Salon: Issue 384
25 April 2017
Next issue: 9 May 2017
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.
Please send news, comment and feedback for publication to the Editor, Mike Pitts, at Salon Editor.
Salon does not review books, but the Editor is pleased to receive details and front cover images of new titles written by Fellows. Scholarly publications are reviewed in The Antiquaries Journal: for details see Publications.
From the Desk of the General Secretary
Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future
Fellows may be aware that the 8 March 2017 issue of Country Life Magazine
included an editorial by ‘Athena’ expressing dismay regarding the process the Society has undertaken to appoint an architecture firm to lead the £6 million conservation-led development of Kelmscott Manor, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. We submitted a response, defending our approach, which was published in part in the 19 April 2017 issue of the publication. I would like to provide Fellows with our original response, in full:
Our exciting project,
Kelmscott and Morris: Past, Present and Future, will re-interpret the history and archaeology of Kelmscott and its landscape through the eyes of William Morris, antiquary and Fellow of the Society. It will explore the impact Kelmscott had on Morris and how Morris continues to influence us today. It will entail new activities, displays and community archaeology projects, as well as major repairs to the listed buildings and re-purposing the farm complex to facilitate better interpretation and visitor comfort, while being sensitive to the need to preserve the tranquility of the site.
As a standard condition of the
[Heritage Lottery Fund] grant, the Society must comply with EU procurement rules as set out in the Public Contracts Regulations 2015. In addition, statutory Government Guidance requires that the Government’s own form of Selection Questionnaire must be used as part of the process of selecting applicants who will be invited to tender and states that there must be no deviation from the wording in the Questionnaire. If the Society failed to comply with the Regulations or Guidance, it would risk legal challenges from bidders and withdrawal of the Heritage Lottery Fund grant. The “jargon” that Athena complains about is unavoidable.
The vision for the future of Kelmscott has been developed by Fellows of the Society who are some of the leading scholars of the Manor and Morris, archaeology, historic landscapes and historic buildings. The same Fellows are members of the Board that is guiding the project. The Manor will become a unique inspiration for a wider range of visitors and the antithesis of the unauthentic bland homogeneity so bemoaned by Athena. I am sure that
Country Life readers will therefore welcome and support our efforts to better preserve and present Kelmscott and Morris through the scholarship, disciplines and principles that have been at the heart of the Society of Antiquaries for more than 300 years. We feel sure William Morris, FSA, would have approved.
Readers are invited to learn more about the project as it progresses from our website.
We hope to have Fellows' support as we embark on our campaign to raise the £1.5 million still needed to complete the project.
Join Us for the Anniversary Meeting: 27 April
The Anniversary Meeting of the Society will be held in the Meeting Room, Burlington House, on Thursday, 27 April 2017 at 15.30
(Fellows only). The Ballots for President, Treasurer and for three Ordinary Members of Council are uncontested this year and therefore will not take place. The Fellows who are candidates for the vacant posts are:
- As President for a second term: Gillian Margaret Andrews, BA, MCIfA
- As Treasurer: Stephen Lloyd Dunmore, OBE, BA
- As Ordinary Council Members: (1) Alan Brian Lloyd, BA, MA, DPhil; (2) John Michael Maddison, BA, PhD, Hon Dr of Arts; (3) Elizabeth Mary Hallam Smith, CB, PhD, FRSA, FRHistS
Tea will be then be served to Fellows and guests at 16.15, and will be followed at 17.00 by the presentation of the Society Medal to Fellow Adrian Babbidge
and the President’s Anniversary Address. Our Anniversary Meeting Reception
will be held
afterwards in the Library
, where Fellows and guests will be invited to enjoy drinks, refreshments and the most recent displays of material from the Library's collections. Please reserve your place for the Reception (£10.00) (book online
or by contacting our Executive Assistant Jola Zdunek at 020 7479 7080).
Support the Library Development Plan
DVDs Now on Sale:
Dramatic Readings of Shakespeare's Plays by Simon Russell Beale CBE
Actor Simon Russell Beale CBE, Prof Maurice Howard OBE VPSA
and musician Jez Smith vividly brought to life the 'character' of the Society's portraits of medieval and Tudor monarchs through Shakespeare's history plays, scholarly insight and music. Simon Russell Beale gave a performance of extraordinary power and dexterity, acting Henry V's rage at the Southampton plotters, Henry VI's fragile reconciliation of the warring houses of York and Lancaster, Queen Margaret's disillusionment with her King, Edward IV's single-minded pursuit of a wife, Richard III's craving for power at any price and Henry VII's magnanimity in victory. Prof Howard explained how the figures depicted in the Society's portraits were imagined by audiences in Shakespeare's day and Jez Smith played music of the period. Thanks to the generous support of Graham and Joanna Barker, we have worked with the team supporting NT Live to produce a recording of the event.
Order your limited-edition DVD or a digital download today
. All proceeds from the DVD will support the Library Development Plan.
20 Years Hunting and Recording
In September the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme
(PAS) celebrate their 20th anniversary. Together they have had a profound impact on archaeological research in England and Wales, and our understanding of the past. The PAS in particular has also greatly encouraged engagement of the public with museums and archaeologists, and helped people who enjoy legitimate outdoor activities with metal detectors. Government ministers regularly proclaim the remarkable public value achieved by the PAS for a small amount of funding.
The British Museum has a legal responsibility under the terms of the Treasure Act to process treasure finds from England. The PAS central unit, which now fields around 36 regional Finds Liaison Officers across England and Wales, is also based at the BM. The unit became the Department of Portable Antiquities & Treasure, and when this was closed in 2015 it moved into the Department of Learning, Volunteers & Audiences. At the same time the government grant for the PAS ceased to be ring-fenced within the museum’s funding.
The BM has chosen to publicise the anniversaries by focussing on the Treasure Act and the relatively small number of spectacular finds. Michael Lewis FSA
, Head of Portable Antiquities & Treasure at the BM, is encouraging museums across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to highlight displayed Treasure finds and celebrate ‘a summer of Treasure,’ using a Treasure 20 logo.
There should be plenty of opportunities for this: to date more than 4,000 Treasure finds have been acquired by 215 museums (the number of finds recorded by the PAS is well over a million, but most of these have been retained by finders). As I write the PAS website lists 47 displayed Treasure finds and their museums
(27 of them at the industrious Corinium Museum, Gloucestershire). The image at top shows a Bronze Age hoard from Poulton and a Roman silver ring from Chedworth (both in the Corinium Museum) and a hoard of 17th-century silver coins from Oswestry (Powysland Museum). The Telegraph
newspaper is working with the BM on a series of articles, which will highlight 20 finds chosen by a selected panel. The first piece
by Laura Silverman (23 April), explains the law with tips on how to finds things.
would like to hear from anyone with experience of the operation of the Treasure Act or the PAS (good or bad). There are important issues, beyond the thrill of finding treasure which will naturally rank high in coverage of the celebration. I have followed the schemes closely over the years, and will conclude with some personal observations.
Not everything is perfect. Exceptional items such as a fine Roman helmet from Crosby Garrett still slip through the net, and the high rewards occasionally paid to finders and landowners do little to help museums struggling to raise purchase money and often to fund expensive conservation. A huge amount is achieved by the PAS on a low budget, which over the years has often been uncertain; it should be significantly raised. On the other hand, the strong research benefits of the PAS in particular are not widely recognised, and need trumpeting. By any definition, the Treasure Act and the Portable Antiquities Scheme have been a great success, and deserve all the celebration they will get.
Damien Hirst, one of our most archaeological artists, has rediscovered his ability to divide opinion with an enormous exhibition in Venice. His Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable
, which opened on 9 April, consists of a collection of sculptures raised, says the catalogue, from a wreck discovered off the coast of east Africa in 2008. The ship, owned by a freed slave called Cif Amotan II who lived around AD 100, had been loaded with the successful entrepreneur’s treasures, collected from now ancient civilisations around the world. The works are exhibited in various states, some restored to their shiny new splendour, others yet to be conserved. There are also models showing artefacts in their original state.
In 2002 the White Cube Gallery exhibited The Chapman Family Collection
, 34 African-looking ethnographic wooden carvings. They were, said artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, rare reliquary fetish objects from the former colonial regions of Camgib, Seirf and Ekoc, which their family had brought together over 70 years. It was a convincing, subtle conceit: the look of the objects, the way they were exhibited and the barely comprehensible catalogue essays had an authentic feel. Equally, burgers, chips and the face of Ronald MacDonald were prominent in the carvings, and it didn't take long to reverse the country names to make Big Mac, fries and Coke. The works, beautifully made, also contained references to 20th-century western art, and encouraged you to ponder cultural appropriation and illicit collecting.
Hirst’s assemblage is a similar conceit. The letters of the slave’s name rearrange to read ‘I am fiction’. Critics have noticed in the sculptures the faces of pop stars and Hirst himself; Katie Ishtar ¥o-landi
looks like his friend Katie Keight. There are references to western art, from William Blake to Walt Disney. All this is done on a scale vastly exceeding that of the Chapman Family Collection.
Videos show huge antique works on the seabed. Independent travel websites offer tours of the wreck (‘Back on land’, says Travel Turkey Now, ‘we will explore Antioch, which is filled with hidden treasures of history and the birthplace of Cif Amotan’). Only Hirst, whose For the Love of God
– a diamond-studded human skull – now looks petite and subtle, could have afforded such an artistic extravaganza.
Critics’ immediate response was often one of confusion: were we supposed to believe in Cif Amotan II, or not? In the Times
Rachel Campbell-Johnston thought it ‘absurd’, ‘some mad, monomaniacal version of the British Museum,’ and suspected an attempt by the venue-owner to revive the market value of his own collection. In the Telegraph
Alastair Sooke wrote of ‘Hirst’s Waterworld; in other words, a flop’; it was ‘tawdry and low-rent, tinny and fake.’ A tweet on press day that described Hirst's ‘new cheesy sculptures in Venice’ as ‘the *perfect* decoration for Trump's Mar-a-Lago’ received over 3,000 ‘likes’.
By contrast, Karen Wright gave the show five stars in the Independent
(‘for the fertile imagination and its strident demands for suspension of our belief’). In the Observer
Laura Cumming wrote of a show that was ‘by turns marvellous and beautiful, prodigious, comic and monstrous.’ A delighted Jonathan Jones, a critic who understands archaeology like no other, wrote in the Guardian
of a ‘titanic return to form.’ ‘Why 100 objects?’ asks Waldemar Januszczak In the Sunday Times.
Because, says Hirst, ‘it’s like that thing Neil MacGregor FSA
did on the radio: A History of the World in 100 Objects.’
Tate bought The Chapman Family Collection.
It’s unlikely ever to have funds to acquire Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable
– or the space – and, warned the Economist
(saying ‘Mr Hirst’s dealers have been offering sculptures from the show for between $500,000 and $5m’) the market has yet to absorb Hirst’s earlier works. I haven’t seen it, but I’d be pleased to hear from any Fellows who have – about the exhibition, individual works, and the thoughts it all inspires.
Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable
is at the Punta della Dogana and the Palazzo Grassi, Venice, until 3 December. Photo from the Times
© Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.
Letters From Baghdad
Gertrude Bell FSA
’s remarkable story as diplomat and archaeologist in the Middle East, where she helped draw the borders of Iraq and founded the Baghdad Museum, is attracting growing public interest, making her one of the Society’s best known Fellows (her Wikipedia entry would benefit from attention, as it makes no reference to her Fellowship – she was one of the first group of women to be elected, in response to the Sex Disqualification Act 1919). There have been at least three recent biographies, and Nicole Kidman played Bell in Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert
(2015). Rotten Tomatoes
found 28 of 31 reviews of this film ‘rotten’, summarising the critical response thus: ‘Queen of the Desert
unites some undeniably talented professionals, but it's difficult to discern what drew them together – or understand how its compelling real-life story became such a muddled mess.’
There is no mess or muddle in Letters From Baghdad
, an ingenious new documentary film
about Bell’s life and work which relies entirely on archive texts, and film and photography which has been impressively retouched and brought to life with perceptive dubbing (lengthy acknowledgements include thanks to the owners of 23 private collections, 36 archivists and 14 academic advisors, as well as an even longer institutional archive list, and Janet Wallach, whose biography inspired the making of the film). The only new footage shows actors addressing the viewer in their characters’ words taken from correspondence or other records, and occasional motion shots of details such as a pen scribbling. We see Bell herself only in archival images, while Tilda Swinton voices from her letters what is in effect a narrative.
It could have been worthy but dry, but it works wonderfully; a similar approach is adopted in a new Oscar-nominated film, I Am Not Your Negro
, in which James Baldwin’s words are voiced by actor Samuel L Jackson. Sensitive and ruthless editing – a danger for would-be Bell biographers is being overwhelmed by the amount of detail available – has produced an engaging and enjoyable film, with touches of humour, drama and tragedy that find their own place rather than being imposed. Bell’s gender is also cleverly handled. We are left in no doubt that she was treated differently from men, especially by the British, often to her disadvantage and sometimes to her benefit: but being a woman is not allowed to define her. Among the rewards from an extraordinary amount of archive film is a world filled with domestic and street scenes, and women, children and men of all ages, escaping the clichés of undiluted deserts and Bedouin warriors. For researchers and academics, this is a case study in the imaginative use of archives. For a wider audience it could be the introduction to Gertrude Bell to inspire a greater appreciation of her achievements.
The film closes with a reading from her last letter, written to her father, describing her delight at the opening of the museum in Baghdad. She died, says the caption, two days before her 58th birthday, from an overdose of sleeping pills. Directed by Zeva Oelbaum and Sabine Krayenbühl, the film premiered in the UK at the BFI London Film Festival last year, and was released in UK cinemas on 21 April.
The Extraordinary Gertrude Bell: A story of adventure, discovery and political intrigue
, is at Kirkleatham Museum, Kirkleatham, Redcar until 14 May.
Two Feet in the Past
In the last Salon I wrote about Marengo, a horse alleged to have been at Napoleon’s side (if not underneath him) at Waterloo, whose remains have been restored for a new display at the National Army Museum, Chelsea. It seemed that two of the hooves were missing, but exactly where they both were was unclear.
‘I have had a few dinners at St James's Palace with the Coldstream Guards,’ wrote Tim Schadla-Hall FSA, ‘when they have been on duty at Buckingham Palace, and I think the hoof you refer to – or one of them – is converted into a snuff box and is part of the regimental silver.’ This fitted my conclusion, but what of the other?
A few days later, Schadla-Hall emailed again, having asked Charles Foinette, an Army officer and Co-Founder and Trustee of Waterloo Uncovered. Searching for photos, Foinette opened a current copy of The Guards Magazine to see a feature headed, no less, ‘Marengo’s hooves.’ Christopher Joll’s article sets out the essential facts about this story.
Marengo was injured at Waterloo and left for dead, writes Joll, but Lieutenant Petre of the 5th Dragoon Guards recognised the Imperial brand on the horse’s flank, and saved him from the butchers. After entertaining London society, Marengo was sold to Captain William Angerstein of the Grenadier Guards, and died in 1831. Petre gave the skeleton to the museum of the Royal United Services Institution. It was transferred to the newly established National Army Museum in 1947.
‘In the years following Marengo’s death,’ writes Joll, ‘the lack of his two front trotters allowed many regiments to claim that they had one of them – usually on the basis that the unit had fought at Waterloo – and it was only recently that Marengo’s actual front hooves emerged once again into the limelight.’
They were both retained by Colonel Angerstein, says Joll, who had them shod in silver and converted into snuff boxes. He presented one to the Officers of the Brigade of Guards (left in photo), who placed it in the Officers Mess of the Queen’s Guard at St James’s Palace, where it sits every day at lunch in front of the Captain of The Queen’s Guard (and on occasion in the presence of Schadla-Hall).
Angerstein kept the other hoof (right in photo) for himself. A few years ago a direct descendant found it in a kitchen drawer, since when it has been loaned for display in the Household Cavalry Museum. In September last year, for the first time in 175 years, the two hooves were reunited during filming for a pilot BBC TV programme.
Joll’s article can be read in full on The Guards Magazine’s website.
Fellows (and Friends)
Peter Pope FSA
, archaeologist and historian, died in April.
Paul Robinson FSA
, museum curator and numismatist, died in April.
Appreciations appear in Fellows Remembered below. The section also contains further notices on the late Dai Morgan Evans FSA,
the late Peter Gibson FSA,
the late Roy Haines FSA,
the late Ivor Noël Hume FSA
and the late Charles Truman FSA
A set of ornate 18th-century ironwork railings will stay in the UK if a buyer can be found with £305,000. Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed a temporary export bar
on the railings, which once surrounded Chesterfield House, the London residence of the 4th Earl of Chesterfield. The railings are believed to have been supplied by Jean Montigny, a French Catholic immigrant who specialised in wrought iron, for the 1st Duke of Chandos’s remarkable house, Cannons, in Edgware, in the 1720s. They were then acquired and modified for Chesterfield House in the late 1740s. Philippa Glanville FSA
, a member of the reviewing Committee, said in a press release, ‘this set of railings vividly demonstrates how noblemen adorned the exteriors of their London palaces as richly as their interiors. These are rare survivors and exemplify the peak of wrought ironwork, one of the glories of 18th-century patronage in Britain.’
The artist Richard Long – whose work features in a major outdoor exhibition at Houghton Hall, Norfolk, opening on 30 April – made an early name for himself by photographing ephemeral traces left when he walked in remote landscapes. Now a young Cardiff artist and stoneworker, Beatrice Searle, is taking a bit of landscape on a walk with her. As she travels to Norway from Orkney and back again, she is wheeling a 30kg slab of Devonian siltstone
, across the mainland, by boat via Shetland to Oslo and on foot to Trondheim. She has carved two simple footprints into the stone, inspired by a boulder in a church on South Ronaldsway, known as St Magnus’ Boat or the Ladykirk stone, which has a pair of feet carved into its surface; they could be anything from Neolithic to post-Medieval in date – Searle thinks they are Pictish. ‘In the current climate of mass, often forced, migration,’ she told the Orcadian
in February, ‘carrying part of a beloved landscape or homeland takes on an additional and important resonance.’
Footprints appear in Moving stories: three journeys
, a small exhibit off the main entrance to the British Museum (until 30 April) which I noted in the last Salon
. Visitors can stand among the prints left by an earlier human species at Happisburgh, Norfolk, nearly a million years ago, as the tide laps over them. This is a clever animation using record photos of the discovery. It is flanked by Ali’s Boat
, a graphic book by Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, and projections from an interview with the late Édouard Glissant. Holly Wright, Project Assistant: The Asahi Shimbun Displays talks about Ali’s Boat
to Venetia Porter, Curator of Islamic and contemporary Middle East art, in the latest BM blog
. The display came about through conversations with the Museum’s Director, Hartwig Fischer FSA
. ‘How can we learn from the long-term movements of people, often against all odds?’ says Fisher. ‘It is through this study of people over time and across the globe, that we learn more about the impact of migration and people’s ability to adapt to and shape a new world.’ ‘Happisburgh tells of a metaphoric journey,’ adds Nick Ashton FSA
, ‘where people have crossed the natural boundaries of their known world. It is a story of survival in a harsh environment, but also one of opportunity.’
Harvey Sheldon FSA
, says Jack Malvern in the Times
(17 April), is planning an £8 million project to excavate what survives of the Rose Theatre in London, and open a visitor centre. Sheldon led an excavation in 1989 which resulted in international protest about the fate of newly discovered remains of one of Shakespeare’s best known stages. A new office building was adapted to preserve the remains in situ, and the high-profile controversy was instrumental in paving the way for the present system of planning and archaeology. The site has been acquired by WPP, an advertising agency, and is likely to be redeveloped. A third of the theatre’s floor and foundations are thought to be in the ground, as yet unexamined. There would be public viewing platforms at the excavation ‘for a considerable time’. ‘We want a performance space’, added Sheldon, ‘so that we would be returning the site to its original function on Bankside.’
The future of a proposed new art gallery in Swindon, Wiltshire, was unclear after the resignation of the Trust’s Director and rumours that the Chairman had also considered leaving. Hadrian Ellory-van Dekker, former Head of Collections and Chief Curator at the Science Museum, London, was appointed Director and Chief Executive of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust in February last year. The Trust aims to fund and build a £22 million gallery, designed by Make Architects, to house the town’s significant art collection, and create a new ‘cultural quarter’. On 13 April the Swindon Advertiser reported
that Ellory-van Dekker was unhappy about relationships with the Council and a lack of public support for the project. Chairman of Trustees, Robert Hiscox, is said to have told colleagues he too would resign, but was persuaded to remain. A popular petition has called for the gallery and museum to be housed in old railway Carriage Works rather than a new build.
, Britain’s first iron-clad battleship, was built in 1860 as Queen Victoria’s deterrent against a rumoured French invasion. She now attracts 330,000 visitors a year at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. The Warrior Preservation Trust, owner and preserver of the ship, has merged with the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Dominic Tweddle FSA
, Director General of the National Museum, said in a press release, ‘Warrior
is a fantastic ship which tells an incredibly important part of our naval story and we are very excited to welcome her into our fleet. We congratulate the Warrior Preservation Trust for the brilliant job it has done in saving her and in caring for her thus far, but both our Boards of Trustees now feel that being part of a National Museum which cares for the national collection of historic naval vessels is the right way to go in view of Warrior’s national significance.’ A £4.2m conservation project on the upper deck, funded with Heritage Lottery Fund money, is due for completion by Easter 2018. Photo Wikipedia.
on 19 April that IS gunmen had attacked a police checkpoint outside St. Catherine's Monastery in Sinai. The shooting at the sixth-century World Heritage Site came just over a week after suicide bombers attacked two Christian churches in the Nile Delta city of Tanta and the coastal city of Alexandria, killing 45 people on Palm Sunday.
Iain Gordon Brown FSA
has revised and expanded his edition of David Hume’s My Own Life
, a remarkable autobiography which Hume wrote shortly before his death in 1776. This second edition, says Brown, is completely revised with much new material incorporated, making what constitutes the first ‘scholarly’ edition of a highly significant and nuanced text even more valuable. The new edition appears exactly 240 years after the original publication in March 1777, as The Life of David Hume, Esquire. Written by Himself
. Since 1987 the Hume Papers have been on deposit in the National Library of Scotland, where (until retirement in 2011) Brown was Principal Curator of Manuscripts. • Brown says he demitted office as Curator of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (Scotland’s national academy) on 31 March. The post goes back to the foundation of the Royal Society, a product of the great age of the Scottish Enlightenment, in 1783. Brown had occupied it for four and a half years.
In his latest letter to the Times
(17 April), Peter Saunders FSA
, Curator Emeritus, the Salisbury Museum, warns that ‘Political correctness too often challenges opportunities to educate.’ He refers to the Museum of Childhood in Edinburgh, where it has been suggested that golliwog toys might be removed from display, and Rhodes’s Oriel College statue and the use of the name of Edward Colston, a slave trader, in pubic buildings in Bristol, both of which have caused concern. ‘Golliwogs now embarrass because of their racist overtone,’ he writes, ‘but they are a reminder of how far the nation’s attitude has changed for the better. We should celebrate that, using them to explain to children why, not hide them away.’
The British Museum and the Natural History Museum have both announced new interactive virtual reality projects. The BM is working with Oculus
to create a VR tour of the museum, and has published a demonstration video; the ‘full VR experience’ will launch in May, starting with galleries of ancient Egyptian and Assyrian sculpture and Egyptian mummies. A technically more ambitious venture at the NHM will see David Attenborough FSA
host a VR tour of specimens promised to combine video game technology with documentary-style storytelling. The museum’s partner is content studio Factory 42, and the tour will be the first ‘chapter’ in a Sky VR series called Hold the World
Last year Bishop’s Castle Community College, Shropshire, was given an old piano, a Broadwood & Sons upright made in 1906. A tuner (who happens to be an amateur archaeologist) found a collection of packages hidden inside: they contained 913 gold sovereigns and half-sovereigns. The most recent coin was minted in 1915, and wrapping – which included part of a Shredded Wheat box – suggested they had not been concealed before the late 1920s. The piano’s previous owners knew nothing about the hoard, and a public announcement, which naturally brought out many chancers, failed to identify the source of the coins. On 20 April the hoard was declared Treasure. Saffron Walden Museum, in the piano’s home town in Essex, is interested in acquiring ‘a small element’ of the hoard. Ian Richardson, Treasure Registrar, has written a British Museum blog
about the story.
The Times reported
on 20 April that Theresa May, the Prime Minister, was ‘being forced’ to compromise on how overseas students are represented in immigration statistics. In her bid to reduce immigration into the UK, May has said such students should be counted as migrants, but universities and many politicians are concerned that doing so will hit universities with a significant fall in high-fee applications. Already, the most recent figures show the lowest recorded estimate since 2002: 134,000 international students arrived in the UK in 2015–16, down from 175,000 the previous year. In March the House of Lords passed an amendment stating that no student could ‘be treated for public policy purposes as a long-term migrant to the UK, for the duration of their studies’. Now preparing for a snap general election, the Prime Minister, says the Times
, is ‘ready to soften her longstanding opposition to taking foreign students out of immigration totals.’
‘It really was a revolutionary idea,’ Julius Bryant FSA
tells Richard Brooks in the Sunday Times
(23 April). Henry Cole’s idea was a 250ft spiral tower as the centre of the emerging Victoria and Albert Museum, where a new extension is soon to open. It didn't happen, but an 1868 watercolour survives, showing a seaside-like spectacle. The illustration features in Designing the V&A
, a free exhibition curated by Bryant (6 May–31 December), which explores the history of the V&A's buildings through drawings and photos. The subject is further elaborated in Bryant’s book, Designing the V&A: The Museum as a Work of Art (1857–1909).
The book, says the blurb, is the first to consider the V&A as a work of art in itself, presenting drawings, watercolours and historic photographs relating to the Museum's 19th-century interiors. Much of this visual material is previously unpublished and is outside the canon of Victorian art and design.
Historic England’s campaign to track down missing public art has led to the discovery
of The Sunbathers
by Peter Laszlo Peri, created for the 1951 Festival of Britain. A couple visiting HE’s exhibition Out There: Our Post-War Public Art
at Somerset House last year recognised the sculpture from photos as one that they had seen in the garden of The Clarendon Hotel in Blackheath. The figures had originally been mounted on the wall of the Festival’s Waterloo Station Gate entrance on York Road. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to restore the work and return it to display on the South Bank.
Christine Finn FSA
has received a Woodberry Poetry Room Creative Grant 2017–2018 for Time-Tell: An Excavation into Seamus Heaney’s Recordings
. Jointly funded by the WPR, a special collections room of the library system at Harvard University, and Harvard’s Heaney Suite at Adams House, Finn will work with the Poetry Room’s extensive collection of Heaney recordings. She has lectured widely on archaeology as inspiration to Heaney and has produced two BBC radio programmes on the subject. During this ‘sonic dig’, she will create ‘another audio artefact out of layerings of words and traces of voices,’ meeting Adams House students in the room where Heaney lived and wrote during his years at Harvard.
Nathalie Cohen FSA
and Jo Flatman FSA
were among scientifically minded archaeologists who joined a protest march in London on 22 April (here outside the site of the V&A’s new extension), in aid of highlighting the importance of scientific evidence in public debate and the number of people who actually care about it. ‘Archaeological Scientists are marching because we've seen global stupidity again, and again, over the millennia,’ tweeted Jane Sidell. The London march was said to be one of hundreds around the world.
David Clark FSA
has sent Salon
a copy of a leaflet he picked up at the Whitechapel Road bell foundry which, he says, ‘sets out a somewhat more optimistic view of the future’. The foundry site is due to close in May after nearly three centuries of operation with a business that opened in the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. The statement (which can also be seen online
) says the Grade II* listed buildings will be respected and repaired by the buyer. The foundry name and the sound of the bells will be perpetuated by the Westley Group Ltd. As reported earlier, the London Metropolitan Archives will curate the archives.
The two-volume 2,248-page Cambridge Guide to the Worlds of Shakespeare
, published in January 2016, has now received four awards. This January it was announced as the winner of the American Library Association’s Outstanding Academic Title of 2016. At the same time, the Library Journal
chose it as Outstanding Print Reference Work of 2016 (Humanities). It has also won two PROSE awards from the American Association of Publishers: overall award for Excellence in Reference Works, and category award for Multivolume Reference/Humanities & Social Sciences. Fellows who contributed include Karen Hearn FSA, Paula Henderson FSA, Grace Ioppolo FSA
and Nigel Llewellyn FSA
– and probably others in the enormous list (you know where to write). A subscription website Cambridge Shakespeare, with this Guide
, Emma Smith’s concise Cambridge Shakespeare Guide
, and the entire New Cambridge Shakespeare
, is expected to launch by the end of the year.
An exhibition provisionally titled Faith and Society
(2 November–18 April 2018) will be the fourth collaborative project between the British Museum, the BBC and Penguin, once again with Neil MacGregor FSA
at the helm. The exhibition will look at what objects reveal about the role and expression of beliefs in the lives of individuals and communities through time and around the world, ranging from over 100,000 years ago to the present. MacGregor has spoken to Richard Brooks about the project (Times
16 April). In the course of recording a 30-part radio series, MacGregor has been to Newgrange in Ireland and Udvada in Gujarat, and is due to visit Jerusalem. ‘Societies have always had their belief structures and rituals,’ says MacGregor. ‘Hopefully this exhibition, radio series and book will tell people, through seeing objects and hearing stories, the history we don’t really learn about in school, but a history we need, to comprehend our world now.
Hartwig Fischer FSA
, Director of the British Museum, has given a rare interview to the Times
(21 April). Before Fischer, says Damian Whitworth, Neil MacGregor FSA
‘inherited a museum with a deficit, a dusty image and poor morale and transformed it over 14 years, boosting its visitor numbers by 40 per cent to more than six million a year.’ Whitworth finds Fischer similar to MacGregor in his ‘love of the big picture and of explaining parallels between the old and the new’, and in the scale of his ambitions. His key target, says Fischer, is the permanent collections, where ‘most people come’ and ‘the achievements of [MacGregor’s leadership] are not being reflected in the display.’ ‘A walk round the museum’, he adds, ‘should be like a journey, you should be able to cross the border very easily into another culture and understand that they inspired each other.’ Photo Times.
Peter Pope FSA
died on 4 April aged 70. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in May 2007.
He studied for his MA at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, in 1986. He began teaching in the Department of History at Memorial, moving to pursue postdoctoral research and teaching at Université Laval in Québec. He returned to Memorial in 1996 to join the Archaeology Unit. He was cross-appointed to the Department of History, and eventually became Head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology; he held the position of University Research Professor between 2008–13, and was made Honorary Research Professor in 2015.
Brynn Tapper, a former Memorial student, sent this tribute, saying Pope will be greatly missed by his colleagues and students:
‘Peter’s academic interests focused on the historical archaeology of the early modern Atlantic world, with a particular emphasis on the European fisheries of the New World. He completed his doctorate at Memorial University (1992) with a focus on the 17th-century English colony of Ferryland.
‘Peter’s influence extended beyond the boundaries of the university, particularly in his firm commitment to community-based archaeology. From 2000 to 2005 he directed the Newfoundland Archaeological Heritage Outreach Program, a Community-University Research Alliance sponsored by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). This promoted community archaeology projects and helped provide hands-on experience for nearly 170 students in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.
‘From 2004 onwards, Peter directed the SSHRC-funded An Archaeology of the Petit Nord
, research committed to the investigation of the archaeology and maritime cultural landscapes of the historic French, seasonal, shore-based, salt-cod fishery in northern Newfoundland. This project has greatly increased our current knowledge of the early history of the region’s once extensive French migratory fishery, and has been the inspiration for ten master’s and doctoral theses pursued by his graduate students. As a teacher and mentor Peter has influenced generations of archaeologists and historians who passed through Memorial University’s programmes. He was diligent, scrupulous and supportive, bringing out the very best qualities in his students.
‘An incredibly productive scholar, Peter’s academic achievements are widely respected. In 2001, he was the recipient of the President’s Award for Outstanding Research, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2012. Peter was an award-winning author too, earning critical acclaim for his meticulous works The Many Landfalls of John Cabot
(1997) and Fish into Wine: The Newfoundland Plantation in the Seventeenth Century
(2004). The latter was recognised with the 2004 John Lyman Book Award in Canadian Naval and Maritime History (North American Society for Oceanic History), the 2005 Clio Award (Atlantic Region of the Canadian Historical Association), and an Honourable Mention for the Sir John A Macdonald Prize.’
‘It was with great sadness’, writes Michael Batt FSA
, ‘that my wife (Christine Jablonski) and I learnt of Peter's death. We first met him and his wife Geneviève in 2004 on his visit to Brittany during his hunt for the origins of ceramics he had identified on Newfoundland. He showed us a rim sherd from Ferryland. asking “do you recognise this?” – which we did from its distinctive fabric. So we took him down to Saint-Jean-la-Poterie where there was a rescue excavation underway on a 13th-century kiln. Some 100 metres away we showed him a pile of wasters from the post-Medieval productions of Saint-Jean. He found exact matches to his sherd – “this discovery has paid for my trip over!!” We published a paper in Post-Medieval Archaeology
in 2008, on Breton earthenwares in Newfoundland. We remained in contact since.
‘In 2013 Peter contributed to an important exposition here in Rennes, Terre-Neuve/Terre-Neuvas, l'aventure de la Pêche Morutière
. Later, my wife, who visits Saint-Pierre and Miquelon regularly, met up with Peter in Saint John's. He guided her and her colleagues to Ferryland and other Newfoundland sites. Peter was present at a meeting on Saint-Pierre and Miquelon in 2016 to commemorate the return of the islands to France in 1816. He certainly opened new horizons to both of us with respect to North American archaeology and the archaeology of the early European settlements. He will be greatly missed by us.’
Mack Furlong, an actor, writer and radio presenter, commented
that ‘Peter was enthusiastic about everything and knowledgeable about most of it. If he didn't know, he would ask questions until he found out more. A poet, playwright, woodworker, carpenter, renovator, architect, saxophonist, farmer, gardener, antique auto fan, educator, historian, archaeologist, and bon vivant, Peter was the smartest person I ever met.’
In 2012, faced with what the Canadian Archaeological Association
called ‘draconian cuts’ under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper, which would result in ‘a massive reduction [in] archaeologists and conservators’, Pope wrote a striking protest letter. Only a few years later it has a wider resonance.
‘The cuts planned for Parks Canada’, he said, ‘and other federal agencies and departments responsible for Canadian heritage, such as the Canadian Museum of Civilization and Library and Archives Canada, are shameful.’ ‘There are many angry Canadian these days,’ he concluded. ‘Some are angry about what happened to Statistics Canada. Some are angry about what happened to CBC. Some about the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, some about Search and Rescue. All of these policy blunders have bothered me, but I am a Professor of Archaeology and felt that I ought to say plainly how the cuts to Parks Canada will irrevocably damage Canadians’ access to their own heritage… If, by chance, a fellow Canadian follows this letter to this point, I would ask you to join those who would retrieve our sense of community, our sense of fairness and our sense that it is one of government’s duties to [help] citizens remain informed about our present, our past and our future.’
Paul Robinson FSA
died on 7 April aged 74. He was elected a Fellow of the Society in November 1982. Born in Berkshire, he studied Ancient History and Archaeology at Birmingham University, gaining a PhD there in 1967. He then took the post of Assistant Curator at Stafford Borough Museum, later becoming Curator. He arrived at Devizes Museum (now the Wiltshire Museum) as Assistant Curator in 1974. He rose to Curator in 1985, succeeding Ken Annable FSA
, soon after the museum had won the Museum of the Year award.
When he retired in 2008, from a museum whose entire holdings had been designated as outstanding in the first year of a national government scheme, he had been at the heart of Wiltshire archaeology and history for over three decades. ‘Over the years’, he told the Wiltshire Gazette
in 2008, ‘there have been opportunities to work in Belfast, Glasgow and Liverpool, but the prospect of going to work in a big, dirty city did not attract me. You can't ask for a better place to live and work than in Wiltshire.’
David Dawson FSA
, Director, Wiltshire Museum, describes Robinson as ‘a generous and helpful colleague. I remember him welcoming me to the museum with my fellow Durham students when we were on a field trip to prehistoric Wessex. He proudly shared his infectious enthusiasm for the museum and its collections. The local newspaper marked his retirement with a photo of him with his favourite object in the collections, a Neolithic axe made of jadeite brought to Wessex from the northern Italian Alps.
‘Paul was the author of almost 50 books and papers, ranging from notes about recent finds for the Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine
) to an article on the Bush Barrow gold lozenge in Antiquity
. Since his retirement, he continued to research and publish, and on his last visit to the museum was preparing a report on a Roman coin hoard.
‘Paul’s many achievements for the museum included creating new Bronze Age and Medieval galleries, securing the nationally important Box hoard of rare Medieval coins, and acquiring the important volume of Philip Crocker watercolours prepared for the publication of Sir Richard Colt Hoare’s History of Ancient Wiltshire
(1812). It was while he was Curator that the museum was awarded its status as a Designated Museum by the Government in recognition of its nationally important collections. This opened many doors for the museum including funding for documentation of the collections and setting up the online database.’
Sam Moorhead FSA
, now Finds Adviser for Iron Age and Roman coins at the British Museum, was a student intern at Devizes Museum in 1982. He remembers Robinson as a man whose knowledge and expertise covered an enormous range:
‘Paul was of a generation of scholar curators who could identify and publish material from the Palaeolithic to the modern period. While presiding over the display of the world famous Bronze Age collection, with the Cunnington and Colt Hoare material at its core, he generated the content and texts for a new Stone Age gallery in the early 1980s, and played the lead role in the display’s physical development, donning his ‘warehouseman’ coat while wielding a wide array of tools and materials. He also developed the subsequent Roman and Medieval displays, and played a major role in the building of the new extension in the early 1980s, with the Piper Window as its central feature.
‘Paul maintained an excellent rapport with the public. People brought in finds from their gardens or elsewhere, which he recorded in his meticulous and distinctive handwriting in his Day Book
, in itself a vital archive. He reached out to the metal-detector community when it was not fashionable to do so, enabling the recording of many thousands of objects and resulting in responsible detecting by many people a good decade before the foundation of the Portable Antiquities Scheme. This has resulted in some important publications and bequests to the museum. He was also very supportive of amateur archaeologists, helping to maintain a reliable volunteer team and encouraging the work of an Archaeology Field Group.
‘Paul would probably not object to be called “acquisitive” – he thought adding to the collection was core to a museum curator’s function, and would visit the weekly market in Devizes in search of worthy curios. Consequently the Wiltshire Museum can boast many important acquisitions in recent decades, including Iron Age coins and several Roman coin hoards, such as those from Aldbourne, Stanchester and Bishops Cannings. Probably the most important coins were 20 from the Box hoard, secluded during the civil war between Stephen and Matilda. He was the first to see the hoard and immediately realised its significance, with numerous new pieces struck for major figures in the conflict. Size-wise, at the other end of the spectrum was the acquisition of a massive Medieval church bell which still adorns the museum foyer.
‘Paul published articles and notes on all types of material in WAM
and specialist journals such as the British Numismatic Journal
; he made a major contribution on Roman religion in Roman Wiltshire and After: Papers in Honour of Ken Annable
(2001). One of his most important contributions to scholarship was the identification of a distinct group of Iron Age coins which emanate from east Wiltshire, and now occupy three pages in the standard reference, Ancient British Coinage
. He was working on Iron Age coins found at Urchfont for publication in the next WAM
, at the same time taking great interest in scientific analysis of Palaeolithic handaxes in Devizes.
‘Paul was incredibly helpful to scholars and researchers, from students, and graduates hoping to make a career in the field, through to leading names in archaeology. His knowledge of the collection, library and extensive archive meant that he could bring to light material that would otherwise lie unnoticed. He was always patient and kind to researchers, however demanding they might be. He also gave some vital advice, for example stating that one should only ever renumber a catalogue once.
‘He was a very quiet and modest man, and never wished to put himself in the limelight. In an age of constant publicity which requires people who can promote themselves, Paul just got on with the job that he did so well; we are much richer for it because he has left us a legacy of curation and scholarship which will benefit generations to come.
'Paul was always well informed about what was ‘happening’ in Wiltshire, and tea breaks in Pit Dwellings
, the communal office on the museum’s top floor, were often enlivened by his anecdotes. He chose his words carefully and never said more than he needed to. However, this in no way diminishes the episode when the sexton of Potterne Church arrived in Pit Dwellings
one morning in 1982. The conversation went something like this:
‘Sexton, pulling a bronze age gold bracelet from his pocket: “I found this whilst digging a grave a few days ago.”
‘Paul, in state of amazement: “Oh.”
‘Sexton: “Yes, I thought it wasn’t anything special, so I threw it away on the ground nearby.”
‘Paul, face turning to a look of horror: “Oh.”
‘Sexton: “But at the end of the day I thought it might be something so I put it in my pocket.”
‘Paul, looking slightly more relieved: “Oh.”
‘Sexton: “I forgot about it and my wife found it in the washing machine.”
‘Sexton: “I said it was just old brass and to throw it away.”
‘Paul, look of horror returning: “Oh.”
‘Sexton: “But my wife said it might be gold and took it to the jeweller who scratched it on the inside and said it was.”
‘Paul, jumping slightly: “Oh…”
‘Paul subsequently acquired the bracelet, one of only a few of its type known, for the museum. Its discovery was the catalyst for Christopher Gingell’s vital excavations in Potterne in the 1980s.’
There will be a Thanksgiving service at 3 pm on Friday 28 April in St Mary’s Church, Potterne (SN10 5LZ). Everyone who would like to come is invited to the village hall for refreshments after the service.
Howard Williams FSA
has written an obituary for Dai Morgan Evans FSA
, who died in March
. Under the headline, ‘Archaeologist who advised on the design of a replica Roman villa for the Channel 4 series Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day’ (Guardian 17 April
), Williams says that ‘Dai was willing to suffer with good humour some of the wildly unhistorical aspects of the TV series because of his belief in the value of experimental archaeology – finding out by doing – and public archaeology – communicating research and ideas to a wide audience. The house at what the Romans knew as Viroconium – once the fourth largest city in Britain – remains open to the public.’
‘Regarded as a maverick in the civil service,’ he writes, ‘with an impatience about needless bureaucracy and a quick temper, Dai was a surprise choice in 1992 as general secretary of the Society of Antiquaries of London, of which he had been elected a fellow only three years earlier.
‘However, its then president, Barry Cunliffe FSA
, wanted a moderniser. Besides making the Society more welcoming, Dai encouraged young people in particular to use its library and research facilities and aspire to become fellows. He oversaw the installation of its first computer network and a series of talks by fellows and staff on objects from the society’s collection. He also ensured that 50% of the society’s governing council were women.’
Julian Litten FSA
writes with memories of Ivor Noël Hume FSA,
who died in February
‘The Temple of Mithras was not the last time we saw Noël Hume trowel in hand in the UK. In September 1981, as part of his hunt for an English version of the 17th-century, tapered gable-lidded wooden coffin he had recently excavated at Martin's Hundred, Virginia, he wrote to me asking for my assistance. That led to an eight-year association with Noël. We visited churches across the country looking at monuments by the Christmas Brothers and other sculptors incorporating sculptural representations of such coffins, to decide, in quite an arbitrary way, as to which might contain burial vaults with the least disturbance. In the end the lot fell on three vaults, that to the Sackville family at Withyham (Sussex), the Browne Vault at Steane (Northamptonshire) and the St John Vault at Lydiard Tregoze (Wiltshire). Warwick Rodwell FSA
had been extremely generous with his knowledge on the subject before Noël was advised to approach me, and we kept him in the picture throughout the project.
‘The late Earl De La Warr provided access to the Sackville Vault. Unfortunately, it had been remodelled in 1673, at which time the majority of the earlier coffins had been cleared; we did find a lead shell containing the remains of Lady Margaret Howard (d 1591) of the style we were looking for, but considered it imprudent and unnecessary to open it to examine the inner wooden coffin.
‘In 1985 we were granted a faculty to examine the St John Vault at Lydiard Tregoze, on the strength of the three gable-lidden wooden coffins depicted in the 1615 St John Triptych. Again we were thwarted, for this vault had been extensively “tidied” in the late 18th century, when all of the earlier coffins and human remains had been deposited in a brick cistern at the west end of the vault.
‘Our third and final attempt, in 1989, was to take up the floor adjacent to the monument to Temperance Browne (d 1635) at Steane. But, again, we were to be disappointed, for there was neither vault nor brick grave, just a few disarticulated bones. As Noël was to predict, “Your fear that Temperance Brown may sleep in a flat-lidded coffin is one that I share and which rises to haunt me in the depths of the night.” We never achieved our goal and, apart from the well-preserved fragments of the wooden coffin of William Averie (d. 608) excavated at St Peter's, Exton, Somerset in 1984, nothing similar to that found at Martin's Hundred has come to light.
‘The eight “summer seasons” I spent with Noël, often in terribly cramped, damp subterranean conditions, taught me much about practical funerary archaeology. As an archaeologist he was speedy, always giving a running commentary on what he was doing and what he was seeing, and had an outstanding knowledge of the subject. Most of all I enjoyed his stories, especially those of working in the City of London after the Blitz, how disturbed he was to be in charge of the destruction of so many property conveyances, ledgers, day-books and account books when clearing bombed buildings to get to the archaeological sites beneath, and the twinkle in his eye when he told me of the day that he was put in charge of disposing of the contents of a wine-shipper's cellar, adding that “Not many of those bottles went the way of all flesh, dear boy!”
‘But, above all, I remember him as a generous scholar, anxious to share his knowledge, but never in a pompous or arrogant way. On the early visits his first wife, Audrey, would accompany us, and her death came as a great sadness to him. However, Carol, his second wife, who shared the enthusiasm of an antiquary, is to be credited for encouraging Noël to continue writing well into his last years. On a more personal note, he enjoyed fine food, warm English ale, warm English summers and English courtesy. We last met in 1994, when he came to London to receive his OBE, but we corresponded – or spoke on the telephone – until about a year before his death. I shall miss his friendship greatly, and that he taught me so much of what I now know is, perhaps, his lasting legacy to me.’
Writing in the Guardian
(14 April) about Charlie Truman FSA
, who died in February
, John Adamson says that ‘running the silver department at Christie’s in London, its Russian department and that of objects of vertu – small, decorative pieces in precious metals – opened Charlie’s eyes to the art world from a new perspective.’ He had previously been Assistant Keeper of Ceramics at the V&A. At Christie’s, he ‘moved from being a curator of art to selling it, and proved to be very good at that too.’
‘For Charlie’, says Adamson, ‘scholarship was fun. He wore his learning lightly, his erudition always tinged with infectious enthusiasm and a mischievous sense of humour. He enjoyed cooking, travel and good company with his wife, Laura (nee Green), whom he had met in the late 1970s when she was head of events at the V&A.’
published an obituary on 4 April of Peter Gibson FSA
, who died in November
, under the heading, ‘Stained glass craftsman who rescued York Minster’s 16th-century Rose Window after a devastating fire in 1984.’
‘Asked whether he intended to continue the tradition of medieval craftsmen by inscribing his mark on his work,’ says the paper, ‘Gibson replied that he would not; it was enough to be one of the chain of people who had worked on the building down the centuries: “That is very special.”
‘Nevertheless one of the minster’s windows, the Tree of Jesse in the nave, is thought to contain a portrait of Gibson. It was done in 1950 by the glass painter Harry Stammers, whom Dean Milner-White had engaged to finish restoring glass removed for safety during the Second World War.’
Daniel Woolf FSA
writes from Queen's University, Kingston Ontario with fond memory of Roy Haines FSA
, who died in February
‘Roy was my (much) senior colleague at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, from 1987 (when he was 62 and I 28) until his retirement three or four years later. As the scholar working in an area (Tudor and Stuart England) immediately contiguous to his, I learned a great deal from him and, during one of his research leaves, found myself substituting for him on a late Medieval English history course. We lost contact after he retired back to England early in the 1990s, but I noted his continued productivity till virtually the end of his days.’
The Wisdom of Fellows
I noted in the last Salon
that three Fellows had appeared on the front covers of Radio Times
. I was delighted to hear from another so honoured, and here they are, David Attenborough FSA, Michael Wood FSA, Loyd Grossman FSA
and Lucy Worsley FSA
. The latter has appeared at least twice, and Attenborough's covers could form a collection in their own right. Any more?
Archaeology appeared as full texts in the Listener
, notes Lorna Watts/Rahtz FSA
, including ‘A Palace of the Kings of Wessex’ in which Rosemary Cramp FSA
talked to Philip Rahtz FSA
in 1962 (see his online bibliography
‘Disappointed to read that the Society does not feel a unified voice may be necessary on behalf of our discipline [of archaeology],’ writes Audrey Horning FSA
. ‘I hope that the membership may see things differently.’ Horning, Professor of Archaeology at Queen's University Belfast, was on a British Academy Steering Group (along with Graeme Barker FSA, Charlotte Roberts FSA, Chris Gosden FSA
and Kate Welham FSA
) for a series of discussions which led to Reflections on Archaeology
. This report suggests the need for a single authoritative voice for archaeology, and recommends that major stakeholder organisations find a joint solution to a problem it considers a threat to the health of the discipline. My apologies for not mentioning Horning in my previous note
Robert Waterhouse FSA
, Field Archaeologist, Société Jersiaise, would like to know what Fellows make of a curious stone from Scotland (below):
'This stone (approximately 26 inches wide) was discovered in the 1980s near Asloun Castle on the banks of the River Don at Bridge of Alford in Aberdeenshire. Its is believed to be ex-situ, probably having been disturbed or relocated during the construction of a small hydro-electric scheme in the 1920s. The inscription appears to be a palimpsest of at least two principal elements at right angles to each other, with some probable small additions. The finder and myself think we know what some of it means, but I would like to seek other opinions, so am not going to put ideas in anyone’s heads. Has anyone any ideas?’
Robert Merrillees FSA
enjoyed a video
presented by Elizabeth New FSA
about a medieval seal in the Society’s collections. As Robert (Stuart Merrillees) and son of John (Challman Merrillees), he writes, he has a kindred feeling for the 'Robert Son of John' matrix described by New:
‘While I cannot yet trace our family history back to this period, it is a reminder of how relatively modern in historical terms is our own use of surnames. Were it not for the adoption of “Merrilees” over two centuries ago, I might have been a Johnson. It is also salutary, from an archaeological perspective, to realise how few given names were customarily used in antiquity and how frequently they were recycled from generation to generation. This, for example, should have rendered immediately suspect the claim that a 2,000-year-old ossuary from the Oded Golan collection, bearing the inscription “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus,“ identified central figures in the New Testament. Leaving aside the box’s lack of provenance and doubts about the authenticity of the inscription, these names themselves were as common in the Biblical era as Robert and John have been in more recent times. Before the introduction of family names, they were, I venture to say, indicative of what Dr New describes as “ordinary men and women for whom so little evidence survives, and who are so often absent from historical narratives.” And it so happens that my wife, Parvine Helen Merrillees, and I have over the years made a special study of ancient seals from the Near East and Cyprus.’
Reading in the last Salon
that Bernard Nurse FSA
is working on a book based on the Gough topographic collection that would cover Britain outside London, Rob Poulton FSA
wondered if he had seen a view of Oatlands Palace:
‘When I was working on the excavations report (Excavations at Oatlands Palace 1968–73 and 1983–4,
2010),’ he writes, ‘one of the most important points of reference was the “Gough view” (right, c 1593), known as such from its ascription to his collection when copied for Manning and Bray's History of Surrey
(1804–14). Its current whereabouts are unknown and an enquiry a few years ago to the Bodleian was negative. The original might still have important information to add.’
Nurse responded that he had not yet come across the original view of Oatlands. Individual prints and drawings, he adds, are very poorly listed in a 19th-century Mss catalogue, and there are several places where such a view might be.
Forthcoming Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by watching our lecture recordings (visit the events page and filter the results list by choosing 'past events'). Unless indicated otherwise, tea will be served at 16.15, and the Meeting will commence at 17.00 precisely. Online ballots close at noon at the date of the scheduled ballot. At Ordinary Meetings, ballots open at 16.00 and close at 16.20. The results are read at the beginning of the Meeting.
27 April: Anniversary Meeting
The Anniversary Meeting will begin at 15.30 and is open to Fellows only. Tea is served at 16.15, followed by the President’s Address (including ballot results) at 17.00, and concludes with a Reception at 18.00. Guests are welcome to Tea, the President’s Address, and the Reception. Entry to the Reception is by ticket only (£10.00 per person). Please book in advance for the Reception. You may book online, call 020 7479 7080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
11 May: Miscellany of Papers and Summer Soirée
Fellows are invited to our annual summer meeting, where we will hear a miscellany of papers celebrating historic Fellows and Antiquarianism, followed by our Summer Soirée (with Pimm’s and wine). Admission to the soirée is by ticket only (£10, including VAT). Tickets can be purchased online at www.sal.org.uk/events, or by calling 020 7479 7080.
20 July: Private View of Blood Royal
Fellows are invited to join us on Thursday, 20 July, for a private view of the Society's summer exhibition Blood Royal: Picturing the Tudor Monarchy, which will open to the public on 25 July. Details (and booking information) will be available soon at www.sal.org.uk/events.
28 July: Fellows' Day at Kelmscott Manor
Details for Fellows' Day will be available on the website soon. Fellows (and family!) are invited to join us at Kelmscott Manor for a special opportunity to hear about our future plans, explore the Manor and its collections, and enjoy family-friendly activities.
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager (email@example.com). Please note that lecture programmes are planned between 6 and 12 months in advance.
Forthcoming Public Events
Public Lectures are held from 13.00 to 14.00 on Tuesdays. These lectures are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place. Details of forthcoming lectures can be found on the 'Events' page of the Society's website.
25 April: 'Hands Across Time: Medieval Fingerprints in Wax Seals' by Fellows Elizabeth New and Philippa Hoskin
16 May: 'The Vulliamy Clockmakers: Two Clocks in the Antiquaries’ Collection' by Fellows Jonathan Betts and Roger Smith
6 June: 'The Library of Saint Thomas Becket' by Fellow Christopher de Hamel
Click here for more information on our public lectures. We also run public tours of our building and collections (£10 per person) preceding the lectures above.
Society Dates to Remember
Join us for an introductory tour of Burlington House to learn more about the Society and its resources. Whether you're a new Fellow or just haven't been to Burlington House, this is a great opportunity to learn more about your Society, your Fellowship benefits, and ways to become more involved. Tours are free for Fellows, but booking is required: 11 May, 29 June.
Introductory Tours for Fellows
Burlington House Closures
Please note that the Society will be closed for the May Bank holidays on 1 May and 29 May 2017.
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/MvHUr
9 June 2017: Join us for lunch at the SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff, followed by a talk by Fellow David Jenkins (Principal Curator, Transport at the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea) on his lates book, I Hope to Have a Good Passage (the Business Letter Book of Captain Daniel Jenkins, 1902-1911). Contact Bob Child FSA (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings, email Bob Child at email@example.com.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, you can subscribe online at: http://eepurl.com/8nvxL
Other Forthcoming Heritage Events
April–July: Courses and Workshops in the Historic Environment (Oxford)
Oxford University Department for Continuing Education has a programme of courses at Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills for the historic environment, grounded in everyday working experience. These short practical courses are open to all, from historic environment professionals to members of the public with a keen interest in archaeology and historic buildings. The programme is endorsed by CIfA, the IHBC, the Archaeology Training Forum and FAME, and has been developed in conjunction with leading heritage practices. Courses are linked to the National Occupational Standards for Archaeology, and for Town Planning, Conservation and Building Control, and are widely accepted for continuous professional development. Details of National Occupational Standards. Full details can be found online.
8–10 May: Condition Surveys of Historic Buildings
15–16 May: Artefacts and Ecofacts in and out of the Field
18 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology
24 May: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction
7 June: Photographing Historic Buildings
20–21 June: Understanding Place: Historic Area Assessment
26 June: Archaeological Writing for Publication
5–7 July: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance.
25 April: North and South of the Loire: The Culture of Copying and the Rebirth of Sculpture (London)
The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland requests the pleasure of your company at its Annual Lecture at 5.30 pm at the Courtauld Institute of Art, to be given by Deborah Kahn FSA of Boston University. In one of his last articles George Zarnecki FSA, Deputy Director of the Courtauld from 1961–74, surveyed the iconographic kinship between the earliest Romanesque sculptures at Saint-Benoit-sur-Loîre, Bayeux and Toulouse. These far-flung similarities revealed a culture of copying that led to what may be regarded as a rebirth of architectural sculpture in these regions. The article still serves as the basis for further exploration of the visual relationships between the earliest monumental architectural sculpture and the role of copybooks and loose sketches in the transmission of motifs and iconography. The lecture will be followed by a reception hosted by the Research Forum of the Institute, sponsored by John Osborn. RSVP to Agata Gomolka at CRSBIcontact@gmail.com.
5–7 May: Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Reappraisals and Revisions (Oxford)
As the 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birth comes round in 2017, this weekend course at Rewley House combines reappraisal and contextualisation of his work from leading scholars, including the nature and extent of his impact in Britain from the 1920s to the present. This raises general questions about the nature of influence in architecture, the identification of national character in the modern period, and continued capacity of Wright to surprise us with his multiplicity of faces. A distinguished list of speakers includes Alan Powers FSA, and Paul Barnwell FSA is Director of Studies. See online for details.
6 May: The Foundations of Archaeology (Dinton)
This conference at Dinton Village Hall, Salisbury will explore the modern legacy of pioneering Cranborne Chase archaeologists Sir Richard Colt Hoare FSA, William Cunnington FSA and General Pitt-Rivers FSA. Speakers include Mike Allen FSA. The project is working with volunteers to help further investigate and evaluate archaeological sites associated with these pioneers in South Wiltshire and North East Dorset. Details online.
6 May: The Fruitful Body: Gender and Image (London)
The Women’s Studies Group 1558–1837 holds its annual workshop at the Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, WC1N 1AZ. Karen Hearn FSA, keynote speaker, will talk on ‘Women, agency and fertility in early modern British portraits.’ Early modern painted portraits are constructs (like literary texts). They result from choices – to include, to exclude – and were made for specific contexts and purposes. Hearn’s paper will consider 16th- and early-17th-century British portraits of women, and will address the types of information that they offer today. All participants are invited to prepare a contribution of no more than five minutes, from any discipline related to the speaker's subject, with 30 copies of any handouts. See online for further information.
May: Heritage Practice Training Programme
In partnership with Historic England the University of Leicester has developed a programme to deliver practical, technical and specialist skills for heritage professionals. Details online.
8 May: Specifying works on Historic Buildings: Conservation Approaches (at the Heritage Skills Centre, Lincoln Castle).
8–9 May: Managing our Military Heritage (at the University of Leicester and RAF Alconbury).
15–16 May: Digital Data & Archaeology (at the University of Leicester).
12–13 May: From Gandhāra to Gupta (London)
Nathan Hill (SOAS), Christian Luczanits (SOAS) and David Park FSA (Courtauld Institute) have organised a conference to be held at the Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, the Strand. Gandhāran art is well known for the Hellenistic legacy in its art and architecture, and its emergence and flourishing under the Kushan rulers has been the subject of numerous studies. Less attention has been paid to its gradual demise in the area covered by modern Pakistan and neighbouring regions, and to the transitional period from Kushan rule to the Gupta period. This conference aims to bring the academic discourse on this period up to date. Details online.
19–20 May: Thomas Rickman's Liverpool (Liverpool)
2017 marks the bicentenary of the printing (in Liverpool) of a ground-breaking book: An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture, by Thomas Rickman FSA. This best-seller of its day popularised the visual analysis of architecture, dating by style and terms still used in the study of English medieval architecture: Norman, Early English, Decorated and Perpendicular. The book is being celebrated by exhibitions at the University of Liverpool’s Archives and Special Collections (May–August 2017) and Liverpool Central Library (November–December 2017), and with walks and talks (see online for further details). A conference will critically evaluate Rickman’s work and its influence in the context of the town where he lived and worked, and seek to encourage a deeper understanding of Liverpool, and its social and architectural environment 1808–1821. Keynote speakers include Megan Aldrich FSA, Rosemary Hill FSA and Rosemary Sweet FSA. Details online.
20 May: The Eleventh Century Church of Chithurst and its Architectural Context (Midhurst)
Eric Fernie FSA will give an illustrated lecture at 7 pm at St George’s Church, Trotton (GU31 5EN). By this date, work should have commenced on re-roofing the church, handsomely grant-aided by the Listed Places of Worship and supported by many local donors. RSVP Nicholas Hall FSA, Churchwarden, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
20 May: Lectures on Medieval and Post-Medieval Effigies (Lichfield)
A Church Monuments Society Study Day at Lichfield Cathedral will include consideration of effigies by Chantrey, Epstein, Hollins and Westmacott. See online for details.
31 May–2 June: The Jutland Legacy Conference (Portsmouth)
An anniversary conference charting the legacy of the Battle of Jutland, which was fought over 36 hours from 31 May to 1 June 1916. Both Britain (who lost 6,094 sailors) and Germany (losses 2,551) claimed victory in what was considered the defining naval battle of the First World War. Yet even today, the battle's results and aftermath are still being debated. The National Museum of the Royal Navy, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s first three-day international conference will feature leading historians and archaeologists who will explore the legacy and wider impact of the battle. Evening activities include a reception with a view of the blockbuster exhibition, 36 Hours: Jutland 1916, The Battle That Won The War; an opportunity to dine on-board HMS Victory; and a screening of Die Versunkene Flotte, a German film about the battle made in 1926. Details online.
2–4 June: Medieval and Tudor Gardens (Oxford)
Gardens were an important part of the medieval and Tudor world, but have been difficult to understand owing to poor survival. There has been a new upsurge of interest in them, and this weekend course at Rewley House will present a selection of current research and new thinking, based on archaeological, art-historical, historical, and literary sources. There will be a coach trip to Kenilworth Castle, and much standing and walking over uneven ground. Speakers include James Bond FSA and Paula Henderson FSA, and Paul Barnwell FSA is Director of Studies. See online for details.
3 June: Ovid's Metamorphoses (London)
The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies is holding a conference in G22/26 (Woburn Suite) at Senate House, at 2 pm after its AGM, to mark the bimillennium of Ovid's death. Details online.
6 June: Liturgical Books and the Medieval Library (London)
It has long been conventional in the history of books and book collections of the Middle Ages to draw a distinction between liturgical books and library books. In practice, however, the distinction was less clear-cut. Tessa Webber FSA will examine the evidence to question how far the conventional bi-partite categorisation of books as 'liturgical' and 'library' reflects the way in which books were conceived during the Middle Ages. at Lambeth Palace Library. At Lambeth Palace Library. Contact email@example.com.
7 June: Fifty Years of Conservation Areas (London)
In the last of a series of free lectures as Visiting Professor of the Built Environment at Gresham College, Simon Thurley FSA joins Desmond Fitzpatrick FSA at the Museum of London to talk about Conservation Areas. They were designated in 1967, and today at the golden anniversary there are some 10,000 sites. The presentation will explore their origins, variety and challenges for the future. Details online.
9–10 June: Thomas Frederick Tout: Refashioning History in the 20th Century (London)
Caroline Barron FSA and Joel Rosenthal and have organised a conference on T.F. Tout, to be held at the Wolfson Conference Suite, Institute of Historical Research, Senate House. Tout had a remarkable impact on the teaching and writing of history in England in the early 20th century. He shifted the focus of Medieval history writing away from chronicles towards administrative documents, and he built up a remarkable School of History at Manchester to rival those of Oxford and Cambridge. His career and influence are now ripe for reassessment. Speakers include Mark Ormrod FSA, Seymour Phillips FSA and Henry Summerson FSA. Details online.
17–18 June: Norwich and the Medieval Parish Church c 900–2017: The Making of a Fine City (Norwich)
A conference hosted by the Medieval Parish Churches of Norwich Research Project (undertaken at the University of East Anglia and funded by The Leverhulme Trust). All 58 churches, existing, ruined or lost, are included in the project, which seeks insight into how the medieval city developed. The conference (supported by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art and Purcell) will present the churches in their immediate local context and in the broader framework of urban churches in Britain and northern Europe. Subjects will include documentary history, the architectural fabric of the buildings and their place in Norwich topography, the development of architecture and furnishings, the representation of the churches and their post-Reformation history. Speakers will include local and international scholars, as well as the UEA research team, Brian Ayers FSA, Clare Haynes, T A Heslop FSA, and Helen Lunnon FSA. Details online.
23–25 June: The Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland: Results, Implications and Wider Contexts (Oxford)
This weekend conference will provide an opportunity to explore some of the results of the AHRC-funded Atlas of Hillforts of Britain and Ireland project and to set these into wider contexts. Papers will be presented by members of the Atlas team as well as by colleagues working on related themes within and beyond Britain and Ireland. Members of the Hillfort Study Group, and of the Project Steering Committee have been invited to chair sessions and lead discussion. All are welcome to attend and a particular invitation is extended to those who contributed to the Citizen Science initiative associated with this project. Speakers include Eileen Wilkes FSA, Ian Ralston FSA, Mark Bowden FSA, Rachel Pope FSA, Kate Waddington FSA and Gary Lock FSA. See online for details.
24 June: Memorials in the Marches (Ludlow)
St Laurence's Church houses a fine set of memorials to people associated with the Council of Wales and the Marches over the period 1550–1650. The Ludlow Palmers, who raise money for the Conservation Trust for St Laurence, an independent charity devoted to conserving the church’s fabric and treasures, are hosting a conference in the church, on the church monuments, in association with the Church Monuments Society. Fellows can obtain a 15% discount. See online for details.
28 June: Sculptural Display: Ancient and Modern (London)
A conference presented by the Hellenic Society and the Roman Society in the Beveridge Hall, Senate House. Speakers include Olga Palagia FSA, Thorsten Opper FSA and Bruce Boucher FSA, and Lesley Fitton FSA will chair one of the sessions. Details online.
6 July: A National Church Tells its Story: The English Church Pageant of 1909 (London)
Arthur Burns (King’s College, London) gives a talk after the Annual General Meeting of the Church of England Record Society. At Lambeth Palace Library. All are welcome, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
21 October: From the Cotswolds to the Chilterns: The Historic Landscapes of Oxfordshire (Oxford)
A joint conference hosted by the Society for Landscape Studies and the Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society at St Anne’s College, Oxford. Speakers include Helena Hamerow FSA, David Clark FSA and Trevor Rowley FSA. For details email Brian Rich: email@example.com.
21 October: The Long Sunset: the Country House c 1840–1940 (Lewes)
Sue Berry FSA introduces this conference on the theme of how the country house and its setting changed in design and function between 1840 and 1939, comparing the grand houses of the Victorian and Edwardian periods, with their formal gardens and large staff, with the more intimate houses and gardens of the Arts and Crafts movement and subsequent developments. Speakers include Michael Hall FSA and Marilyn Palmer FSA. Visits related to the conference are planned throughout 2017. See online for details.
28 October: Ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral (Brecon)
An informal Church Monuments Society Study Day exploring the outstanding collections of ledgerstones in Brecon Cathedral and the monuments of Christ College, with introductory lectures on the rich heritage of commemorative verse in Welsh. See online for details.
17 March 2018: Interpreting Medieval Monuments: Iconography and Meaning (London)
A Church Monuments Society conference in Senate House. The speakers will include Sally Badham FSA, Brian Gittos FSA, Moira Gittos FSA, Nicola Jennings FSA and Sophie Oosterwijk FSA. See online for details.
Call for Papers
20–22 September: New Directions and Approaches for Late Medieval and Post-Medieval Archaeology in Germany, Britain and Ireland (Bremerhaven)
The focus of a joint conference of the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology (SPMA) and its German counterpart Deutsche Gesellschaft für Archäologie des Mittelalters und der Neuzeit (DGAMN), will be the similarities and differences in approaches practised on both sides of the North Sea. Papers will offer opportunities to engage with the current state of research and future directions for the archaeology of the late Medieval and post-Medieval (including modern) periods. Suggestions should relate to one (or more) of the following core themes: Theoretical and methodological approaches; cultural heritage management; material culture studies; and maritime archaeology. Call for papers closes 30 April. Details online.
The College of Arms is recruiting a Research Assistant (trainee) with a view to appointment as an Officer of Arms. Closing date for applications 10 May.
The College of Arms, the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of the Commonwealth realms, is seeking to recruit a Research Assistant (trainee) for six to 12 months. The successful candidate will learn how to deal with heraldic and genealogical enquiries, how to process applications for new grants of arms, and about other work undertaken by the College. Upon completion of this period, the candidate will be assessed with a view to appointment as an Officer of Arms. If appointed, he or she will be able to run an independent heraldic and genealogical practice within the College generating their own income. Full details online.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Renée LaDue, 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 Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.