View this email in your browser

Salon: Issue 323
14 July 2014

Next issue: 4 August 2014

The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of news from the heritage sector. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contribution that the Society's Fellows make to public life. Like the intellectual salons of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, it aims to amuse and to stimulate debate as well as to inform. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website. News and feedback for publication in Salon should be addressed to the Editor, Christopher Catling.
Lamp flame

Inside this issue

Fellow Nancy Sandars celebrates her 100th birthday

Our Fellow Nancy Katharine Sandars celebrated her 100th birthday on 29 June 2014 by setting up a website, proving that digital communications and social media are not the monopoly of the young. The website features video footage of Nancy remembering how her parents came to buy the lovely Manor House, Little Tew, in Oxfordshire, where she was born and where she still lives, and of Nancy's friends celebrating her 100th birthday with her in the Manor House garden.

The biography section of the website is richly illustrated with photographs and with Nancy’s account of the rise of the Nazis in Germany, which she experienced first-hand as a student in Vienna in the 1930s. Her command of German was put to good use during the war when she worked in intelligence, listening to and reporting on German U-boat and Luftwaffe radio transmissions.

After the war, Nancy joined the Institute of Archaeology at St John’s Lodge in Regent’s Park, and studied the Palaeolithic, Celtic and Iron Age periods under the directorship of Gordon Childe, whose ‘idiosyncratic teaching style’ Nancy enjoyed and found inspiring. At St Hugh’s College, Oxford, she worked with Christopher Hawkes, Professor of European Prehistory, researching the thesis that became her first published book: Bronze Age Cultures in France (Cambridge University Press, 1957). She was elected a Fellow of our Society in the same year.

This was followed by a series of travels in Europe and the Middle East, researching prehistoric art and civilisation, and a number of publications, including her translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh (Penguin Classics, 1960), Prehistoric Art in Europe (Penguin History of Art series, 1967) and The Sea-Peoples: warriors of the ancient Mediterranean (Thames & Hudson, 1980). She was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1984.

Nancy’s website contains a growing archive of articles, letters, photographs, reminiscences and other information, drawn from a long and remarkable life, and Nancy welcomes contributions from others who have comparable memories and material to share.

Launch of Kelmscott Manor summer exhibition and auction news

Friends of Kelmscott Manor, volunteers, staff and guests gathered for the launch of the manor’s summer exhibition on 4 July 2014. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the death of Jane Morris on 26 January 1914, the exhibition features photographs on loan from the National Portrait Gallery of Jane, her family and close friends. Our Fellow Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, spoke of the manor as a very special place that was, for William Morris, a symbol of that Paradise on earth that would be achieved ‘after the Revolution’, when everyone would embrace art and craft in all aspects of their lives. Jane also felt a deep love for Kelmscott, writing to Philip Webb that it was ‘all delightful and home-like to me and I love it’.

Our President Gill Andrews announced too that the Society would be hosting an auction on 25 September 2014 as the first event in a £4.5m fundraising campaign in support of Kelmscott Manor, and that generous well-wishers had already donated more than sixty lots, including an original work by Edward Burne-Jones, a preparatory painting that he made for his major work Laus Veneris (1873—8), ‘In Praise of Love’, inspired by Swinburne’s poem of the same name. Further details and pictures of some of the lots can be seen on the Society’s website.

Photograph: this watercolour study was made by Burne-Jones, who often stayed at Kelmscott. It represents the opening page of the manuscript song book that the four maidens are using for their hymns in praise of Venus and love in Burne-Jones's oil painting, Laus Veneris. Conservatively valued at £6,000, the painting was donated to the Kelmscott Manor auction by the composer, musicologist and translator Joscelyn Godwin, who was born in Morris’s bed in Kelmscott Manor on 16 January 1945. His artist parents were living at the Manor at the time, and Joscelyn is in the process of preparing a volume of his parents’ Kelmscott paintings and writings for publication, under the title A War in Paradise: two aesthetes at Kelmscott Manor 1938—48.

Following William’s death in 1896 Jane spent every summer there, and the exhibition includes rarely seen photographs of Jane taken at the manor during the years of her widowhood. She was able to purchase the manor outright in 1913.

A special treat for those attending the exhibition launch was the display of a cot cover embroidered by May Morris, which she gave to her friend May Elliott Hobbs, of the family from whom Jane Morris purchased the manor. Called ‘Homestead in the Forest’, the cover features a house not unlike Kelmscott Manor set in a flower-filled garden and surrounded by a moat full of fish, itself surrounded by a menagerie of animals, with mottoes and poetic quotations in several languages (including Arabic) around the border.

Portraying the Past: 1,000-plus visitors in two weeks

More than 1,000 visitors have already taken the opportunity to view the Society’s picture collection, displayed in the ground-floor apartments at Burlington House, in the two weeks since our summer exhibition opened on 30 June. Heather Rowland, our Head of Library and Collections, said that numbers had averaged 104 a day, or seventeen an hour, and that the gallery talks, given on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 2pm to 2.30pm, were especially well attended. This week our Collections Manager, Anooshka Rawden, will talk about hand gestures in the Society’s portrait collection on 15 July, and past-President Maurice Howard will talk about the place of Stonehenge in art and in our imagination as part of the story of the British past.

Still to come are talks by Fellow John Ashdown-Hill on ‘The last days of Richard III’, illustrated by our portraits of Richard III and Henry VII and the Bosworth Crucifix, which probably accompanied Richard to his last battle (22 July), and by Catherine Daunt, who specialises in Tudor and Elizabethan portraiture, talking about the sixteenth-century fashion for portrait sets of monarchs, of which the Society owns some of the earliest examples (24 July). In the final gallery talk (29 July) before the exhibition closes on 1 August, Heather Rowland will give an overview of the history of the Society from its foundations in 1707 to the present day. For further information see the Society’s website.

Provoking debate: HLF launches ‘Heritage Exchange’

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), in partnership with the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA), is bringing together a range of high-profile heritage leaders and thinkers on 14 and 15 July 2014 to debate the challenges and opportunities facing the UK’s heritage sector. The two-day ‘Heritage Exchange’ event will focus on ‘new ways of working in a radically changing economic environment’ and ‘how to stimulate new mindsets and create fresh business models’.

Our Fellows Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, and Loyd Grossman, entrepreneur, writer and broadcaster, are among the speakers, as are Sir Laurie Magnus, Chairman of English Heritage, and Baroness Kay Andrews, former English Heritage Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England, Professor Robert Hewison, author and cultural commentator, and Jonathan Ruffer, Chairman of Ruffer LLP and the Auckland Castle Trust.

While the event itself is now fully booked, everyone can follow the debate through live-streaming on the Heritage Exchange website. The event will be structured around a series of reports and specially commissioned ‘provocations’, mini essays written by the keynote speakers, intended to stimulate audience and panel discussion.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, says that the conference was conceived because ‘this is a pivotal moment for the heritage sector. We urgently need to look to the future, consider heritage’s role in society and explore new ways of working to ensure its resilience.’

Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the RSA, will chair the discussions; he will also unveil the results of new research that shows that the UK’s heritage is an 'under-used resource' that ‘needs to play a much greater role in helping areas thrive economically, culturally and socially’. He describes Heritage Exchange as ‘a timely opportunity for us all to look forward and envisage a more robust future. The sector must also begin to argue convincingly that what it is holding out is not a begging bowl but an untapped asset.’

Three of the ‘provocations’ have already been posted on the Heritage Exchange website, from where they can be downloaded as PDFs. It is notable that two of the three make the same point: that divisions must come down between different parts of the heritage and that we must make common cause, all working together towards the same ends and speaking with one voice.

In their ‘provocation’, entitled ‘Turbulent times: prospects for the national heritage’, Robert Hewison and John Holden argue that we must ‘examine and reflect upon the long-standing structural issues that inhibit our ability to act in unison and be seen as a coherent sector’. The heritage sector, they say, ‘is populated by a heterogeneous mix of government departments, local authorities, non-departmental public bodies, expert panels, chartered organizations, and charities ranging from some of the biggest in the land to some of the smallest’. The resulting tensions, the lack of agreed priorities and the lack of a common language inhibits effective advocacy and public engagement.

Arguing that the biggest fault line of all is the wholly artificial division between cultural and natural heritage, Hewison and Holden call for convergence and co-operation, not ‘an artificially imposed uniformity of approach, but greater recognition of the common values and interests that underlie and underpin both aspects of heritage’.

In order to achieve this, the authors call for Historic England and Natural England to be merged, creating a new body, the Historic Environment Agency, that would also take on responsibility for policy advice on intangible heritage, for planning and for national and regional museums, guided by a single policy vision. ‘We acknowledge that the creation of a Historic Environment Agency is a bold challenge to a sector where conservation is too often confused with conservatism, but new models of governance, leadership and management will only emerge through more dialogue that encourages shared understanding’, they conclude.

From his position as Chief Executive of the RSPB, Mike Clarke offers a similar message in a provocation called ‘Re-inventing heritage: a disruptive opportunity?’. Mike argues that everyone who cares about the future of the heritage must work together to create a stronger sense of purpose, and to collaborate strategically for greater collective impact; we must shift, he says, from being a ‘sector’ towards becoming a ‘movement’. We must articulate more clearly what heritage is for and why it matters; we need to be clearer about the organising ideas and frameworks that give common purpose, coherence and wider relevance to the heritage movement .

Here Mike differs from the previous two authors is in his lack of faith in governmental institutions as agents of change: he will say that government policy is very rarely framed for long-term public interest; the political system follows change but never leads — that is the task that faces all of us.

Charlemagne celebrated in Aachen

Though inscribed 'CHARLE MAİИGИE' on the frame, this early sixteenth-century panel painting in the Society's picture collection probably depicts Charles IV of Luxembourg (1355–78)

This year is the 1400th anniversary of the death of Charlemagne (AD 742—814), crowned Holy Roman Emperor in St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Christmas Day, AD 800, ruler of an empire that encompassed the modern nations of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Germany as far as the Elbe and the northern half of Italy, remembered for the so-called Carolingian Renaissance, marked by his court’s sponsorship of literature, the arts, architecture, jurisprudence, liturgical reform and scriptural study.

Major celebrations are taking place now in Aachen, the site of Charlemagne’s principal court, including an exhibition called Charlemagne: Power, Art, Treasure (26 June to 21 September), split over three venues: the Rathaus, the Centre Charlemagne and the cathedral. The latter, Charlemagne’s burial place, will hold a series of services to mark the occasion and will display relics given to the cathedral by successive German rulers and Holy Roman Emperors, including the Virgin’s robe.

Symbols of Honor: heraldry and family history in Shakespeare’s England

Fellow Nigel Ramsay is co-curator of this new exhibition, which has just opened at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, just a couple of blocks east of the Capitol, beside the Library of Congress. The promotional poster speaks of ‘the colourful world of heralds and their rivals during the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I’, and Nigel confirms that ‘the exhibits having been selected in part for their visual strength, showcasing the skill of the arms-painters of the day. To show the ability of their medieval precursors, there is a pedigree roll made for Edward IV himself, a loan from the Free Library in Philadelphia. This very richly decorated roll, it must be said, knocks into a cocked hat the Society’s own genealogical roll, splendid though that is.

‘“Family History” also features in the exhibition’s title, and there are some genealogical manuscripts, including the earliest manuscript extant of the first major English collection of genealogies. Really, however, this is a show about heralds and heraldry: I think it must be the first time that there has been such a display of heraldic manuscripts in the United States.

'The Folger has a remarkably fine collection of heraldic materials of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and the best of these manuscripts are in the show. There is also an unprecedented transatlantic loan from the College of Arms illustrating the feuds that divided the heraldic community in this period. One such feud concerned the charge that inappropriate arms had been granted to Shakespeare! Thanks to the College of Arms loan, we have been able to display the original draft grants of the Shakespeare coat of arms.

Photograph: the image of a herald used in the exhibition poster is by William Smith (Rouge Dragon Pursuivant from 1597 until his death in 1618)

Richard Wilson and the Transformation of European Landscape Painting

This major exhibition, celebrating the 300th anniversary of Richard Wilson’s birth (1714—82), opened at the Yale Centre for British Art in New Haven, Connecticut, in March 2014, and has now transferred to Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales in Cardiff, where it will continue until 26 October 2014. Co-curated by our Fellow Robin Simon, Honorary Professor of English, University College London, and Editor, The British Art Journal, and Martin Postle, Deputy Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, this is the first major exhibition in thirty years devoted to the work of a painter hailed by John Ruskin as the ‘father of British landscape painting’.

Robin Simon says that Wilson’s life changed in 1750 when he gave up portrait painting and turned his attention to landscapes, ‘then a rather un-British pursuit’, and then choosing to work in his native Wales, until then considered a bleak landscape of no interest to artists: ‘nobody had looked at these landscapes until Wilson came along. After him, they all came’, Robin says, citing a sketch that is in the exhibition showing that a young J M W Turner took to the hills and mountains of Wales to find the precise spots where Wilson had worked.

Oliver Fairclough, Keeper of Art at National Museum Wales, says Wilson’s place in the collective consciousness, even in his native Wales, is modest, even though ‘he is a very significant figure in British and international art’. This exhibition aims to change that and make sure that Wilson is remembered, studied and celebrated.

Richard Wilson (1714—82), Dinas Bran from Llangollen (1770—1), oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

Tutankhamun’s second-hand throne

The last issue of Salon reported on suggestions that Scotland’s St Ninian never existed, his name being a scribal error for Uinnian, or St Finnian of Moville, a sixth-century British missionary in Ireland. Now Fellow Norman Hammond has reported in The Times that the enigmatic pharaoh Smenkhkare (died 1334/1333 BC), Akhenaten’s co-regent and supposed successor, may never have existed.

After Akhenaten’s death, the mysterious Smenkhkare is said to have ruled for a matter of months before his own death, to be succeeded by the boy king, Tutankhamun. Doubts about his existence come about as the result of our Fellow Nicholas Reeves’s research into Tutankhamun’s throne, found in 1922 by Howard Carter in the antechamber of Tutankhamun’s sepulchre, a splendid object whose backrest is carved with an image of the young king and his wife (and half-sister), Ankhesenamun.

Nicholas, now of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, says that the throne — made of wood covered with thick gold foil and inlaid with coloured glass, pale blue faience and semi-precious stones — is second-hand; hieroglyphs on the arms, partly obscured by later carving, show that the throne bears the names of Akhenaten and his female co-regent, Nefernefruaten: Nefertiti by another name.

Dr Reeves argues that the prominent location of her name on the outside of the throne’s arms ‘suggests that this was a seat which had belonged to Nefernefruaten herself’ and that she, and not Ankhesenamun, is the woman shown on the backrest, Ankhesenamun’s name being added not long before the throne became part of the funeral furnishings assembled when Tutankhamun died in 1325 BC.

If Dr Reeves is right, and if this was Nefertiti’s throne, then the three name-forms carved on various parts of the throne — Nefernefruaten, Nefertiti and Smenkhkare — may well identify one and the same individual: the mysterious missing king Smenkhkhare may never have existed, but simply have been yet another of Nefertiti’s names.

World’s largest paintings collection to be audited for the first time

The 7,564 oil paintings in the Royal Collection are to be fully audited for the first time since the collection began under Henry VIII. The paintings, spread over thirteen royal residences, will all be condition-checked and photographed; the resulting images will be used to enhance the existing Collection Online, which already has information on some 227,000 items from what is (depending on the definition of ‘work of art’) probably the world’s largest art collection.

The Royal Collection is a charitable trust run by our Fellow Jonathan Marsden and is the only department of the Royal Household that conducts its activities without recourse to public funds, earning its income largely from the public opening of the official royal residences, including Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and from exhibitions at The Queen’s Gallery.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor, Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, says that the condition survey will take about a decade to complete, and will include surface cleaning and urgent in situ remedial repairs and the identification of pictures in need of more substantive work. It is hoped that the survey will yield some new discoveries in terms of attributions and subject matter, but that, even if there are no dramatic re-attributions, ‘the task of examining thousands of paintings and creating a database will reveal more about the collecting habits of generations of monarchs’.

William Hogarth’s painting of
David Garrick with his wife Eva-Maria Veigel (1757—64) is being used to promote the current Queen’s Gallery exhibition, The First Georgians, described by our Fellow Richard Dorment in the Daily Telegraph as ‘nothing less than a revelation’. Photograph: Royal Collection Trust/Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014

Twenty-six new World Heritage Sites

At the 38th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, held in Doha, capital of the state of Qatar, from 15 to 25 June 2014, twenty-six new sites were added to the World Heritage List, bringing the total to 1,007 sites in 161 countries.

This year’s inscriptions included the Decorated Cave of Pont d’Arc, known as Grotte Chauvet-Pont d’Arc, Ardèche (France), which contains the earliest known and best-preserved figurative drawings in the world, dating from the Aurignacian period (30,000 to 32,000 BP).

The cave entrance was blocked by a rock fall approximately 20,000 years ago and it remained sealed until its discovery in 1994, which helped keep the paintings in pristine condition. The UNESCO citation said: ‘over 1,000 images have so far been recorded on its walls, combining a variety of anthropomorphic and animal motifs. They are of exceptional aesthetic quality, demonstrate a range of techniques, including the skilful use of colour, combinations of paint and engraving, anatomical precision, three-dimensionality and movement.'

They include several dangerous animal species difficult to observe at that time, such as mammoths, bears, wildcats, rhinos, bison and aurochs, as well as 4,000 inventoried remains of prehistoric fauna, and a variety of human footprints.’ The cave has never been open to the public; instead, a €50m visitor centre and replica cave is due to open in April 2015.

A full list of all the new inscriptions can be seen on the UNESCO website, and a gallery of photographs can be seen on the Daily Telegraph’s website.

Museum of the Year

Antony Gormley's Flat Tree (1978) at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Photograph: © Marc Atkins

Wakefield’s Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) has been awarded the accolade of Art Fund Museum of the Year 2014 by a team of five judges, including our Fellow Anna Somers Cocks, founder of The Art Newspaper. The other finalists were the Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft in East Sussex, the Hayward Gallery in London, the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth, the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich and Tate Britain in London.

The judges described YSP as ‘a truly outstanding museum with a bold artistic vision, consistently delivered at the highest level [offering] a mix of sensory experiences, created by the harmonious integration of learning, landscape and sculpture, and brought to life with works by artists including Julian Opie, Henry Moore and James Turrell’. They also paid homage to the ‘steady, strong and visionary leadership’ of YSP founder/executive director Peter Murray, CBE, who, over a forty-year period, has ‘firmly positioned this museum as a world leader’.
Lamp flame

UK Public Parks 2014: renaissance to risk?

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has published a report saying that the UK’s public parks are at serious risk of rapid decline and of being lost to the public forever, even though the majority of UK parks are in better condition now than two decades ago, thanks to £700m of HLF investment. Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the HLF, described the report as ‘sobering reading’, and went on to say that: ‘parks are highly valued, precious places that are vital to our physical and emotional well-being. Following decades of decline, Lottery funding sparked a parks renaissance but that is now at risk. We realise these are financially tough times and that is why we need collaborative action and a fresh approach to halt this threat of decline and stop this cycle of boom and bust. Our parks are far too important not to act now.’

The report says that 45 per cent of local authorities are considering selling their parks and green spaces or transferring their management to others, including community groups who lack the resources and support to do so effectively; that 86 per cent of parks managers report cuts to revenue budgets since 2010, a trend they expect to continue over the next three years; and that 81 per cent of parks departments have lost skilled staff since 2010.

The HLF has pledged to monitor the situation and to invest up to £24m a year across the UK through the Parks for People programme, though ultimately, it says, new ideas have to be considered for making parks sustainable. To encourage new thinking, the HLF will later this month announce grants totalling £1million for testing a range of innovative park projects.

Among the ideas being floated are the creation of a ring-fenced endowment for public parks in Sheffield and Manchester, charging an annual subscription for access, growing fruit and vegetables for sale to the public and selling honey, hay, timber and wood for furniture.
Lamp flame

Abandoned buildings in Poland

These striking photographs are the work of Pati Makowska, a history teacher from Warsaw, Poland, who spends her spare time visiting the forgotten palaces, castles, churches and industrial buildings of her native land.

The exact locations are rarely named and Makowska says she is less interested in the artistic or historic value of these abandoned sites than in their metaphoric value: ‘they tell forgotten stories of love, disaster, war, as well as ordinary life’, she says.

You can see several more of her thought-provoking pictures on the Daily Telegraph’s website.
Lamp flame

Divers fined for raiding shipwrecks without declaring their finds

In what is being hailed as a landmark case, two divers from Kent have been ordered to pay a total of £63,500 in fines and costs for not declaring items that they took from shipwrecks off the UK coast. David Knight and Edward Huzzey, both from Sandgate, pleaded guilty to nineteen offences between them, contrary to sections 236 and 237 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. Items including eight bronze cannon and three German submarine propellers were taken using explosives and sophisticated cutting equipment from shipwrecks including a German World War I submarine and an unknown 200-year-old wreck carrying English East India Company cargo.

Six of the cannon have since been returned to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). Taking this into account in passing sentence at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, District Judge Calloway, said: ‘the scale of the operation has to be considered to have been on an industrial scale: the resources employed were valuable and substantial, using good quality lifting equipment and explosives’. Alison Kentuck, the MCA’s Receiver of Wreck, said: ‘it is not a case of “finders keepers”. Our message is clear: all wreck material found within or brought within UK territorial waters must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck within twenty-eight days. This case demonstrates what could happen to you if you don’t.’

English Heritage provided expert advice in the case. Our Fellow Mark Harrison, English Heritage’s National Policing and Crime Adviser, said: ‘The sentence today sets an important precedent in the fight against uncontrolled salvage by a small criminal minority who have no appreciation for our national maritime heritage. Sophisticated techniques and equipment were used by these men to remove valuable artefacts from the seabed.’ Fellow Mark Dunkley, English Heritage’s Maritime Archaeologist, said: ‘English Heritage takes very seriously all cases of heritage crime which robs us of our shared history. However, we recognise that the majority of divers do act responsibly and comply with the laws and regulations relating to historic wreck sites and salvage.’
Lamp flame

Campaign news

SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Victorian Society have won what they describe as ‘an overwhelming and resounding victory in the battle to save Smithfield General Market and the nearby Fish Market’. Following a public inquiry, the Inspector and the Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, announced on 8 July 2014 that they considered plans to gut the market interiors to be ‘wholly unacceptable’, and that demolishing important parts of the buildings would be ‘to the great detriment of the surrounding area’.

In his decision letter the Secretary of State said that the development plans submitted by Henderson Global Investors ‘would not be consistent with policies intended to protect the historic environment from harmful development’. He concluded that: ‘the extent of damage the application would cause to the important heritage asset of Smithfield runs entirely counter to national and policy objectives intended to protect such assets from harm’ and that ‘the public benefits of the scheme would not be anything like substantial enough to provide a clear and convincing justification for the extensive harm it would cause to Smithfield’s historic environment’. He said it was now ‘important that [the buildings be] repaired and put into a beneficial use’.

The inspector also singled out campaigning work done by SAVE and the Victorian Society to show that Smithfield Market could be regenerated on the lines of other highly successful restored and adapted historic markets in London, such as Borough, Spitalfields and Greenwich. The SAVE and Victorian Society scheme could, he said, ‘secure a long-term future for the buildings through economically sustainable uses, provide public access to all parts of the buildings through their original gates, and provide a mix of small-scale uses that would maintain the diversity and character of the conservation area’. In light of the SAVE alternative the Inspector concluded that the Henderson scheme would not represent the ‘optimum viable use for the buildings’.

Our Fellow Marcus Binney, SAVE’s Executive President, said: ‘our energies will now focus on implementing a scheme on the lines proposed. To leave the buildings to rot, as Hendersons suggested they would do if they did not win the inquiry, will be an outrage and an insult to London. We very much hope that the senior directors of Henderson will take a fresh look at the possibilities with a view to securing rapid investment, repair, reuse and reopening of these historic markets.’

Chris Costelloe, Director of the Victorian Society, said: ‘These buildings are vital to the character of Smithfield and to the commercial, industrial and architectural history of the City of London. We hope that this decision will cause developers and the City of London to reappraise the importance of the City’s heritage and ensure that future schemes put buildings this like these at the centre of their plans. It is now time for the City of London and Hendersons to work together to bring forward a conservation-led scheme that will repair and reopen this magnificent complex of buildings. We are looking forward to seeing proposals which will ensure that Smithfield General Market is brought back into public use for Londoners and visitors to enjoy.
Lamp flame

News of Fellows

Fellow Geoffrey Bond with HRH The Princess Royal after receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award. Photograph: © C Totman

Fellow Geoffrey Bond has received a unique Lifetime Achievement Award from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. The award recognises Geoffrey’s long history of commitment to the Livery Companies of the City of London. It was presented on the occasion of the Centenary Banquet of the City Livery Club in the Guildhall, London, on Monday 9 June 2014 in front of the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Fiona Woolf, and some 700 guests.

Geoffrey has been involved in many initiatives working across the Livery Companies, including curating the prestigious exhibition entitled Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker — 850 Years of Treasures of the Livery Companies of the City of London, the biggest post-war exhibition of its kind, at the Guildhall Art Gallery, London, in the summer of 2012. In 2011, Mr Bond ran a major school literacy project celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible. In 2010, he created The Lord Mayor of the City of London Cultural Scholarship, offering summer-holiday placements at a wide range of cultural institutions to inner London schoolchildren, including the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Opera House, the Horniman Museum and Buckingham Palace. He now hopes to expand the scheme across the country, giving children in regional cities a valuable insight into Britain’s cultural heritage, beginning with Nottingham and the East Midlands, where he lives at Burgage Manor, Southwell.

Fellow Stephen Clarke, a trustee at Strawberry Hill and at Dr Johnson’s House in Gough Square, London, has been invited to give a lecture on ‘Horace Walpole’s Library at Strawberry Hill’ at the Grolier Club, New York, on Thursday 18 September 2014.

Fellow Mark Dunkley, Maritime Designation Adviser at English Heritage, has been awarded a Clore Fellowship, which enables him to undertake a ten-month programme of leadership development from September 2014. Mark says that ‘the Fellowship programme is an initiative of the Clore Duffield Foundation which aims to strengthen leadership across a wide range of activities within the cultural sector. The Fellowship aims to shape creative leaders through workshops, residential courses and a three-month placement in an organisation very different from my usual work environment at English Heritage.’

Two Fellows have announced that they plan to retire in the near future. Fellow Nicholas Penny, the Director of London’s National Gallery since 2008, announced on 23 June 2014 that he would retire next year; aged 65 in December, he said that he wants ‘to spend more time with my family, friends and books’. His near neighbour, our Fellow Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery since 2002, announced on 12 June 2014 that he is leaving ‘to pursue his writing and other arts work’.

Fellow Adrian Tindall is also stepping down after nearly five years in the role of Chief Executive of FAME (the Federation of Archaeological Managers and Employers). He will be succeeded by our Fellow Malcolm Cooper, formerly Regional Director with English Heritage and Chief Inspector with Historic Scotland. Adrian said of his role at FAME: ‘It’s been a hugely rewarding time, during which I feel FAME has moved forward significantly and, I hope, become increasingly influential within the sector and beyond. I wish FAME all the very best for the future, in the sure knowledge that it is stronger than ever and in very capable hands’. He will continue to work with his own consultancy, Archaeological Risk Management.

Fellows Roy and Lesley Adkins, authors of (most recently) Eavesdropping on Jane Austen’s England (reviewed in characteristic style by the Daily Mail under the headline ‘Did Mr Darcy have bad breath?’), have just set up a new blog in which they share their enthusiasm for illuminating facts about the past (answer: yes, he probably did, just as Jane Austen had difficulty in maintaining fragrant sweat-free gentility, as she admitted in a letter to her sister Cassandra: ‘What dreadful hot weather! It keeps one in a continual state of inelegance!’).

Their latest postings include news of their forthcoming talks (at the intimate Penzance Literary Festival on 17 July at 2.30pm and at the huge English Heritage ‘History Live!’ festival on 19 and 20 July at Kelmarsh Hall, Northamptonshire) and a fascinating piece on the way that soldiers serving in the First World War subverted the titles of well-known hymns to cast a wry light on the tedium of the daily routine.
Lamp flame

Lives remembered: William Reid, FSA

The Society has been informed that our Fellow William Reid, CBE, died on 19 June 2014 at the age of eighty-seven.

Bill Reid was Director of the National Army Museum from 1970 until his retirement in 1988. He was described by the Glasgow Herald as ‘a rare individual among museum administrators in Britain in lacking formal academic qualifications’. Born in Glasgow, he became fascinated by the arms and armour collection at the city’s Art Gallery and Museum, where, as a young volunteer, he was taken under the wing of curator Stuart Henderson. He studied for a short-course degree at Trinity College, Oxford, during the war and joined the RAF on leaving, soon afterwards transferring to the Royal Air Force Regiment, the military wing of the RAF.

After the war he spent ten years in ‘a mundane commercial career with various firms in Glasgow’, until a motorcycle accident put him in hospital and gave him time for introspection. As a result, he successfully applied for a job as ‘a very junior curator at the Royal Armouries’, from where he worked his way up to senior museum assistant, then assistant keeper first class in 1964, being elected a Fellow of our Society the following year, on 6 May 1965.

Appointed Director of the National Army Museum in 1970, he presided over the collection’s move from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst into its present purpose-built premises on the Thames Embankment, next to the Chelsea Royal Hospital. By agreement with the Imperial War Museum, the National Army Museum originally covered the story of the army up to the outbreak of the First World War, but Reid successfully expanded the museum, both physically, by building various extensions, and historically, by covering the more recent history of the army, including the Falklands War of 1982.
Lamp flame

Prizes for student book collectors

Fellow Anthony Davies writes to say that: ‘two new prizes for student book collectors were awarded for the first time during the summer at the universities of Oxford and London (Cambridge having instituted a similar prize some years ago and some North American universities having done it since the 1950s). The criteria for the prizes are similar: they are awarded to current undergraduate or postgraduate students who are at an early stage in their book-collecting careers, for collections that demonstrate the enthusiasm and commitment of the collector, the interest of the theme and the vision of how the collection will be developed. The age and value of the collection are not relevant.

‘The Colin Franklin Book Collecting Prize at Oxford, named in honour of our distinguished and long-standing Fellow, was awarded to Sophie Ridley, an undergraduate at St Hugh’s College, for a collection of books on crafts and changing attitudes to their value in schools spanning the period from the 1870s to the 1960s; such books contain advice and expertise in disappearing and lost craft skills and offer an interesting insight into the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement. The judges of the prize — Richard Ovenden (Bodley’s Librarian), Professor Henry Woudhuysen, Chris Fletcher and Anthony Davis — are all Fellows of our Society.

‘The Anthony Davis Book Collecting Prize was won by Hazel Wilkinson, a PhD student at UCL, for a collection called ‘The Everyday Canon from Tonson to Penguin’, comprising editions of work by major English poets, from Spenser to Tennyson, published between 1758 and 1957, put together to tell a social history of the reading of these canonical authors. A runner’s up prize was awarded to Kayleigh Betterton, an MA student at Birkbeck College, for a collection of Oscar Wilde material she uses to teach pupils at an inner-city school about the historical process of writing and producing printed books.

‘As well as receiving a small cash prize to help with their collecting, the winners will each be allowed to purchase a book for the Bodleian and Senate House Libraries.’
Lamp flame

Glasgow School of Art fire: call for book donations

Salon 320 reported on the fire at the Glasgow School of Art and the exemplary way in which conservation professionals rallied round to provide practical help to rescue and dry out books that had been soaked with water during efforts to put the fire out. Duncan Chappell, Academic Liaison Librarian at the Glasgow School of Art, has now thanked everyone who helped, saying ‘we have been humbled by the many good wishes and kind words we have received across the world from friends and strangers alike’.

He also says that ‘we have received many offers of book donations to help us rebuild our lost collections. In response we have released a wants list of specific titles that we are seeking, which you can find here. If any of you hold these volumes in your collections that you would be willing to donate to us, they would be very gratefully received as we begin the process to rebuild what was lost.’

Mackintosh Architecture: context, making and meaning

Charles Rennie Mackintosh, co-designer of the Glasgow School with his wife and fellow artist Margaret MacDonald, is often thought of as one of the most creative and individual interior designers of the early twentieth century. This new exhibition at the Hunterian Museum challenges that view and reminds us of his core activity as an architect.

The exhibition has a particular focus on Mackintosh’s designs for dwelling houses, and it presents the wider context of the practice of Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh, introducing the contractors, suppliers and clients who supported the delivery of the buildings and outlining the building process, from initial planning permissions to final inspections. More than eighty architectural drawings have been brought together from the Hunterian and from other collections across the UK, many of which have never been exhibited before, alongside specially commissioned film, models and rarely seen archival material. Mackintosh Architecture is accompanied by a wide-ranging events programme, including a symposium, talks and tours. It will also be shown at the RIBA London in 2015.

Accompanying the exhibition is a major new online resource in the form of a website that seeks to document every one of Macintosh’s architectural projects with drawings, images, biographies, a timeline and interactive map, glossary and bibliography.

Photograph: Scotland Street School, built for the School Board of Glasgow in 1903—7, was one of Macintosh’s most important commissions. The building reopened as a museum of education in November 1990

Notts alabaster was the material of choice for northern Renaissance sculptors

Fellow Norman Hammond reported in The Times recently on a new method of fingerprinting alabaster by measuring the ratio of oxygen, sulphur and strontium isotopes so as to find out which sources of the soft marble-like material, a form of gypsum, were used by medieval and Renaissance sculptors. While many sculptors used their nearest local source, some sought out the best quality stone, which meant Nottinghamshire alabaster.

Writing in the journal Archaeometry, Dr Wolfram Kloppmann says that the magnificent tomb of King Gustavus Vasa, in Uppsala Cathedral (above), is just one example of alabaster being shipped long distances from near Newark in Nottinghamshire. Gustavus (reigned 1523—60) led Sweden to independence from Denmark. His effigy was carved by the Flemish master Willem Boy in  Antwerp, or at Mechelen, farther inland: in 1572 it is recorded that Boy travelled to England to get more stone to finish the tomb.

A tomb from the Pas-de-Calais of similar date was also found to be of East Midlands alabaster, and the same material has turned up in churches from Iceland to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela. Fellow Sally Badham, former president of the Church Monuments Society, says that whereas the provenance of tombs has depended until now on a handful of documents linking named craftsmen to specific monuments, ‘this new method allows no argument as to where the alabaster for an individual monument was quarried and perhaps also worked’.


Salon’s editor is blushing with shame having had a large number of emails pointing out that there is no such thing as an auroch, the singular of aurochs being aurochs. Fellows were kind enough to understand the error. One said ‘why we don’t spell it aurox, I do not know’; another said that ‘aurochs is a singular noun of an ancient type, similar to ox, fox, lynx; it makes no sense to refer to ‘an auroch’ just as we do not say ‘ok, fok, or lynk’.

The etymology seems to be obscure, but several Fellows suggested that aurochs is derived from ‘ur’, meaning ‘original’, and ‘ochs’, which is the German way of spelling ‘ox’; in other words, ‘the ancestor of the ox’. By the same logic, and by analogy with ‘oxen’, some Fellows suggested that we really ought to use ‘aurochsen’ as the plural, though this former usage seems to have fallen out of favour.

So perhaps the caption to accompany Salon’s picture of Fellow Phil Cunningham holding the recently discovered aurochs’ horn should say: ‘Remember: aurochs, aurochsen, as in ox, oxen, not fok, fox’.

In fact the only Fellow who submitted a caption was our Fellow and former President Geoff Wainwright, who suggested the caption competition in the first place. He submitted two possible punchlines: one repeatable, one less so. The first is ‘Holy cow! Welsh bulls pull bluestones!’. Those who have attended Geoff’s lectures on the Stonehenge Bluestones know that he frequently refers to the question of how the orthostats got from west Wales to the Salisbury Plain as ‘a blue-collar question’, but now he seems to have come up with a suggestion for how it was done, though how easy it would be to harness a team of aurochs is open to debate!

Geoff’s second suggestion uses an American slang term for ‘nonsense’ which will have to be asterisked if this issue of Salon is to pass the ‘appropriate language’ test and get through institutional firewalls, but it refers to the large amounts of speculation that surrounds the meaning of Stonehenge: ‘pundits collect droppings from Preseli and Stonehenge in bulls**t probe’, is his wicked thought.

Geoff also supplies this charming photograph (left) of his daughter Sarah at Durrington Walls in 1967, holding a similar ecofact!

Before moving on, Salon also has to confess to getting his Pembrokeshire beaches in a muddle: the two aurochs horns were exposed on Whitesands beach earlier this year, not at Newgale as stated in the last issue. It was at Newgale beach, however, that animal tracks and a human footprint were revealed.

Another error well worth correcting appeared in the report on the Unesco ‘Memory of the World’ list of important archives: Fellow Steph Mastoirs points out that the collection of 8,000 engineering drawings (1792—1882) from Neath Abbey Ironworks documenting South Wales' contribution to the industrial revolution is held by the West Glamorgan Archive Service, and not the service in West Yorkshire.

Apologies are due to Fellow Julian Litten, whose name appeared correctly in the last issue of Salon in the ‘Feedback’ report on the Nelson and Wellington tombs at St Paul’s, but who became ‘Litton’ on the report on bats in churches. On that subject, Fellow Robin Milner-Gulland remembers that he and Fellow David Park organised a conference some years ago to commemorate the centenary of the discovery of the Clayton wall paintings: ‘we had two sessions (‘for’ and ‘against’) on the question of bats. I recollect one thing that emerged was that the modern problem arises largely from the conversion of agricultural barns into houses, causing their age-old bat tenants to seek ecclesiastical refuge!’

Among the other entertaining responses to the last issue of Salon, Fellow David Bird says he relished Oliver Harris’s reference to the course of English history being changed when William the Conqueror defeated King Alfred at Hastings in 1066 (this according to the 1991 English Heritage Properties Guide) and is reminded of the Guildford Borough Council guide to the town that, when mentioning the castle, referred to one ‘Norman the Conqueror’. Fellow David Cranstone, referring to Salon’s item on the reconstructed tomb of Robert the Bruce on show at the Hunterian in Glasgow, says he is reminded ‘of one of the more enjoyably unfortunate burial conjunctions I have come across: Robert the Bruce’s father was buried in Holm Cultram Abbey, as were the entrails of Edward I. But not in the same grave I hope — that would be an unconscious coupling too far!’ (David assures Salon’s editor that more Fellows than you would think will know what he means by the allusion to ‘unconscious coupling’.)

He also says that there must have been an error in Lord Sudeley’s piece on Ham House, where he wrote: ‘this book tells us that the Dysart Peerage was created in 1651 by the future Charles I’. The poor unfortunate Charles had, to use a well-worn Monty Python phrase, been an ex-king for two years by 1651, due, as David says ‘to an unfortunate separation between his head and the rest of his body. The future Charles II possibly, though I suspect the Complete Peerage version is more likely: in 1643 the current Charles I still had a head with which to create a peerage for his whipping boy’.

Another head — that of Charles I’s Civil War opposite — is mentioned in Fellow Peter Salway’s recollections of our late Fellow Christopher Parish: ‘I knew him at Cambridge as I was a Fellow of Sidney Sussex in the 1950s and 1960s and in touch with him occasionally thereafter. One memory is of meeting him at the previous London Pompeii exhibition (1976), when he recounted having his field hospital parked in the forum of Pompeii during the 1944 Vesuvius eruption/earthquake. He also contributed a chapter entitled ‘The posthumous history of Oliver Cromwell’s head’ in D D Beales and H B Nisbet (eds), Sidney Sussex College Cambridge: historical essays (Boydell, 1996), produced to celebrate Sidney’s quatercentenary. It examined the evidence for the authenticity of the object (not quite conclusive but at least as good as Richard III), and described its reburial in 1960. I had a peripheral role in that event, having been deputed by the College Council to compose a wording for the plaque the College had commissioned (the notion was that a classical archaeologist ought to be able to come up with something suitable!).’

Fellow Frank Kelsall contributes a note on the 100th birthday celebrations for Beatrice de Cardi, which ‘not only brings back memories of my days in the early 1960s as a student archaeologist but recalls a more recent experience in 2012, when I took a party from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain on a study tour of Corsica. On the last day I led a walking tour round Bastia but I had not been able to make many arrangements for access to interiors. However, when we stopped outside the sixteenth-century Palazzo Cardi, a lady just returning with her shopping asked who we were. On hearing that we were English, she told me that she had been visited some years before by a distinguished lady archaeologist from England whose family home the palazzo had been. I immediately identified this lady as Beatrice and my apparent (albeit pretended) familiarity opened the doors of an apartment with a splendid eighteenth-century painted ceiling in the bedroom. The good lady’s husband who had just got out of bed was rather bemused when a group of English architectural historians trooped in.’

Which links nicely to an email from Fellow Vincent Megaw who asked why Salon has not mentioned Beatrice de Cardi’s noble antecedents in the coverage of her 100th birthday; perhaps because, modest as ever, Beatrice does not use her title, although she did write a privately published book in 2006 on The De Cardi Family in Britain, a copy of which can, of course, be found in the Society’s Library.

Call for papers: Dr Richard Mead (1673—1754): physician, philanthropist, collector

Proposals for papers for this one-day conference to be hosted by the Foundling Museum on 20 October 2014 are invited in the form of a 200-word summary and a brief biography of no more than 200 words, to be sent to curator Stephanie Chapman by 15 August 2014. The subject of the Foundling Museum’s autumn exhibition, The Generous Georgian (26 September 2014 to 4 January 2015) Dr Mead was one of the Foundling Hospital's founding governors. Proposals on a variety of subjects relating to Mead and his context are welcome, including, but not limited to, the themes of the exhibition: his medical practice, his collecting and connoisseurship and his charitable activities. Mead was an important patron of the arts, amassing an enviable collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities and a library of more than 10,000 books, which, along with his collection, was open for scholars to study at his home in Great Ormond Street.


6 September 2014: ‘Animals! Understanding human culture through the ubiquitous others’, Mitre Lecture Theatre, University of Chichester, 9.30am to 5.30pm, plus an evening wine reception at Fishbourne Roman palace to launch the new exhibition The Fallow Deer of Fishbourne in the Collections Discovery Centre.

In archaeology the study of animals (zooarchaeology) is widely considered to provide little information beyond ‘what people ate’. This situation is bizarre given that the archaeological record is composed largely of debris from human—animal relationships, in the form of animal bones, individual artefacts (eg cooking pots, husbandry equipment, figurines, manuscripts) or entire landscapes. With recent advances in archaeological approaches and scientific techniques (eg ancient DNA, stable isotopes and lipid analysis) studies of animal-related evidence are providing exciting information about issues of human migration, trade, behaviour and cultural ideology. This conference, generously supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, celebrates these new findings, bringing together leading researchers in the field (most of whom are Fellows) who will provide new insights into some of the highest profile issues in mainstream archaeology.

Visit the Sussex Past website for booking details.

15 September 2014: the Association for Manuscripts and Archives in Research Collections (AMARC) is planning a tour of Bloomsbury Libraries, a peripatetic meeting involving visits to and talks at a number of libraries, including the Wellcome Library and Senate House Library. More information will be posted on the AMARC website soon ( AMARC will also be hosting a conference on ‘English Fourteenth-Century Illuminated Manuscripts in the British Library’ on 1 December 2014, to celebrate the publication of Fellow Lucy Freeman Sandler’s volume Illuminators and Patrons in Fourteenth-Century England: the Psalter Hours of Humphrey de Bohun and the manuscripts of the Bohun Family. The speakers include Kathryn Smith and Lucy Freeman Sandler herself as well as our Fellows Paul Binski, Alixe Bovey, Julian Luxford and Nigel Morgan. The evening book launch and reception will be hosted by Sam Fogg, at the Sam Fogg Gallery.

Registration fees: £20 general, £15 for AMARC members, £10 for students. Lunch provided. To register, send a cheque made out to AMARC to Kathleen Doyle, Curator of Illuminated Manuscripts, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB.

Photograph: British Library, Egerton MS 3277, fol 46v (detail)

27 September 2014: Richard III: Fellow Mike Pitts will be in conversation with Fellow Norman Hammond at the Marlborough Literature Festival, St Mary’s Church, 10.30am, discussing the pros and cons of scientific evidence, myths and folklore for creating a love of history, and the various debates that continue to rage around Richard III, the subject of Mike’s latest book. You can also catch Mike at the Ilkley Literature Festival on 4 October 2014, and at the Theatre Royal, Bath, on 7 November 2014.

The Buildings of England: Cornwall

Cornwall was the first volume that Nikolaus Pevsner wrote in his ‘Buildings of England’ series, and when it was published in 1951, he described it as ‘experimental’ and the work of a beginner. This long-overdue overhaul by our Fellow Peter Beacham puts Cornwall on a par with all the other revised volumes in the series, but is not without its own small innovations: in particular, there is a valuable and well-justified emphasis on the building stones of the county, with six colour plates to help us recognise polyphant and catacleuse (such poetic names!) and the beautiful green slate from the quarry at Delabole. This is important because, thinking about what makes Cornwall ‘a land apart’, stone surely plays a very important part, the hardness of its granites making this a county of few decorative flourishes though it also means that carved stones endure, so that the county has some sixty or so early Christian crosses and stones inscribed in Ogham and Latin.

Like Pevsner himself, who had a gift for les mots justes and could sum up the special qualities of a place in a short phrase, so Peter captures the essence of place in his descriptions of ‘the gentle polychromy of slate, brick and colourwash’ that characterises so many of Cornwall’s fishing ports, the ‘raw beauty of the china clay country’s vast spoil heaps’ (once popular as a sci-fi film location, including episodes of ‘Dr Who’), and the contrasts between the ‘inhospitable grandeur of the north coast cliffs’, the ‘intricate ancient fieldscape of West Penwith’, the ‘sheltered luxuriance of the tropic gardens of the south coast’s long and deep estuaries’, rightly echoing Pevsner’s comment that in Cornwall, it is the landscape setting as much as the architecture that makes places so memorable.

He also makes sure we are not deceived: Cotehele, that glorious and complex courtyard house, is not picturesque by accident: it is ‘the product of sustained investment by the Edgcumbe family ... [who] deliberately sought to embellish Cotehele’s ancient fabric and character as a way of demonstrating heir own deep roots in the past’, not least by means of ‘some meticulous medievalising in the nineteenth century’, so that ‘very few wall surfaces [now have] their original architectural features intact’, the result being the ‘epitome of Tudor picturesque’. Similarly, Tintagel’s Old Post Office, apparently the archetypal Cornish cottage, had its picturesque qualities greatly enhanced by Detmar Blow in 1896.

On the other hand, Cornwall has architecture that does not dissemble but that moves us by its raw simplicity and integrity: the preaching pit at Gwennap, the Come-to-Good meeting house of 1710 and the oldest Friends’ Meeting House to survive in England, at Marazion, built in 1688, plus the many relics of Cornwall’s mining industry, not to mention castles that illustrate the entire sweep of Britain’s military history.

The Buildings of England: Cornwall, by Peter Beacham and Nikolaus Pevsner; ISBN 9780300126686; Yale University Press, 2014

Horns and Trumpets of the World

Fellow Jeremy Montagu, former curator of the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments and President of the Galpin Society, has written several books already on the histories, origins and development of musical instruments, but this book was written with the particular affection and insight that comes from the fact that Jeremy is a brass player himself, having studied French horn at London’s Guildhall School of Music. ‘To be able to play one brass instrument gives one an immediate insight into all the others that cannot be achieved in any other way’, Jeremy says in the 'Introduction', before launching into a definition of a horn (‘it must have two holes, one into which to blow and one for the sound to come out’) and surprising us by providing three chapters about trumpets and horns made of every material but brass, including bamboo and ivory, bone, bark and wood, shell, gourd and ceramic and animal horn from a variety of animals, not to mention plastic (the vuvuzela).

Jeremy wonders whether the first horns developed in prehistory as a result of marrow being blown out of a bone. Among the oldest surviving examples are two trumpets, one of silver, one of bronze, that Howard Carter found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, dating from around 1350 BC. This is an illustrated guide, so we have pictures of splendid Bronze and Iron Age horns and some fine medieval horns before arriving at the more familiar orchestral instruments of the seventeenth century onwards.

The text is also packed with fascinating insights into the ways that composers have used these instruments to lend vibrant colour to their work: Monteverdi deployed the sackbut to characterise the Underworld in L’Orfeo (1607); Mozart used the same instrument for the voice of the ghost of the Don in Don Giovanni (1787). As for trombones, successor to the sackbut, Jeremy believes that ‘Schubert showed a greater understanding [of their sound] in his two last symphonies than Beethoven ever did’, regretting that the latter only associated them with music for funerals.

There are sections on the playing of brass instruments and on their making; should anyone think that brass instruments are simple to make by comparison with stringed instruments, Jeremy corrects us by saying that they are precision instruments requiring skills not far different from those of the watchmaker. They are also easily damaged: the author speaks from the heart when he tells us that reluctant students made to learn a brass instrument against their will could sabotage a lesson easily enough by dropping or damaging the mouthpiece: when he was a teacher, Jeremy became very skilled at making delicate repairs.

Horns and Trumpets of the World: an illustrated guide, by Jeremy Montagu; ISBN 9780810888814; Rowman & Littlefield, 2014

The Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of Southern Britain AD 450—650

When our late Fellow Martin Welch died at the early age of sixty-three in 2011, he left his last major research endeavour incomplete: the Leverhulme Trust-funded project called ‘Beyond the Tribal Hidage’. Based on the few chapters that had been completed, plus drafts and notes, our Fellow Sue Harrington has now brought to publication important parts of the project database and twelve chapters of analysis, designed to address the question: does the seventh-century AD Tribal Hidage document recording the names of the groups and polities of early Anglo-Saxon England and the tax due on their lands and produce reflect the economic and social realities of the communities documented?

Answering this question has involved analysing the 12,000 burials and the 28,000 artefacts known from this period, and plotting their distribution against such environmental and landscape features as soil type, woodland, floodplains, navigable rivers, coastal waters, raw material sources, sites associated with metalworking and other craft activities and the pre-existing Romano-British infrastructure of settlements, roads, tracks and droveways. The maps and datasets that are presented in this book are a fraction of the material gathered for the project, all of which will eventually be housed by the Archaeology Data Service, to form a rich resource for many years to come.

The results were expected to throw light on a number of hotly contested issues: what was the fate of the British in the south east in the fifth and sixth centuries? Did Germanic communities (In the form of Frankish migrants from Gaul) settle a deserted landscape, selecting the optimal locations for their settlements? Did they ‘conquer’ existing estates, replace Roman elites and impose themselves and their culture on existing agricultural communities? Were all encounters between British and migrant hostile ones? What role did the Church play?

The book draws some tentative first conclusions. The earliest Germanic migrants spread across the south east very rapidly. They did so using the existing road network. That same network was crucial to their ability to control trade and access to resources, based on the establishment of settlements at nodal points in the landscape. They used cemeteries, marked by post structures and burial mounds, to serve as visual markers in the landscape, signposts at road, trackway and waterway junctions to indicate the location of nearby settlements.

Derelict Romano-British sites were not occupied, but were used as quarries for materials — most especially for metal, a valuable commodity. Over and above the control of agricultural produce and textiles, controlling the circulation and use of metal and semi-precious stones was the key to wealth and status.

Iron objects may well have been made locally, but finer high-status objects were made not by itinerant smiths and jewellers, but by specialists, occupying the nodal points or central places in the landscape. Sue Harrington is especially fond of the idea that brooches were commissioned specifically for you as a betrothal gift and hence went with you to the grave.

This book rejects a militaristic model, one of conquest based on marauding bands of hostile migrants. Instead it suggests that the earliest migrants were traders, agents, tax collectors and customs controllers; they simply took over from Roman officials (whose belt sets and uniforms they deliberately imitated), no doubt making life miserable for poor peasants, exploiting their vulnerability, and taking a share of their produce for passing the rest on to the aristocracy.

Conflict existed, but not in the form of war between ‘native’ and ‘migrant’, rather as a civil war at a later date as rival aristocrats jostled for ascendancy. Perhaps the book should have been subtitled ‘death and taxes’; it all sounds very much like our own contemporary world, and for that reason all the more plausible.

The Early Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms of Southern Britain AD 450—650: beneath the Tribal Hidage, by Sue Harrington and Martin Welch; ISBN 9781782976127; Oxbow Books, 2014

Sparsholt Roman Villa, Hampshire, Excavations

Fellow Stephen Cosh writes: ‘The Roman villa at Sparsholt, west of Winchester, was excavated between 1965 and 1972 by our late Fellow David E Johnston. Sadly illness and his death in 2011 prevented his completion of the long-awaited site report. This has now been accomplished and published, the principal writer being Jonathan Dicks, with specialist reports by others (I did the Mosaic report, which has a colour section).’

Described by our Fellow Martin Biddle as ‘one of the last triumphs of the age of the local volunteer’, the report shows that Iron Age settlement at the site was followed in the late second century by the construction of a rectilinear masonry building incorporating baths. This was demolished towards the end of the third century and replaced by an aisled building, also with baths, and a residential corridor villa, both with fine mosaics. The villa was abandoned during the fourth century.

Sparsholt Roman Villa Hampshire Excavations, by David E Johnston and Jonathan Dicks; ISBN 9780907473121; Hampshire Field Club monograph 11, 2014

Mr Eric Gill: recollections of an apprentice, by David Kindersley

Mr Eric Gill is a memoir by David Kindersley, letter cutter, sculptor and inventor, first published fifty years ago, about his apprenticeship with Eric Gill. This entirely new edition, with fresh illustrations, has an introduction by Fiona MacCarthy, the renowned Eric Gill biographer, who calls it ‘full of atmosphere and detail’.

Fellow Ann Saunders is a fan and has written to welcome this recent addition to the publications from the Cardozo-Kindersley Workshop. ‘Writing in 1967, Kindersley described the intensity of total immersion in whatever the workshop had in hand at that particular moment. Gill’s method of instruction was to tell an apprentice to draw out something as he thought it should be done and then to correct it, saying “You make it like this” — a process repeated as often as was necessary until all was right.

‘Kindersley then goes on to describe the physical setting of the Buckinghamshire workshop — a square of barns set around a pigsty. Gill’s own office faced outwards so that he was undisturbed by the odours afflicting his apprentices during hot weather. Farmyard activities, such as straying cows, interrupted the apprentices’ work but, to Kindersley, Piggotts seemed an enchanted place and he soon became Gill’s closest assistant, second only to Laurie Cribb, the chief letter-cutter.

‘The book continues with an account of Gill’s disagreement with Frank Dobson at a Royal Academy dinner, and then closes with a description of Gill’s dependence on the theories of his friend, Ananda Coomaraswamy, although, at every turn, his faith in the Roman Catholic Church is emphasised. The book is illustrated throughout, something to catch the eye on almost every page, many of the illustrations never before reproduced.’

Diario Siciliano (Febbraio—Marzo 1822)

Fellow Iain Gordon Brown writes to say that ‘the much-delayed edition of the Sicilian diary of James Hall (1800—54) has now been published as the Diario Siciliano (Febbraio—Marzo 1822) by Agorà & Co of Lugano, Switzerland. This is the latest volume in the series ‘Viaggi e Viaggiatori in Sicilia’ which appears under the editorial direction of Professor Rosario Portale of the University of Catania. I have written a few articles on James Hall and, indeed, have contributed his life to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and I have helped Rosario in various ways with several of his books in the series. This particular one prints three volumes of James Hall’s manuscript journals which I bought for the National Library of Scotland in 1996.

‘The son of Sir James Hall, the distinguished geologist and chemist, James had inherited his father’s interest in the sciences, and added this to his own interests in classical art, archaeology and literature. An advocate by training, Hall was a gentleman painter and man of letters by inclination. He was a delightful character and his copiously illustrated journals of a late but notable Grand Tour (1821—2) are utterly charming in their intimacy and immediacy.

‘With my assistance Professor Portale has edited and translated the Sicilian journals into Italian and I have written the introduction to the book, which also appears in Italian. The original intention was to print Hall’s English text, edited from the manuscript, with an Italian translation and commentary, and that my introduction should also appear in two languages. As it is, we only have the Italian text, but many of Hall’s charming pencil sketches are reproduced: 24 in colour and nearly 70 in black and white. These feature the Greek temples of Sicily, other antiquities, views of scenery and natural history, geological features, etc.’


English Heritage: Head of Enhanced Advisory Services
Salary: up to £49,000; closing date 20 July 2014

The person appointed to this new post at English Heritage will lead the creation and delivery of a new set of enhanced planning-related services, for which English Heritage will charge its clients. For further details, see the English Heritage website.

Manchester City Galleries: Deputy Director
Salary: £47,301 to £50,407; closing date 21 July 2014

To support the Director in delivering the artistic vision and programme at Manchester Art Gallery and Gallery of Costume, Platt Hall. See the Manchester City Council website for further information.

British Museum: Keeper of Asia
Salary: £58,482; closing date 31 July 2014

To manage the museum’s teams responsible for East Asia, South-east Asia and South Asia, ensuring that the museum maintains its academic reputation in the UK and internationally in the relevant subject areas and that the work of department staff is fully integrated into the work of the museum as a whole, and to play a key role in its future development. For further information, see the jobs page of the museum’s website.

Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund: Chair
Closing date: 28 August 2014

Dame Jenny Ambramsky is due to step down from the position of Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund in August 2014. The search is now on for a successor. To find out more about the position, see the briefing pack or contact advising consultant Juliet Taylor at GatenbySanderson (tel: 0207 426 3990) for an informal discussion.

Propose a lecture

Please email Renée LaDue, the Society's Communications Officer if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 5pm) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 1pm).

We welcome papers based on new research on 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.


Follow the Society of Antiquaries on Twitter for news and event updates: @SocAntiquaries

Share with a friend

Like Salon: Issue 323 on Facebook


You are receiving Salon because you are a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries or because you have asked to be put on the circulation list.

Subscribe to Salon, our fortnightly e-newsletter.
Unsubscribe (You will no longer receive Salon nor any other e-communication from the Society).
Forward this e-newsletter to a friend.

Editor's note on SalonSAL logo

The Society cannot guarantee the accuracy of, or accept any responsibility for, the contents of Salon. Readers who wish to use or quote from items in Salon should always check the accuracy and current position with the source.

© 2014 Society of Antiquaries of London | Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE
Telephone: 020 7479 7080 | Website: