshyre, then, was not found guilty (as has been claimed frequently on social media). Neither, however, was he acquitted. ‘Absolute discharge’ is not a statement of innocence, as it might sound, but an implication of the opposite: the court had found he had committed assault on a male child.
There follows the quite separate issue of how the Society might choose to respond. There have to date been three stages in this.
In 2015, advised by the Society’s lawyers Stone King LLP, the Council contacted Chesshyre and his representative, considered their written representations, and decided, in the absence of more information, that ‘the future conduct or continued Fellowship of Mr Chesshyre “was not likely to be harmful to the interests and welfare of the Society” ’ (a standard required by statute). Relevant to this, among other things, were the facts that reporting restrictions ‘would complicate public discussion’, and that the Society should not expose itself to potential Court action.
Things changed in 2019 when the proceedings of the Sexual Abuse Inquiry drew the Society’s attention to the forfeiture of Chesshyre’s CVO and why this had been deemed appropriate – notably that the Honours and Appointments Secretariat had taken the view ‘that the outcome of the trial holds equivalent weight to a full criminal investigation [and a conviction]’. The case was now public, emphasised by the publication of the Observer’s story on 31 March, which had prompted ‘a significant number’ of Fellows to say they would wish to consider Chesshyre’s amoval.
Now, as decided at a Council meeting on 25 June, it was unanimously concluded that Chesshyre’s ‘conduct or continued Fellowship was likely to be harmful to the interests and welfare of the Society’. His actions were considered to be ‘particularly damaging’, given the Society’s wish to fulfil a charitable objective of encouraging children and young people to become involved in its activities. It was resolved to give Fellows the opportunity to vote to amove him, as occurred on 24 October with the result described above.
We are now in the third phase. It is no exaggeration to say that many Fellows were shocked by this result, not least members of Council, who had initiated the process to amove Chesshyre in the first place. The latter felt let down by Fellows who had expressed support for the resolution but had then failed to vote. For their part, many Fellows had considered it would be too time-consuming and expensive to take a weekday out, in a school half-term, to travel to London for a vote they took for granted would have produced the opposite to the actual result. At the meeting, it seems to me, some Fellows voted on the misapprehension that the trial of the facts had proved Chesshyre innocent. Several talked of resigning, and some have.
All this was compounded when the Observer published a second article on the matter by Jamie Doward (24 November), headlined ‘Society of Antiquaries in turmoil after vote to back sex abuser’. The anonymous victim said he found it ‘baffling that the Fellows voted by a substantial majority’ not to amove Chesshyre, adding, ‘It makes me wonder whether Britain’s establishment has really learned anything at all.’
Among Fellows, it seems the strongest co-ordinated reaction has been from archaeologists. Rachel Pope FSA was contacted by others about the affair, and she set up an online Messenger group where Fellows only can discuss matters. The immediate outcome was a letter written to the Observer, signed by 220 Fellows. The letter offers support to Chesshyre’s victim; says that ‘the 76 Fellows who voted against the resolution do not represent us, nor the values and behaviours of any organisation of which we would wish to be members’; and expresses ‘determination to reform and modernise the Society’s statutes and governance procedures’. It is expected it will appear in the coming Sunday’s paper.
I was invited into this group, and was struck by how over the course of two or three days, mentions of resignation declined, to be replaced by expressions of solidarity for the Society and a positive desire to see it modernise its practices. ‘Feeling a little better about being a Fellow today,’ wrote one. ‘Change begins here I hope.’ What some have yet fully to appreciate – judging by some probably well-meant comments on social media – is how much trustees have finally begun to address difficult and longstanding issues that in the past have been avoided or ignored. Every indication is that trustees will welcome the support for change expressed in the Observer letter.
Why this particular interest from archaeologists? I asked Pope, who at the time was standing in the rain in a picket line at Liverpool University in a nationwide strike about pay and working conditions. The Society’s Extraordinary Meeting vote, she said, had ‘galvanised everybody’. Generally, the Me Too Movement, which began in earnest in 2017 as widespread sexual-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein became public, had made the world ‘very different’. ‘Institutions are modernising now,’ she added. That is an important perspective on the Society’s different responses to the cases of Freddie Emery-Wallis and Hubert Chesshyre. I can confirm from my own experience that things really are changing with respect to how historically abused individuals feel about themselves and are prepared to share their memories. The significance of this should not be under-estimated.
But why archaeology? Pope directed me to an article by Kathryn Clancy (University of Illinois) and American colleagues, titled ‘Survey of academic field experiences (SAFE): trainees report harassment and assault’ (PlosOne July 2014). Clancy and her team conducted an online survey of 666 field scientists, finding ‘harassment and assault’ were commonly experienced by trainees, especially women and mostly at the hands of senior men; 64% of respondents had experienced sexual harassment in the field, and over 20% said they had been assaulted. For the first time, this made a formal statement about what many archaeologists have for generations considered common knowledge: fieldwork, often in remote, challenging conditions with a male leader, is not necessarily a safe environment for all young women. Neither Emery-Wallis nor Chesshyre were archaeologists, and the incidents that brought them to court had nothing to do with the Society or its affairs. But it’s probably true to say that archaeologists are increasingly aware of difficult matters of sexual abuse in general, historic and current.
Paul Everill FSA, who sent me this paragraph, I think captures the feeling of many Fellows:
‘As a Fellow who lives and works outside London, and with a young family, my physical engagement with the Society of Antiquaries is very limited. There are aspects of the “gentlemen’s club” culture behind the scenes that I was completely, though perhaps naively, unaware of; and my own perception of the Society was instead largely framed by the long list of eminent members and its historic role in defining our discipline. I was very proud to be elected a Fellow in 2012, however the recent vote represented a Society that I simply did not recognise; and values that were completely at odds with my own. I was, and remain, fully prepared to resign my Fellowship, but rather than giving up on the Society I have found that the events following the vote, and the coming together of like-minded individuals determined to reshape and modernise it, have given me cause for optimism. I hope to see an apology to the survivor/victim, and a commitment from Council to fully reform the Society.’
There is renewed ambition that the Society of Antiquaries should not be a haven for people who break the law or offend decency.
• My photo at the top shows, towards the left at the far bottom, Antony Gormley’s tiny Iron Baby, the introductory work in his major show at the Royal Academy which remains open until 3 December.
No Laughing Matter
The day after the Observer reported on the Society of Antiquaries’ debate about sex abuse, BBC News ran a story online headlined, ‘Cambridge sexual harassment researcher “laughed at by men” ’. The incident occurred at an award ceremony held on 22 November in Burlington House, no less, by the Council for British Archaeology (CBA), chaired by the charity’s Director, Mike Heyworth FSA. It was entirely unconnected with events described above, but is further indication of concern about sexual harassment in archaeology.
Every year, after its AGM, the CBA presents the Marsh Archaeology Awards, which are aimed at professional or amateur enthusiasts. This year a fourth award was added to the list, for Early Career Researcher of the Year. Danielle Bradford was Highly Commended for her undergraduate dissertation, a pilot study on sexual misconduct in archaeological fieldwork. She found that 23% of respondents from the University of Cambridge’s archaeology and anthropology departments had experienced sexualised incidences, and 11% had been assaulted in the field. As with the SAFE study noted above, Bradford also reported a lack of adequate support for those affected.
As Heyworth described Bradford’s work ahead of her presentation, male laughter was heard from the back of the room. ‘This is not funny,’ Heyworth hit back at once, and the laughter stopped. Bradford accepted her award.
Later she and others described the incident on social media. Bradford had earlier written for the Guardian (25 October) about her own experience of dealing with sexual abuse, amid accusations that the University of Cambridge was not supporting students reporting harassment (‘Since going public,’ she said,’ I have received messages from about a hundred students … recounting similar experiences’). Now she took to Twitter (@anthroqveer).
‘I managed to go up and get my certificate,’ she said, ‘but as soon as I sat back down I burst into tears. In front of a hall full of people. It was humiliating … imagine being 21, just out of undergrad, shortlisted for your first research award and ... a group of people decide its acceptable to publicly *laugh* at that research.’
She did not blame the CBA: ‘the organisation that hosted the awards were amazingly kind and supportive – both of me personally and my research. They were also angry at the reaction. I was very lucky in that respect.’
The CBA soon issued a supportive statement. ‘The CBA is shocked at the reaction to Dani’s award’, wrote Heyworth, ‘and condemns anyone who treats these issues lightly and does not give researchers in this area the respect they fully deserve. We offer our sincere apologies to Dani and anyone who has suffered from sexual harassment in archaeology.’
It seems no one was able to identify the source of the laughter, in a meeting open to the public, and it may have seemed innocent to those responsible. But as Heyworth says, Bradford’s research ‘shines a light on serious issues within archaeology that cannot be ignored and must be addressed openly with respect.’
The photo of Marsh Award winners is by Adam Stanford.
In the salerooms
Anthony Kilroy, Director, Valuations, Vertu and Historical Research at Lawrences Auctioneers in Crewkerne, Somerset, thinks Fellows might be interested in this gaming piece (5.75 cm across), which he says is thought to have been made from walrus ivory in northern France in the second half of the 12th century. It will be auctioned in Crewkerne on 14 January, with an estimate of £15–20,000.
The probable tableman, a backgammon piece, has an entry in A Descriptive Catalogue of the Fictile Ivories in the South Kensington Museum, with an Account of the Continental Collections of Classical and Mediaeval Ivories, by J O Westwood (1876, page 294), where it is described as ‘English? 12th century’. At that time, says Kilroy, it was in the collection of the Rev Dr Millard of Basingstoke, and it was later published by Adolph Goldschmidt (1923). It is Millard’s descendants who are now are selling it. The V&A, Kilroy adds, have a copy made in 1873.
These three interesting figures from Easter Island/Rapa Nui were sold by Bonhams New York on 11 November. They were once in the collection of General Pitt-Rivers FSA. Recognisable as Pitt-Rivers artefacts from their mounting and labelling, they had been in his ‘Second’ Collection at Farnham, Dorset and all are said to have been bought from William Downing Webster, a dealer and collector who is otherwise known for photographs of Benin bronzes and other artefacts, which he sold, taken during the punitive expedition in Nigeria in 1897.
Lots 299 and 301 are marked BT WEBSTER 1897, and all three were given to Cambridge University Library on 17 May 1899. The next we know of them, according to Bonhams, is that they were in an ‘English Private Collection’ when sold by Christie’s, South Kensington, London in 1990. The estimated sales total for the three was $18–27,000, and they sold (with premium) for $67,100 (around £52,000).
As I write, Christie’s London is listing this broken marble sculpture, currently ‘the property of a gentleman’ and due to be sold on 4 December. It is said to be Roman, made in the first century AD, and depicting Eros unstringing his bow – requiring a little imagination as Eros has no hands and only one arm. To quote Christie’s provenance in full: ‘Roger Peyrefitte (1907–2000) collection, Paris, said to have been acquired from Nicolas Landau in the late 1960s. French private collection, purchased from the above in 1986.’ Its estimated sale price is £500,000–800,000.
Christos Tsirogiannis, however, an archaeologist with whom antiquities salerooms are very familiar, thinks the piece was illegally exported from the country where it was found, claiming to have recognised it in four photos taken when it was in the possession of Robin Symes, a British dealer whose substantial illegal activities were charted by Peter Watson and Cecilia Todeschini in The Medici Conspiracy (2006). Christie’s, which does not have access to the large archive seen by Tsirogiannis, begs to differ. ‘Following extensive research,’ the saleroom told Dalya Alberge in the Observer (24 November), ‘we have found no grounds under which title to sell can be questioned.’
Finally, a Fellow for sale, spotted by Charles Hind FSA. This terracotta plaque of Sir William Richard Drake FSA, by Robert Wallace Martin, is dated October 1888. Drake was Chairman of the Burlington Fine Arts Club. Woolley & Wallis, who thought the plaque might make £1,500–2,500, were due to auction it in Salisbury on 27 November.
Fellows (and Friends)
Michael Thompson FSA
, castellologist, died on 13 November. An appreciation will follow in a future Salon
Fellows Remembered below contains a further notice on the late Joan Taylor FSA
, and news of a memorial service for Antti Matikkala FSA
Noble Frankland, a former Director of the Imperial War Museum, died on 31 October aged 97. He was not a Fellow. He was appointed to the post in 1960, writes Maev Kennedy FSA in the Guardian
(21 November), and ‘Over his 22 years as director [he] transformed this backwater into an internationally renowned research and education resource, and a major tourist attraction.’ He ‘had found the museum a sad place,’ she says, ‘with a decaying and barely catalogued collection including a vast photographic archive, tended by a few dozen demoralised staff.’ By the time he left in 1962 there were over 300 staff, the museum’s mission had grown to embrace all conflicts in which Britain or the Commonwealth has been involved since 1914, HMS Belfast had been added to the collection (moored nearby on the Thames), and he had created Duxford, a world-famous air museum on an old airfield in Cambridgeshire.
Dorothy Garrod FSA
(1892–1968), a distinguished archaeologist and a gold medallist of the Society, has been honoured with a portrait by Sara Lavelle. It was unveiled at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge, and described as a portrait of the first female Oxbridge professor. Garrod was elected to Cambridge’s Disney Professorship of Archaeology in 1939, nine years before women at Cambridge were admitted to degrees or able to become full members of the University. She specialised in the Palaeolithic, and was known for her excavations in Gibraltar, Bulgaria and across the Middle East in what were then Palestine and southern Kurdistan.
The new Journal of History and Cultures
(10), inspired by Tea with the Sphinx
conferences in 2017–18 at the University of Birmingham, is dedicated to understanding the rediscovery and representation of ancient Egypt. ‘Superseded working hypotheses may not die’, writes Aidan Dodson FSA
in a Preface, ‘but take on a zombie-like life of their own… our historical zombies make up many of the “facts” that “everyone knows” about ancient Egypt – alongside others actually taken directly from fiction… They are thus an important element of Egypt’s “myth and magic”.’ Dodson’s own contribution addresses the fiction that ‘the memory of the beauty of Queen Nefertiti has endured for thousands of years’, when she had been ‘utterly forgotten for over three millennia’. Lizzie Glithero-West FSA
writes about Belzoni’s Egyptian Hall, which opened in May 1821 in Piccadilly, London, in the first entirely Egyptian modern building, built a decade before. ‘Belzoni achieved an atmospheric exhibition, tactile and immersive,’ writes Glithero-West, ‘creating an experience rather than a static display.’ His exhibition, she adds, deserves greater recognition ‘as a pivotal moment for art and museum history, contributing both to the development of trends in painting and design, and to a new tactile exhibition culture and the genesis of the cinema.’
Patrick Ottaway FSA
, Ken Qualmann, Graham Scobie and John Zant have written Winchester’s Roman and Medieval Defences: A Report on Excavations 1974–86 and a Gazetteer. The first part, says the blurb, reports on excavations on the north, east and south sides of the circuit, revealing sections of the earlier Roman ramparts and the later town wall, remains of the medieval city wall and medieval and post-medieval buildings. The second part is a gazetteer of all excavations, watching briefs and studies of the defences since the early 19th century, followed by a concluding review of the history of the defences and of what still survives above and below ground.
David Dawson FSA, Richard Gem FSA
and Colin Shell FSA
have kindly added much detail to the tribute by the late Liz Slater to Joan Taylor FSA
, specialist in prehistoric goldwork, we carried in the last Salon
. Her devoted father, they write, who lived to be 104, ‘did not wish [her] to pursue her career simply as his daughter’, though she grew up in a world centred on his career as a distinguished figure at the Smithsonian Institution:
‘In a family and social sphere where Joan met archaeologists and anthropologists with diverse backgrounds and specialities, it is not surprising that she developed interests which led to her obtaining an AB in Anthropology and a Masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests at that time included assisting Wilton Krogman, the founding father of forensic anthropology, and especially the archaeology of the Americas. A keen sportswoman, she played university level tennis at Penn, but found the swimming qualification (yes) required for her degree irksome. Potential health problems at Tikal, Guatemala, prevented Joan from joining the University Museum project there in 1962. Instead she excavated at Castle-an-Dinas hillfort, Cornwall, directed by Bernard Wailes FSA
– her first introduction in the field to European prehistory.
‘Joan transferred to Newnham College, Cambridge, in 1964 where, after a transitional diploma course, she embarked on doctoral research into Bronze Age goldwork, supervised by John Coles FSA
. This took her around Europe’s museums, where she examined and photographed many objects and made the first of many international friends and colleagues. Her doctoral thesis was published as Bronze Age Goldwork of the British Isles
(1980) by Cambridge University Press in its Gulbenkian Archaeological Series. In her thesis, as well as compiling the first comprehensive catalogue of British and Irish prehistoric goldwork, Joan began to explore scientific approaches to archaeological problems. Using analyses of British samples she collected for Axel Hartmann’s major programme (published in the Römish-Germanisches Zentralmuseum’s Studien zu den Anfängen der Metallurgie
), she was able to show changes in goldwork composition through time. More recently, with a new, highly sensitive analytical technique (LA-ICP-MS), she made a further attempt with the Prehistoric Gold Research Group to link objects to analyses of alluvial gold sources from Britain and Ireland.
‘Joan’s aim was always to continue her career in academia, but before she could find a suitable position she worked at two museums: first as Assistant Keeper in Archaeology at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, and then (1972) as Curator in Archaeology at Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. At Bristol her energies were directed at expanding the department’s archaeological fieldwork to cope with the scale of redevelopment in the city centre, helping establish CRAAGS, a cooperative unit for Gloucestershire, Avon and Somerset, and getting to grips with the need to provide suitable storage for the extensive archaeology and ethnography collections. The achievement in which she took greatest pride was the rehabilitation of the collection of over 1,500 artefacts and drawings bequeathed in 1923 by an indefatigable fieldworker, Adela Breton (1849–1923). Breton’s coloured record of the frescoes of the Jaguar Temple and other sites at Chichén Itzá, Teotihuacan and Acancéh remain unique records of the state in which they were found. In Bristol Joan's beautiful Georgian apartment in Hotwells had its door always open to friends and colleagues and was a place of generous hospitality. Her archaeological research developed in several directions then, including her investigation of Mesolithic occupation on the Priddy Plateau in Somerset.
‘In 1974 Joan obtained a teaching post at the University of Nottingham, where she lived in one of the student halls of residence and there took on pastoral responsibilities. But it was finally with her appointment at the University of Liverpool in 1976 as Head of Prehistoric Archaeology and then in 1980 as John Rankin Reader in Prehistoric Archaeology that Joan found her ultimate academic niche. Within easy reach of Liverpool, she set up home in the Cheshire village of Tattenhall, which became a new centre of welcome for her many friends, especially around the time of Thanksgiving.
‘In her teaching, research and fieldwork she continued to develop her wide range of interests, particularly in prehistoric goldwork and metal extraction. She was pivotal with Tony Hammond, owner of the prehistoric copper mines at Great Orme Head, in developing a project to investigate them. From working with John Coles in the Somerset Levels, wetland archaeology continued as an interest, leading ultimately to a project, supported by National Geographic, at Little Hawes Water, Lancashire, to explore how a combination of paleoenvironmental techniques and geophysics might identify waterlogged archaeological sites where there is no evidence above ground. At her death she was chair of the South West Implement Petrology Committee, a post she had held since 1997 with great pride as one of Britain’s longest running archaeological research programmes – it began in 1936.’
Ambrogio Caiani FSA
, Senior Lecturer Modern European History, University of Kent, writes to tell Fellows about a memorial service for Antti Matikkala FSA
, who died unexpectedly in January
‘Antti was a very fine scholar of early modern England and Europe, not to mention an incorrigible anglophile and wonderful human being. Several of his friends are organising a memorial service in Trinity College Chapel, Cambridge, to celebrate his scholarship and life. Prof John Morrill, FBA and Mr Wilhelm Brummer will be speaking to remember and honour our friend who passed away far too young. The memorial service is scheduled to take place at 14:30 on Sunday 12 January 2020. Refreshments will be provided in the Allhusen Room after the service where we can continue to remember Antti. I would be grateful if you could put the date in your diaries. I will write again closer to the time with more specific information. If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact me at A.A.Caiani@kent.ac.uk
or 01227 826519.’
Memorials to Fellows
Robert Stephenson has taken these photos of an extraordinary array of Fellows’ graves in Kensal Green Cemetery, Kensington and Chelsea, London, which have been forwarded by Julian Litten FSA:
Left: Alexander John Ellis FSA
, phonetician and mathematician (1814–90).
Right: Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks FSA
, collector and museum keeper (1826–97)
Left: Charles Wentworth Dilke FSA
, newspaper editor and writer (1789–1864).
Right: Sir Frederick Madden FSA
, palaeographer (1801–73).
Left: John Bowyer Nichols FSA
, printer and antiquary (1779–1863).
Centre: Bernard Bolingbroke Woodward FSA
, librarian and author (1816–69).
Right: Andrew White Tuer FSA
, publisher, writer and printer (1838–1900).
Left: Edward Adolphus St Maur FSA (formerly Lord Seymour)
, mathematician (1775–1855).
Right: Sir Edward Smirke FSA
, lawyer and antiquary (1795–1875).
Left: William Chappell FSA
, musical antiquary (1809–88).
Right: John Bruce FSA
, antiquary, treasurer and vice-president of the Society of Antiquaries (1802–69).
The Wisdom of Fellows
Mark Samuels FSA
had a question about depictions of elephants in antiquity
in the last Salon
. Two Fellows responded. First, Leo Schmidt FSA
‘Having been a member of the excavation team in Pergamon some decades ago, I was intrigued by Mark Samuel's question about the relief of a war elephant in the temple of Athena there. I asked my colleague Klaus Rheidt, who knows the place extremely well, and he immediately denied that there was such a relief. The original documentation of 1885 (see here online
) certainly makes no mention of it.
‘Perhaps one can console Mark with an image of an elephant in the fortress of Karasis
, a little further east?’ (above).
‘I wonder if the “unreliable” source Mark Samuels is citing re war elephants’, writes Iain Ferris FSA
, ‘is in fact referring to the terracotta of a war elephant in combat with a “Celt”, attributed to Pergamum, in the Louvre. I think this artefact may also have appeared in the 2016 Pergamon and the Hellenistic Kingdoms of the Ancient World
exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
The unattributed photo (right) was posted on Twitter by Michel Lara @VeraCausa9
, who describes it as a terracotta figurine in the Louvre, from Myrina, Isle of Lemnos.
Bruce Bailey FSA
writes to point out that Knuston Hall is in Northamptonshire, not, as we said in the tribute in the last Salon
to the late John Hampton FSA
Charles Hind FSA
, Chief Curator and H J Heinz Curator of Drawings at the RIBA British Architectural Library in the V&A, leads occasional architecture tours for ACE Cultural Tours. Next July ACE plans to have an eight-day tour based on Burgundian Gothic
. Can any Fellows advise on a tour director, asks Hind, after the unexpected death of Cathy Oakes FSA
In my note in the last Salon
about a book for the late Sarah Jennings FSA, Ceramics & Glass: A Tribute to Sarah Jennings,
I gave a long list of Fellows who had contributed. But I managed to miss Dave Evans FSA
, who wrote about continental imports into Hull between around 1260 and 1700. Apologies.
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (email@example.com). We are currently scheduled a year in advance for our Ordinary Meeting Lectures.
Ordinary Meetings are held from 17.00 to 18.00 on Thursdays. Open to Fellows and their invited guests.
Miscellany Of Papers
Admission to the Ordinary Meeting is free as usual, and there is no need to reserve a seat.
We will hear two 20 minute papers, from:
We hope Fellows will join us for our annual Mulled Wine Reception, following the miscellany meeting. There will be Christmas Carols and festive treats.
- A Portrait of Charles Marsh by L.F.Abbott: the Society’s acquisition, interpreatation, conservation by Professor Maurice Howard OBE FSA
- Westminster Hall’s secret Tudor doorway discovered by Dr Elizabeth Hallam-Smith FSA
The Charles Marsh Portrait will be officially unveiled on the night following conservation. Our thanks to everyone who generously donated to this project.
Admission to Mulled Wine Reception is by ticket only (£10) which can be booked through our website.
Forthcoming Public Events
One day conference on which will explore the wide range of images and text displayed by seals and how this can be interpreted to reveal social identities, both normal and exceptional, across medieval and early modern Britain. Different identities will be explored, including: urban and rural; learned and unlearned; craft and communal. It will also explore links with personal and family names, inherited symbols, and how far family relationships influence seals.
Conferences and Seminars
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays, with advance booking advised to be sure of a place.
Under the theme of UNESCO's International Year of the Periodic Table (#IYPT19), the Burlington Courtyard societies proudly present a collaborative curation of an evening with three distinct lectures covering the importance of elemental chemistry in medieval scriptures, cosmological discoveries and archaeological clay works.
The evening will commence at 6pm with 3 lectures to follow.
- The cosmic chemical cauldron by Dr Helen Fraser
- Chemical fingerprints of prehistoric food and farming by Professor Richard Evershed
- Molecular medieval manuscripts by Professor Andy Beeby
The lecture will take place at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD
For more information or book please visit the Royal Society of Chemistry's website
The Library will be closing at 5pm on Thursday 28 November and on Thursday 12 December.
The Library will be closing for the Christmas holidays at 3pm on Friday 20 December 2019 and will re-open at 10am on Thursday 2 January 2020.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (email@example.com), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.
Presently we are scheduled approximately a year in advance.
Other Heritage Events
• Entries new to this Salon are marked by The Veil of Time, the keystone over the entrance to the Society’s premises in Burlington House
14–15 November: Collecting and Collections: Digital Lives and Afterlives Workshop (London)
To be held at the Royal Society, this is the last of three international workshops organised by Collective Wisdom, which is exploring how and why members of the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Leopoldina (in Halle, Germany), collected specimens of the natural world, art, and archaeology in the 17th and 18th centuries. How can we integrate extant digital databases? How did early modern scientific journals, priority of discovery and ‘matters of fact’ shape the organisation of knowledge? How do we consider those early modern models in digital reconstructions of early collecting? Speakers include Anna Marie Roos FSA. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
16 November: Discovering Anglian York: Digging in the Dark (York)
This year’s York archaeology conference will focus on Eoforwic, Anglian York. Talks will review current knowledge and recent discoveries, and will ask where should we be looking and why have we so much yet to find. Speakers include Richard Morris FSA, John Oxley FSA and Julian D Richards FSA. Details online.
23 November: HS2 Archaeology (Winslow) CANCELLED
The Buckinghamshire Archaeological Society has had to cancel this conference because HS2 Ltd, represented by Fusion, a contractor, is unable to take part, as the event would have been during the pre-election period (purdah).
24–25 November: Books at Work: Books and Libraries for Professionals and Tradesmen since the 15th century (London)
Among themes to be addressed at the 41st Annual Book Trade History Conference will be book-trade strategies aimed at particular professional groups and specialisation in genres of publications useful for work, as well as the libraries of professionals, including doctors, lawyers, clergy, architects and heralds. Speakers include David Pearson FSA and Nigel Ramsay FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
26 November: William Holcot's Books: Recantation and Repentance in Reformation England (London)
John Craig will talk about William Holcot, a mid-Tudor gentleman, bibliophile and lay reader in the early Elizabethan church, whose experience of recantation during the reign of Queen Mary powerfully shaped his thoughts and actions during the Elizabethan period. The few pieces that survive from Holcot's life enrich our understanding of a particular stream of Elizabethan Protestantism. At Lambeth Palace Library in association with the University of London seminar on the Religious History of Britain 1500–1800, this event will be followed by a drinks reception. Details online.
27–29 November: Art of the Lost Conference (Canterbury)
Over three days curators, conservators, scientists, historians, archaeologists and artists from the UK, Europe and the USA will gather at Canterbury Cathedral and look at how, and why art is defaced, destroyed or lost within architectural settings. With a particular focus on art within the context of cathedrals and other places of worship, the conference considers changing ideologies, iconoclasm, war, fashion and symbolism. It will discuss art from the sixth century to the present. Delegates will have exclusive access to the Cathedral’s collections, with behind-the-scene tours of conservation in action, and wall paintings and graffiti. Speakers include Gerry Alabone FSA, Paul Bennett FSA, Kate Giles FSA, Tessa Murdoch FSA, Sandy Nairne FSA and David Rundle FSA. Details online.
27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.
28 November: Monks, Hermits and the Natural World: 300–650AD (London)
Robin Lane Fox will speak for the Saint Catherine Foundation at the Royal Geographical Society about holy men and hermits of late antiquity, distinctive features of early Christianity often linked to its monasteries such as St Catherine's of Sinai. The lecture will consider the realities and textual representations of their relations with animals, landscapes, birds and plants, and contrast the use and presentation of such items in pagan history, literature and philosophy. Details online.
29–30 November: Houses of Politicians Symposium (Manchester)
This symposium organised by Peter Lindfield FSA at the Manchester Metropolitan University will bring together established and early career scholars who explore the correlation between politics and the country house within this protean political environment. Case studies and dialogue sessions will discuss design and style, as well as collecting, display, patronage, networking, dissemination, and the relationship between London and the country. There will be an optional tour of Wentworth Woodhouse, built by the marquises of Rockingham and now the focus of a major heritage restoration initiative. Details online.
29 November–1 December: Romans in North-East England: Recent Research (London)
This joint Royal Archaeological Institute/Roman Society conference will feature lectures on Aldborough, Corbridge, Scotch Corner, the Tees Valley, Dere Street, Piercebridge, Catterick, Binchester, Brough and Norton. Speakers include Richard Brickstock FSA, Hella Eckardt FSA, Peter Halkon FSA, Ian Haynes FSA and Martin Millett FSA. Details online.
30 November: Greater Manchester Archaeology Day 2019 (Manchester)
The University of Salford will be hosting its eighth annual Archaeology Day with a programme for practitioners, professionals and especially members of the public, with highlights from archaeological projects undertaken in Greater Manchester over the last year. Guest speaker for the Brian Grimsditch Memorial Lecture will be Mike Heyworth FSA. Other speakers include Ian Miller FSA, Mike Nevell FSA and Norman Redhead FSA, and talks will range from a newly discovered prehistoric site above Rochdale to the excavation of industrial remains in Castlefield. Details online.
December 6: Power and Objects in Portraiture (London)
A Paris Early Modern Seminar & London Renaissance Seminar will be held at Keynes, Birkbeck School of Arts, with three panels in the morning (Making the portrait: Images and things; Men in Meetings; Representation: Inside and outside the gallery) and with two room walks in the afternoon at the National Portrait Gallery (Portraits and power: presentations and discussion; The image abroad: courts, places and power). Speakers include Karen Hearn FSA and others from Sorbonne nouvelle, Sorbonne Université and Paris Diderot, and Birkbeck, Oxford, Roehampton and Sussex. Details online.
12 December: On Writing the Past Backwards (London)
Matthew Johnson FSA will give this year's UCL Institute of Archaeology Gordon Childe Lecture, which will be held in association with TAG 2019 and will take place the day before the conference opens. While there is much written on how time is socially embedded, says Johnson, there is little on the reversal of time. He is writing a book on English landscapes in the context of the north Atlantic. It spans the second millennium CE, and works backwards, from New World colonial encounters, to interactions with Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, back to medieval infrastructure and beyond. He will discuss the challenges of his project. Details online.
12 December: Theories of Landscape Appreciation (London)
What makes one landscape preferred over another? David Jacques, landscape historian and conservationist, will be launching his book Landscape Appreciation – Theories since the Cultural Turn at the Alan Baxter Gallery for ICOMOS-UK's Annual Christmas Lecture. The book is not a polemic in favour of any particular theory, but critiques the many theories seen over the last half century, covering post-war aesthetics to ‘environmental’ ones with a balanced, didactic approach. Details online.
15 January 2020: Herbariums and Garden History: the Fulham Palace Experience (London)
Mark Spencer, Honorary Curator at the Linnean Society of London, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Research of herbariums at the Natural History Museum and at Oxford have revealed overlooked plants that were once grown in the almost entirely lost late 17th-century garden of Bishop Compton at Fulham Palace. This helped the Fulham Palace Trust re-envisage this garden during their recent restoration project. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: email@example.com or 07817 128147, and see online.
18 January: New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture (London)
The 10th conference on New Insights into 16th- and 17th-Century British Architecture will be held at the Society of Antiquaries, and is organised by Paula Henderson FSA and Claire Gapper FSA, who will be speaking with, among others, Maurice Howard FSA, Paul Drury FSA and Adam Menuge FSA. Details online, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
18 January: Fifty Years of Archaeology at Rewley House (Oxford)
This day school will look back at a half century of archaeology at Rewley House, to assess and celebrate the department’s achievements, discussing in particular its involvement in field archaeology from the training excavation at Middleton Stoney in the 1970s through to its recent and current community archaeology work in East Oxford and Appleton. In addition, present and former directors of archaeological studies, alongside others who have played significant roles in Rewley House archaeology, will talk about their work with the department. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Anne Dodd FSA, David Griffiths FSA, Tom Hassall FSA, Gill Hey FSA, Gary Lock FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. Details online.
27 January: From Nature: Jean-Baptiste Oudry and the Taste for Landscape Paintings under Louis XV (London)
Camilla Pietrabissa, Associate Lecturer, Bocconi University, Milan, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
29 January: Nicholas Leate (1569-1631) ‘a worthy merchant and a lover of all faire flowers’ (London)
David Marsh, independent researcher, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Nicholas Leate was a Jacobean merchant and plant collector who combined involvement in national and civic politics with a love of plants. He was the brains behind Moorfields, and was a friend of Gerard and Parkinson supplying both with new plants. His story serves as a good example of how garden history fits into the wider social and cultural context. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817 128147, and see online.
31 January: Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland: Prehistoric and Roman (Oxford)
A long-running series of weekends at Rewley House on Places of Worship in Britain and Ireland returns to the beginning, and examines evidence for prehistoric and pre-Christian Roman places of worship. Speakers include Kenneth Brophy FSA, Tim Darvill FSA, Chris Gosden FSA, Seren Griffiths FSA, Martin Henig FSA, Fraser Hunter FSA, Tony King FSA and John Pearce FSA. Details online.
8 February: Belonging and Not Belonging – An Art History Day School (Bristol)
Peter Wakelin FSA, Curator of Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art at the Royal West of England Academy of Art, Bristol (14 December–1 March 2020), will lead a tour and discussion of an exhibition that explores the influence of 1930s and 40s émigrés from eastern and central Europe, examining how they were perceived by their peers in Britain and the extent to which their influence excited or inspired new art. Details online.
13 February: Princes, Parkland and Politics: The Legacy of Muskauer Park and its Modern Revalorization (London)
Brian Dix will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Later owners largely adhered to Prince Pückler’s vision for the park that he began building at Muskau (Saxony) in the early 19th century. Its area was split between Germany and Poland after the Second World War, followed by neglect and losses which are now being restored through exemplary transnational co-operation. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: email@example.com or 07817 128147, and see online.
24 February: The Mystery of Redwares in Princely Collections (London)
Errol Manners FSA, dealer in historic ceramics, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
26 February: Beth Chatto: A Life in Plants (London)
Catherine Horwood, social historian and author, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. Dr Horwood worked with Beth Chatto for several years on her archives before being asked to write her biography. Her talk will draw on Chatto’s amazing life from her childhood seed patch to her rise to fame and the creation of one of the most influential gardens of the 20th century. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: firstname.lastname@example.org or 07817 128147, and see online.
11 March: Re-visioning the High Line, New York – “two guys with a logo” (London)
Jill Raggett, Emeritus Reader in Gardens and Designed Landscapes, will talk in a series of Gardens Trust lectures. The world's cities are housing more of us and are having to work harder to re-vision existing spaces. Future designers will be the keepers of such vital places. With the help of an Essex Gardens Trust Travel Bursary, Raggett visited the successful High Line in New York City, to see how we can re-imagine spaces. For further details contact Sally Jeffery FSA: email@example.com or 07817 128147, and see online.
18 March: Charles II: The Court in Exile (London)
Third in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. For a decade after the execution of Charles I the Stuart courts were based in the Low Countries and France. Determined to maintain splendour and dignity, though short of money, Charles II used rented mansions as headquarters for the exiled monarchy. In these hitherto unknown royal ‘palaces’ the king and his courtiers developed tastes that were to fundamentally fashion the art and architecture of Restoration England. Details online.
23–27 March: Histories of Archaeology (Canberra)
The Collective Biography of Archaeology in the Pacific (CBAP) Australian Research Council Laureate Project, led by Matthew Spriggs FSA, will be hosting this conference at the Australian National University in Canberra, airing new ideas on the history of archaeology worldwide. Invited keynote speakers include Margarita Diaz-Andreu FSA, Stephanie Moser FSA, Tim Murray FSA, Lynette Russell and Nathan Schlanger. The conference launches the CBAP-linked international museum exhibitions under the title of Uncovering Pacific Pasts: Histories of Archaeology in Oceania, which will take place at approximately 40 museums and cultural institutions worldwide. Enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, details online.
30 March: The Gilded Age in Canada: Reconstructing the Life and Afterlife of the Sir William Van Horne Collection (London)
Janet M Brooke, independent scholar, Montreal, Canada, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
27 April: The Dutch King Willem II (1792–1849) as Collector and Source of some Important Pictures in the Wallace Collection (London)
Ellinoor Bergvelt, guest researcher University of Amsterdam/Research Fellow, Dulwich Picture Gallery, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
1–3 May: The Great House in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford)
The popularity of the great house for the hereditary aristocracy, aspiring owners and the visiting public has continued to blossom in the present century. A weekend (not the May bank holiday weekend) at Rewley House will provide an opportunity to explore some of the themes about the great house which have emerged since the turn of the millennium. It will cover new and established houses and their garden settings, and will examine the ways in which houses are managed and presented to the public. Speakers include Malcolm Airs FSA, Tarnya Cooper FSA, Ben Cowell FSA, Jeremy Musson FSA and Alan Powers FSA. Details online.
18 May: Marvels in Lucknow: ‘Ajab and Asaf al-Dawla’s Collection of Curiosities (London)
Arthur Bijl, Assistant Curator of Ottoman, Middle Eastern and Asian Arms and Armour, the Wallace Collection, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
10 June: William and Mary: The Court Divided (London)
Fourth in a series of free lectures at the Museum of London on the theme of Theatres of Revolution: Stuart Kings and the architecture of disruption, by Simon Thurley FSA for Gresham College as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment. Like James I, King William III was unhappy with the formality of England’s vast crumbling royal estate. But unlike James, who virtually abandoned Edinburgh, William maintained a second court, and a parallel suite of royal houses, in the Netherlands. Mostly ignored by English historians, these houses are the key to understanding the style that we now know as William and Mary, and its impact on England. Details online.
29 June: The ‘Primo Costo’ Inventory of Count Saverio Marchese (1757–1833): Mapping the Print Market in Malta and its European Connections (London)
Krystle Attard Trevisan, PhD candidate, Institute of English Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
27 July: Descriptions of Collections and their Display at the Stuart Court in 1669 in a Manuscript Account of Prince George of Denmark's Grand Tour (1668-1670) (London)
Sara Ayres, independent scholar, London, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
28 September: Germanic and Gentle? The Foundation and Early Collections of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum in Nuremberg (London)
Heike Zech FSA, Head of Decorative Arts before 1800 and History of Craft, Germanisches NationalMuseum, Nuremberg, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
26 October: The Paintings by Horace Vernet in Louis-Philippe's Private Collection: Commission, Purpose, Display and Destination (London)
Valérie M C Bajou, Chief Curator, Versailles Palace, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
30 November: Creating a Market: Dealers, Auctioneers and the Passion for Riesener Furniture, 1800–1882 (London)
Helen Jacobsen, Senior Curator, the Wallace Collection, will talk in the Wallace Collection’s 2020 History of Collecting seminar series. Details online.
Call for Papers
16–18 April 2020: Wall Painting Conservation and its Dilemmas in the Twenty-first Century (York)
A conference in memory of Sharon Cather FSA will take place in the surroundings of the Tempest Anderson Hall of the Yorkshire Museum, the Hospitium in the museum’s 19th-century gardens, and the King’s Manor, University of York, to take stock of the current state of wall painting conservation internationally, and consider potentially productive developments in the future. Contributions will cover all periods of wall painting from ancient to contemporary, and will take the opportunity of reflecting on the type of issues that were of such concern to Sharon Cather. The number of papers will need to be limited to about 18. Many have already been offered, and others are now invited. Speakers will be asked to commit to contributing to the follow-up publication. Details online.
24–26 April: Folklore, Learning and Literacies: Annual Conference of the Folklore Society (London)
Lore is learning: folklore is a body of knowledge and a means of transmission. But how do we learn folklore? How do we learn about folklore? This conference will address issues such as symbols, education, trades, family, children’s lore, proverbs, mnemonics, rapping, supernatural beings and computer games. Proposals for papers of 20 minutes should be sent to the Folklore Society at email@example.com, or 50 Fitzroy Street, London W1T 5BT, UK, telephone +44 (0) 203 915 3034, by 12 January 2020. Details online.
English Heritage seeks a Blue Plaques Historian (part time). Closing date Friday 29 November.
You will be responsible for carrying out research into the life-stories and reputations of figures who have been nominated for Blue Plaques, and the London buildings in which they lived and worked. You will have experience in carrying out rigorous research to tight deadlines, and distilling extensive material into a clear and compelling argument.
You will be a crucial part of a small team, working on the famous London Blue Plaques scheme. The team sits within the wider Curatorial Department and this role will liaise with colleagues across the organisation.
Interviews 11 December. Details online.