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Salon: Issue 328
20 October 2014

Next issue: 3 November 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.
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Inside this issue

Forthcoming meetings


Unless stated otherwise, tea is served from 4.15pm and meetings start at 5pm. Guests are welcome if accompanied by a Fellow.

23 October 2014: ‘Painting, practice and purpose: the “Making Art in Tudor Britain” project at the National Portrait Gallery’, by Tarnya Cooper, FSA, and Charlotte Bolland. The National Portrait Gallery has recently completed a seven-year collaborative research project, combining technical analysis with new art historical and archival research, to discover more about artistic practices in sixteenth-century Britain. This paper will discuss some of the findings of new research on key Tudor paintings and will also introduce the NPG exhibition, The Real Tudors: Kings and Queens Rediscovered (12 September 2014 to 1 March 2015), to which our Society is lending several works, including Hans Eworth’s portrait of Mary I.

30 October 2014: ‘Beyond the horizon: societies of the Channel and North Sea 3,500 years ago’, by Peter Clark, FSA, and Anne Lehoërff, FSA
The well-preserved Middle Bronze Age sewn-plank boat discovered in Dover in 1992 has provided an immense amount of new information about the technology of water transport and the skills of Bronze Age craftsmen. It has also stimulated research and fieldwork into Bronze Age communities on both sides of the Channel and North Sea. Close similarities in material culture, settlement types and funerary rites seem to suggest a maritime ‘culture’ focused on the Transmanche coastal zones, quite different to those communities living further inland during the second millennium BC. This paper will review and assess the results of one such international project, called ‘BOAT 1550 BC’, which examined the evidence for cross-Channel connections, accompanied by the construction and sailing of a replica Bronze Age boat and a far-reaching programme of education and outreach.

6 November 2014: ‘Early European urbanism in the Trypillia Group? The mega site at Nebelivka, Ukraine’, by John Chapman, FSA
It is now recognised that Trypillia mega-sites of the Ukraine and Moldova were the largest settlements in fourth millennium BC Europe, the largest being as big as the first Near-Eastern cities. The first thirty-five years of research into Trypillia mega-sites (1971—2008) gave an understanding of broad planning principles but also provided exaggerated site sizes, little detail on intra-site grouping and no indication of intra-site phasing. On the basis of these results, Fletcher (1995) characterised Trypillia mega-sites as the major world exception to his limit to agrarian settlement size.

The key questions for current mega-site studies include: how did such massive sites develop, how were they maintained and why did they collapse? In the last five years, high-precision magnetometry has provided detailed settlement plans, identifying internal ditches, palaeo-channels, roads, kilns, regularly occurring household clusters, pit clusters, bounded unbuilt spaces and larger ensembles of houses, as well as large public buildings. These new elements reveal a far greater degree of internal spatial ordering than was ever detectable on the older plans and facilitate an improved understanding of social space at the neighbourhood as well as the community level. These approaches are exemplified at the mega site at Nebelivka.

13 November 2014: ‘Domesticating the exotic: recent research into Chinese wallpaper’, by Emile de Bruijn
The National Trust’s Collections Registrar will present the results of a recent project to catalogue the Chinese wallpapers in the Trust’s historic houses. A comparison of examples owned by the National Trust with others elsewhere has provided greater insight into the development of this early-modern global product. It is becoming clear that these wallpapers were not merely designed as ‘export’ art but that they closely reflect the style and iconography of Chinese professional painting traditions. More is also coming to light about the ways in which Chinese wallpaper was traded, hung and appreciated in Britain. A multi-disciplinary approach has proved crucial in understanding the social, economic and art-historical aspects of this hybrid art form.

Forthcoming public meetings


Public meetings are from 1pm to 2pm on Tuesdays. These meetings are very popular, so advance booking is advised to be sure of a place.

28 October 2014: ‘Mackintosh, Muthesius and Japan’
Fellow Neil Jackson, Professor of Architecture at the University of Liverpool, will talk about the influence of Japanese art, architecture and design on Charles Rennie Mackintosh and on his close friend, the German architect and writer, Hermann Muthesius. Muthesius had lived in Japan and this presentation argues that it was his specific knowledge of Japan, as well as Glasgow’s Japanese zeitgeist, that allowed Mackintosh’s most famous building, the Glasgow School of Art, to assume such an idiosyncratic yet, at the same time, recognisably Japanese appearance.

4 November 2014: ‘Silent Voices from the Lord’s Pavilion (MCC)’
In 1899, the Australian cricket team competing for the Ashes scratched their initials or signatures on the balustrade of the terracotta balcony fronting their dressing room at the Grade-II listed Lord’s Cricket Pavilion. Fellow Howard Hanley will use these recently rediscovered graffiti as a springboard for a series of fascinating stories about the cricketers themselves, and about the period in which they lived — at a time when cricket was becoming an international sport and the ongoing England—Australian rivalry really got going in earnest.

Ballot results: 9 October 2014


The Society welcomes the following new Fellows, who were elected at the ballot held on 9 October 2014:
  • Charlotte Behr: Reader in Roman and Early Medieval History, University of Roehampton, specialising in the history, art history and archaeology of early medieval Europe, in particular the iconography of bracteates;
  • Caroline Rachel Wells: President of the Sussex Archaeological Society; has worked and published extensively on the Somerset Levels and more recently on the prehistoric archaeology of Sussex;
  • John Kyriakos Papadopoulos: Professor of Archaeology and Classics, University of California, Los Angeles; has excavated and published on sites in Greece, Albania, Italy and Australia, with a special focus on Aegean prehistory;
  • Simon Charles Constantine Kirsop: Senior Officer, HM Revenue and Customs, an expert in taxation relief for buildings, land and art with interests in early medieval and Romanesque art, Chinese bronzes and ceramics and French art and history of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries;
  • Glenn Richardson: Reader in Early Modern History, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, a leading scholar in early Tudor court studies, author of works on the Field of Cloth of Gold and Cardinal Wolsey;
  • Richard Green: retired curator at York Art Gallery with particular expertise in British art of the eighteenth to twentieth centuries, on which he has published extensively;
  • Gerald Miles Alabone: Head of Frames Conservation, Tate, a specialist in seventeenth-century frames who has contributed to the appreciation of frames as part of the provenance and context of paintings;
  • Christopher James Skidmore: MP for Bristol Kingswood and an art historian specialising in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century politics and nobility; author of works on Tudor history, including a biography of Edward VI;
  • Martin John Wellings: historian specialising in the history of Methodism and the Evangelical school of the Church of England;
  • Jonathan Carey: conservation architect, and author of numerous reports and surveys for English Heritage and the National Trust; nominated architect for the Churches Conservation Trust.
 

Subscription rates


Council has set the new subscription rate for the year beginning 1 January 2015 at £168. Anyone who wishes to pay by credit card or change their bank details should contact the Society’s Finance Officer, Giselle Pullen (tel: 0207 479 7087).
 

Calling musical Fellows


Volunteers are needed for a chamber choir to perform seasonal songs at the Society’s Christmas Miscellany on 11 December 2014. The repertoire and rehearsal schedule will be decided once we know who is available, but suggestions are very welcome. Please contact Salon’s editor if you would like to take part.

Meanwhile, anyone interested in learning more about midwinter songs and folk carols might like to know about the Singing Workshop on 29 November 2014 at the Friends Meeting House, in Wellington, Somerset, that is being run by our Fellow Yvette Staelens, whose website has more information.
 

English Heritage splits


Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy, announced on 14 October 2014 that the Government has given its approval for the separation of English Heritage into two organisations. From 1 April 2015, English Heritage will run the National Heritage Collection of historic properties and a newly named non-departmental public body, Historic England, will be set up to offer expert advice, champion the wider historic environment and provide support for stakeholders in the heritage sector.

The Minister also confirmed that the Government will provide additional funding of £88.5m for investment in the National Heritage Collection — specifically to deal with urgent conservation defects and enable the upgrading of visitor facilities, including the renewal of outdated displays.

The business plan for English Heritage (download here), agreed by Government, anticipates financial break-even in 2022/23. Until then, a tapering annual grant will be administered by the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England. A draft of Historic England’s first Corporate Plan (download here) has also been published for public consultation.

Writing to stakeholders to explain the decision, English Heritage Chairman, Sir Laurie Magnus, said: ‘I am very pleased that Government has recognised that we need a level of security to give English Heritage and Historic England firm foundations for success. I therefore welcome the commitment in the Secretary of State’s letter to the success of the New Model and that this will be reflected in future Spending Reviews. I also welcome the guarantee that our grant from Government for 2014/15 and 2015/16 will be protected from any further cuts. This will enable us to concentrate all our efforts on giving English Heritage and Historic England the best possible start.

‘I shall remain Chairman of the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, which will lead the work of Historic England and retain residual responsibility for the National Heritage Collection and for holding the Charity to account. The Charity will have a Board of Trustees, including myself, Sir Tim Laurence and various other Commissioners, but it will have a majority of independent members. We will advertise soon to recruit independent trustees. I am delighted that Sir Tim has been nominated as transitional Chairman elect of the Charity. His appointment is subject to ratification by the new Board of Trustees of the charity once appointed, at which point he will step down as a Commissioner.

‘Simon Thurley will continue to lead the process of establishing the New Model as English Heritage Chief Executive. However we will soon start the process of recruiting new Chief Executives for Historic England and the charity [see 'Vacancies' below] and, once these individuals have taken up their posts, Simon will stand down. Simon has led a remarkable transformation of English Heritage over the last twelve years, culminating in the delivery of the New Model. He can justly be acclaimed as a major contributor, not only to our organisational development, but also to the heritage cause throughout England. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. In the first half of next year Simon will be taking up a Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute of Historical Research to write his book on the architecture of the Tudor and Stuart Court.

‘Mark Pemberton, our Director of National Collections, has decided, after fourteen years of outstanding service, that this would be a good moment for him to step down following an appropriate period of transition. I am immensely grateful to him for all the work he has done to develop and execute the New Model.’
 

Reaction to the EH announcement


Our Society’s President, Gill Andrews, said the ‘the Society responded robustly to the initial consultation on the New Model English Heritage and our submission was singled out for mention by two MPs in the parliamentary debate that took place on 2 April concerning these proposals. You can be assured that the Society will also be making its opinions known during the Historic England Corporate Plan consultation process that follows this announcement.’

Our Fellow Loyd Grossman, Chairman of the Heritage Alliance, of which our society is a member, said that: ‘We’re pleased that the business plan has been agreed after a period of uncertainty and look forward to renewed stability for the sector. We congratulate the leadership of English Heritage on concluding what was a lengthy and complex negotiation and we look forward to working with them under the new arrangements. However we will continue to monitor both parts of the New Model carefully because of the central importance of both English Heritage and Historic England to all of us who care for our heritage. We’re especially keen to make sure that Historic England is adequately resourced to provide essential statutory and non-statutory services for the sector and the wider public.’

A statement issued by the Institute for Archaeologists congratulated English Heritage ‘on having successfully negotiated its future governance and funding with UK government. Discussions have been protracted, but statements issued today [14 October 2014] indicate that they have been productive. There is significantly improved investment promised for the English Heritage charity and there are some reassuring commitments to the future funding security of Historic England.

‘IfA will study the published documents carefully and will continue to monitor the governance and funding arrangements as they bed in over the years: as always we will be ready to protest any further disproportionate cuts to Historic England revenue funding and to provide briefings to political and press allies in any such event. In the meantime we hope that the way is now clear for the rapid appointment of governance posts, and for formal consultation on the all‐important corporate plan for Historic England.’

‘Heritage Exchange’ conference report


Our General Secretary, John Lewis, writes: ‘in an earlier edition of Salon, I promised to relay my thoughts on attending the “Heritage Exchange” conference organised by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) this past summer (14—15 July 2014) at St Luke’s, Islington. My observations are of a general nature and are not a detailed critique of individual papers. All the lectures and the discussion sessions were filmed, so Fellows interested in the detail may view them here. I have, wherever possible, tried to incorporate the thoughts of some of the Fellows who also attended the event or had read the papers online. However the following thoughts are my own and do not represent the views of the Society or others.

‘The Heritage Exchange conference aimed to: “bring together for the first time a range of high profile heritage leaders and thinkers … to debate the challenges and opportunities facing the UK’s heritage sector. Heritage Exchange was a major thought-leadership event focusing on new ways of working in a radically changing economic environment.” The conference aimed to be a “key forum for sharing ideas about heritage — its role in civil society and place, and how best to ensure its resilience in the future … We will tackle some of the key issues to help shape future decision-making”.

‘The message that came across most clearly from the event was eloquently articulated by Dame Jenny Abramski, then Chair of the HLF: “we need to provide a heritage sector that is of the people, by the people, for the people of this country”. This is a view that I wholeheartedly support, and is one that the Society shares. Our recent paintings exhibition, our plans for a Magna Carta exhibition in 2015, our public lecture series and annual Open House London tour — not to mention the record numbers of visitors at Kelmscott Manor in recent years — all demonstrate the commitment of the Society to telling the public about the importance of caring for and researching our past. HLF has recognised our efforts in this area through their recent Catalyst and Transition grant awards to support the Society in becoming a more public-facing organisation.

‘The composition of the invited audience and the selected speakers was interesting. There were relatively few heritage practitioners and professionals from the heritage sector. Although representatives of the major heritage bodies and institutions were present, they were outnumbered by social charities, civic societies, think-tanks and theoreticians. A comparison of this audience with the Society’s “View from the Battlements” seminar in 2011 and the conference to celebrate the centenary of the 1913 Ancient Monuments Act would find few bodies common to both events. I was left with the impression that this conference was for the people and organisations that are the new “consumers, users and shapers” of heritage. Perhaps that is why so many of the speakers posed questions such as “What is heritage for?” and “How can we use it?”. Heritage was talked of as a “tool” or a “lever”, and also revealed as a powerful agent in shaping localities and leading economic and social regeneration.

These are interesting perspectives (the conference papers were described as “provocations”). However, at some point we have to acknowledge that heritage has a value in its own right, beyond its usefulness as a “lever” or “place shaper”. Therefore the exchange of ideas that the event was supposed to foster would have benefited from more informed comment and input from heritage professionals and practitioners with years of experience in the field. I could give many examples to illustrate this, but the following few examples will suffice.

‘The contribution by Hewison and Holden claimed that the heritage sector was fissured and divided due to competitiveness and jealously (amongst other reasons). This is an unfair observation. Yes, the sector is divided, but these divisions are along lines of specialism, scholarship, interest and expertise in much the same way that all of the sciences are sub-divided into a multitude of specialisms. However, we do have mechanisms to speak as a collective voice: our Society has been doing this for 300 years and has been joined by the Heritage Alliance, to offer just two examples.

‘Hewison and Holden went on to suggest that, if the heritage sector could set aside its divisions and join forces with the natural environment through a common language, it could form a powerful movement. If the historic environment had the same level of statutory protection (derived from European and national legislation) as the natural environment, then this would of course be extremely beneficial.

‘Hewison and Holden went on to suggest that Historic England and Natural England should merge to provide one strong historic and natural environment agency. This would, in theory, be very attractive, but the Environment Agency provides an example of what can happen when ecological concerns take precedence over an organisation’s core function (in this case to manage waterways to mitigate dangers from flooding and pollution). Until the balance of statutory protection between the natural and historic environmental is addressed (which, surely, is the main priority), such a proposal would result in another fatally conflicted government agency.

‘Moving on, the session where civic leaders of Manchester, Glasgow and Bristol spoke of their pride in the heritage of their cities and the part it had played in civic and economic rejuvenation was particularly heart-warming. However, the heritage sector has been making the point for decades that heritage has an invaluable part to play in shaping places and reviving town and city centres. For example, the HLF set up its Townscape Heritage Initiative as far back as 1998, as the successor to similar schemes funded by English Heritage (and before it the DOE) that originated in European Architectural Heritage Year 1975.

‘Paradoxically, this highlighted another of the conference’s weaknesses: it had an almost exclusive metro-centric focus on urban built environments. Just under half the UK population still lives in the countryside, and rural historic landscapes (and in particular archaeological remains) were virtually ignored. As an archaeologist, I found this most concerning. The value of archaeological remains (whether below-ground invisible deposits or an excavation archive) would be less apparent to many of the speakers who, as I said earlier, viewed heritage as a “tool” or a “lever”. It would be rather more difficult for these contributors to derive a satisfactory answer to the question “What is heritage for?” when it is applied to a Bronze Age barrow or a Mesolithic flint scatter, but rather easier to perceive the applied heritage value of an agreeably restored waterfront-warehouse-cum-arts-and-community-centre. Here we return to the fundamental notion that heritage has by definition cultural value, which may (but equally may not) generate community or economic benefits for the current generation.

‘Archaeology as a profession has a real challenge to turn the enormous amount of data collected since the advent of PPG16 in 1990 into knowledge and information that is of interest and benefit to the public. However, on the basis of this conference, it would seem that we still need to convince our colleagues in other areas of the heritage sector that archaeology makes a unique contribution to the understanding of who we are as a nation and how the landscape we live in came into being over hundreds of thousands of years.

‘I will conclude by looking to the future. During the conference the audience was asked to vote electronically on a series of questions. The final question of the day was something along the lines of “Did you enjoy the day and would you do it again?” To which the overwhelming reply was “Yes, it was a blast, let’s do it again!” HLF has undoubtedly made an incalculable contribution to preserving our heritage and making it accessible to the public. I would suggest that if HLF do hold another “Heritage Exchange”, it would be useful if it could focus on an exchange of ideas between HLF and heritage professionals and practitioners (and especially archaeologists). I am sure our Society would be a keen participant.’
 

Tributes to Sir Jocelyn Stevens (14 February 1932—12 October 2014)




Sir Jocelyn Stevens, Chairman of English Heritage from 1992 to 2000, has died at the age of eighty-two. In its tribute, English Heritage described Sir Jocelyn as ‘truly a fearless, heritage hero’. It said that, though he was seen at the time as an unlikely choice of Chairman, ‘no one could have turned out to be a greater heritage champion’.

The achievements of his period in office include the restoration of the Albert Memorial, the rescue of Down House, where Charles Darwin lived and worked, the refurbishment of Eltham Palace, the restoration of Wellington Arch and the innovative conservation of Wigmore Castle, which stabilised the building but left it an ivy-clad romantic ruin with brambles rather than railings to keep visitors away from the dangerous parts. He also created the nation’s first-ever register of Buildings at Risk, on which the BBC TV 'Restoration' series was based.

His great passion was always Stonehenge. He firmly believed that both visitors and the stones themselves deserved better than the twentieth-century clutter that surrounded them. English Heritage said: ‘his tireless campaign kept Stonehenge on the conscience of the nation, convincing the Government that something must be done and thus laying the foundations for the transformation finally achieved last year’.

The Independent, in its tribute, described Sir Jocelyn as someone who specialised in saving 'lost causes and lame ducks' — listing Queen magazine, Radio Caroline, the Evening Standard, the Daily Express and the Royal College of Arts and English Heritage as examples. Referring to his time at English Heritage, the Independent quoted Sir Jocelyn as saying that when Michael Heseltine offered him the job, he said ‘I didn't know much about English Heritage except that I hated it and he said, “Got it!” They wanted a fox in the chicken coop.’ In fact, the report continues, ‘he proved surprisingly sensitive, fighting to keep listed churches open, overseeing the restoration of the Albert Memorial and persuading the government to improve Stonehenge’.

A similar point was made in the Guardian’s obituary, which said that ‘in 1992, he moved on at the request of Michael Heseltine, then Environment Secretary, to perform similar surgery as chair of English Heritage. There, despite the warning that “the archaeologists will bury you”, he proved an effective champion of the organisation and protector of its buildings and monuments — notably the Crescent at Buxton — and, perhaps surprisingly to his enemies, a supporter of significant modern architecture.’

In response, our Fellow Geoff Wainwright, Chief Archaeologist at English Heritage under Sir Jocelyn’s Chairmanship, wrote to the newspaper to say: ‘Far from being “buried by archaeologists”, Sir Jocelyn Stevens embraced us and shared our passion for heritage. Committed to quality, and irascible when it suited him, Jocelyn brought a welcome breadth of vision and experience to English Heritage. Most of us responded enthusiastically — though some were scorched by his insistence that only the best would do.

'He recognised the power of archaeology to change perceptions of the past and influence the ways in which we would live together in the future. The new Stonehenge visitor centre and the restoration of the monument to its landscape would not have occurred without his persistent advocacy. He was a firm friend to archaeology and his support was crucial as it evolved from a preserve of the few into the wider world.’
 

Please think again, Sir Roy


If the Sunday Times is to be believed, our Fellow Sir Roy Strong has threatened to ‘destroy’ the gardens at his Herefordshire home, The Laskett, after receiving a letter from the National Trust, to whom he wished to donate the house and garden, saying that it failed to ‘reach the high rung of historic and national importance’. Sir Roy told the newspaper that he was so upset that ‘I have now decided to change my will, stating that the garden will stay open to the public for one year after my death, and then be destroyed’. He went on to explain that by ‘destroyed’ he meant ‘not bulldozed as such but I will ensure that all personal aspects which really make the garden so extraordinary are taken away’.

The National Trust responded by saying that ‘the establishment of an independent charitable trust would be the best way to protect this much-loved place’ and Salon’s editor can only agree. Take inspiration, Sir Roy, from the after life of Christo Lloyd’s inspiring and influential garden at Great Dixter. A decade before he died, Christo was looking for someone to carry the spirit of the garden forward and he found that person in Fergus Garrett, who has done a brilliant job of maintaining Great Dixter's reputation for innovative planting, allowing the garden to continue evolving, and he has made it the focus of a busy programme of lectures, talks, symposia, demonstrations, training workshops, school visits and concerts. Take inspiration, too, from our Fellow Alan Garner who has set up the Blackden Trust under the Chairmanship of our Fellow Richard Morris to 'prevent the house from falling into the hands of the wealthy footballers of Alderley Edge', but more seriously as a ‘place of collective archaeological discovery’ with a lively educational programme.


We know, Sir Roy, that you are fond of grand iconoclastic acts; we remember vividly your call for a bonfire of Victorian ginger pews (not to mention a cull of the many organisations, often competing with each other, that are involved in the conservation of historic places of worship) but on this occasion, please consider the alternative: a far more effective gesture of defiance against the National Trust, if that is what you desire, would be to make sure the garden lives on despite their rejection. We stand ready to help and support you in maintaining this romantic and resonant place as you always intended to be, as a striking commemoration of your late wife and your marriage that is far too good to destroy because of a predictable but nevertheless disappointing letter.
 

Feller Collection donated to the Ashmolean Museum


Here is another inspiring example of philanthropy. Salon’s editor has been buying bags of bones for making stock for many years from Feller, Son & Daughter, the organic butchers, in Oxford’s Covered Market, little knowing until now that Micheál Feller, the proprietor, and his wife Elizabeth are renowned in the textile world as the possessors of an outstanding collection of historic needlework. Choice pieces from the collection, in the form of raised and flatwork pictorial panels, samplers, embroidered boxes and cushions and dress accessories, including caps, coifs and gloves, have been on display as part of the Ashmolean’s Eye of the Needle summer exhibition, which has just finished.

To mark the closing of the exhibition, and to honour Christopher Brown, who has just retired as Director of the Ashmolean, the Fellers have announced that they are donating the collection to the museum, on condition that some of the items will remain on permanent display. Micheál Feller said that in the past they had played host to visitors who had come to their home to see the collection, but giving it to the Ashmolean would mean ‘lots more people will be able to see it’.


Elizabeth Feller said that: ‘thanks to my mother’s influence, sewing and embroidery has been a meaningful activity throughout my life. Our collection of embroideries worked by other people began with small needlepoint cushions and went on to include samplers, panels and a huge variety of other objects, all steeped in English history, and the stories of the people who made them, and that is what we love. Micheál and I are delighted these seventeenth-century embroideries have now found a home at the Ashmolean, where they will be cared for and enjoyed for many years to come.’

Christopher Brown said he was profoundly grateful to Micheál and Elizabeth Feller for the gift of a collection that ‘has been built over many years through their passion and dedication’.
 

Exhibitions


High Spirits: the Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson
Christopher Brown’s successor at the Ashmolean is Alexander Sturgis, former Director of the Holburne Museum, Bath, while he in turn is succeeded by Jennifer Scott, formerly of the Royal Collection Trust (RCT). Building on that RCT connection, Jennifer’s first exhibition at the Holburne Museum (to 8 February) is an examination of the absurdities of life in Georgian Britain through the art of caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson (1757—1827), whose work was eagerly collected by the young George, Prince of Wales (1762—1830), later George IV, even though his gambling, drinking and womanising lifestyle frequently made him the victim of Rowlandson’s satire.

But then, Rowlandson spared nobody, not even the Fellows of our own Society, who are portrayed in ‘The reception of a new member at the Society of Antiquaries’ (1782), which hangs in the Fellows’ Room, nor even his fellow artists: Hogarth’s serpentine ‘line of beauty’ is surely the target of ‘Doctor Convex and Lady Concave’ (1802), shown on the left and currently being used to promote the exhibition. As ever, the Holburne plays host to a full programme of lectures and recitals during the autumn and winter: see the website for further details.If you cannot get to Bath for the exhibition, it will be showing at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace, in 2015.

Waddesdon Manor
Go now for your last chance to see three exhibitions at Waddesdon Manor of antiquarian interest. Fame and Friendship: Pope, Roubiliac and the portrait bust, curated by our Fellow Malcolm Baker and Royal Spectacle: ceremonial and festivities at the French Court, illustrated by seventeenth- and eighteenth-century engravings of richly costumed processions, equestrian tournaments, theatrical performances, church ceremonies and spectacular firework displays, both close on 26 October. Predators and Prey: a Roman mosaic from Lod, Israel, closes on 2 November 2014.

Dürer’s Paper Triumph: the Arch of the Emperor Maximilian
You have a month left to see the British Museum’s free exhibition in Room 3 (to the right of the main entrance) celebrating one of the most ambitious prints ever to be completed in the Western world: ambitious in terms of its size (printed from 195 woodblocks on thirty-six sheets of paper and measuring more than 3.5 metres in height), in artistic aspiration (the great German printmaker Albrecht Dürer designed it at the pinnacle of his career and took three years to produce it) and in terms of political propaganda — it was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I (reigned 1486—1519), to advertise his achievements and promote the ambitions of his dynasty, the Habsburg family from Austria.
 

Lives remembered


The Society has been informed of the recent deaths of our Fellows Lyndon F Cave-Browne-Cave, Katherine East and Charmian Woodfield. Charmian’s funeral will take place on 21 October 2014 at 2pm at All Saints Church, Calverton, near Milton Keynes.
 

Lives remembered: Derek Roe


The Times recently carried a brief family announcement saying that our former Fellow Derek Roe had died on 24 September 2014 at the age of eighty-three. Derek read Archaeology and Anthropology at Peterhouse (where he met his former wife, our Fellow Fiona Roe). He was Fellow Norman Hammond’s precursor as Archaeology Correspondent of The Times until 1967 when he resigned the post, having been appointed a Lecturer at Oxford University, thinking he could not combine journalism with full-time academic work.

Derek spent the rest of his life at Oxford, founding the Donald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre, which opened in 1975. He excavated at many seminal Palaeolithic sites, including Kalambo Falls and Olduvai Gorge, as well as producing a gazetteer of British Middle and Lower Palaeolithic sites. He also played a key role in ghosting the ‘autobiography’ of Mary Leakey, and later wrote about the experience in his engaging book, The Year of the Ghost: an Olduvai diary (Beagle books / Western Academic & Specialist Press Ltd, of Bristol, 2002), described as ‘an honest, at times intimate and frank, record of the ups and downs of their relationship, of Mary’s work in Africa, of the site of Olduvai Gorge and the impact that the discoveries made there have had on the archaeological world’. Elected a Fellow of our Society on 12 January 1978, Derek resigned shortly after his retirement in 2003.

There will be a memorial service at St Edward’s School, Oxford, at 2pm on 28 October 2014. The Antiquity website has an obituary contributed by our Fellows Nick Barton and Jill Cook.
 

News of Fellows


Fellow Matthew Spriggs was a guest at the celebrations in Oslo on 6 October 2014 for the 100th anniversary of the birth of the explorer Thor Heyerdahl. The number of guests who sat down to dinner in the Kon-Tiki Museum (in Matthew’s case, literally in the shadow of the Kon-Tiki raft itself) was 101, that being the number of days that it took for Heyerdahl to complete his 8,000km voyage across the Pacific Ocean in 1947 from South America to the Raroia atoll in the Tuamotu Islands of Eastern Polynesia.

Matt reports that the event was big news in Oslo, with paparazzi taking pictures of the guests, who included the King and Queen of Norway. Google marked the 100th birthday of the Norwegian ethnographer and explorer with a specially designed home page.

Prior to the dinner, a new collection of essays was launched, published by the Thor Heyerdahl Institute in Larvik. Edited by Ingjerd Hoem (Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and Chairman of the Kon-Tiki Museum board), and entitled Thor Heyerdahl’s Kon-Tiki in New Light, the essays examine the theories behind the Kon-Tiki expedition (contact between Polynesia and the coast of the American mainland) from a number of different disciplinary perspectives. Matt contributed the final chapter, a summary of the latest discoveries in the field of Pacific archaeology.

There was plenty of media interest last week in Australia in advance of Fellow Peter Hiscock’s public lecture at the University of Sydney’s Nicholson Museum on why Indiana Jones is no pin-up boy for archaeologists. In order to prepare for his lecture, called ‘How and Why Archaeologists are the Bad Guys in Cinema’, Peter, who is the Tom Austen Brown Professor of Australian Archaeology at the university, has watched more than 400 films with an archaeological theme and concluded that ‘archaeologists are portrayed as dangerous ... driven by self-interest and ruthless in their quest to attain an object of power, willing to steal, hurt or even kill people in their pursuit of treasures or knowledge of the past. They endanger humanity by releasing evil spirits or reawakening the dead or monsters. They are seen as playing with dangerous contexts that shouldn't be interfered with. This is incredibly consistent over the last eighty years of cinema history.’

Professor Hiscock is writing a book about archaeology in cinema and says his research stems from his own personal love of ‘bad films’. His favourite archaeology films include The Mummy (1932), 1968’s Planet of the Apes (‘because one of the apes is an archaeologist’) and The Man From Earth (2007), about a cave man who leaps into the present to teach archaeology at university. ‘Archaeologists can enjoy the fun of all these films’, he says, ‘but we don't want people fooled into thinking this is what being an archaeologist is all about’.
 

More monuments to antiquaries


Salon’s virtual desk is stacked high with contributions to the ‘monuments to antiquaries’ section; for such a small body of people, we do seem to have more than the average number of memorials!

Fellow Nicholas Stanley-Price has submitted this photograph of the memorial to Benjamin Gibson, which is in the Non-Catholic Cemetery for Foreigners in Rome. ‘Long resident in Rome’, Nicholas writes, ‘he died and was buried at Bagni di Lucca (the spa town in northern Tuscany). The youngest brother and assistant of the better-known sculptor John Gibson, the latter called him “my classical dictionary” for his knowledge of Latin and Greek.

‘According to his entry in “A biographical dictionary of sculptors in Britain 1660—1851”, he also wrote a number of papers on Italian antiquities for the Gentleman’s Magazine and for the Society of Antiquaries and his remarks on the monuments of ancient Lycia were published by the archaeologist Sir Charles Fellows. His art and 170 antiquarian books collected in Rome were given to the Royal Liverpool Institution on his death and became the nucleus of Liverpool University Library, but I can find no trace of any publications by him in the Society’s library nor do I know whether he was ever elected a Fellow. We would like very much to have his memorial stone cleaned by a conservator, so if there is any Salon reader who would like to help finance this, please get in touch!’

On which subject, Fellow Paul Barnwell writes to thank all those Fellows who contributed to the cleaning and re-carving of William Butterfield’s monument as a result of the appeal in Salon and to say that all the work was completed in time for the Butterfield anniversary at the beginning of September.

Another appeal for funds comes from Fellow Malcolm Cooper, who says: 'I wonder if I might draw attention to the rather sad state of the monument of Gerard Baldwin Brown and his family. Although he wasn’t an FSA (although was an FSA Scot) he nonetheless was an influential figure in the emerging preservation movement in Britain at the turn of the century thanks to his book The Care of Ancient Monuments (1905) as well as his work on early Christian architecture and culture and the six volumes of his major work, Arts in Early England (1903—37).

Baldwin Brown’s family lived in south London where Gerard’s father was a Congregational minister and the family grave plot was in West Norwood. Although Baldwin Brown and his wife Maude Annie lived for most of their adult life in Edinburgh (where Gerard was the Watson Gordon Professor of Fine Art) they were both cremated and buried at West Norwood. An adjacent monument is that of the pre-Raphaelite sculptor Henry Leifchild who was Gerard’s uncle and who undoubtedly was a strong influence on the future professor. The monument is unusual in that it is terracotta rather than stone and the nimbus of the cross is currently detached and in safe-keeping.

The Friends of West Norwood Cemetery have been undertaking broader conservation work on the spectacular collection of monuments at West Norwood. I am certain they would gratefully receive any specific donations towards repairing Baldwin Brown’s grave plot and reinstating the nimbus of the cross.’

Spreading the geographical wider, Vincent Megaw writes to say that a statue of his great grandfather, Lieutenant Matthew Flinders (1774—1814), was unveiled by the Duke of Cambridge at Australia House in London on 18 July 2014. Flinders is a household name in Australia because he was the first person to circumnavigate, map and name the island continent. The bronze sculpture, designed by Mark Richards, shows Flinders kneeling over a map of Australia with his compass, along with Trim, the cat who accompanied Flinders on his voyages and was with him during the six-and-a-half years he spent as a prisoner of the French on the Isle de France (now Mauritius). ‘Alas,’ says Vincent, ‘although Trim survived falling over board as a kitten, he ended his days in a stew, having been caught and eaten by some locals [Vincent doesn’t say where].’

Prince William and sculptor Mark Richards. The sculpture can be seen on the main concourse of Euston station: Flinders’s grave is thought to lie beneath what is now Platform 15, built over the site of the churchyard of St James, Hampstead Road. For more on this story, and on the Matthew Flinders Memorial Statue Scholarship, set up by Flinders University to enable students from Flinders to study for part of their degree in the UK or vice versa, see the Flinders News website.

Flinders was an accomplished flautist and used to play sonatas with the wife of the island’s most distinguished artist, Toussaint Antoine de Chazal de Chamerel (1770—1822), whose portrait of Flinders is now in the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Fellow Norman Hammond says that he hopes somebody will send in a picture of ‘the memorial in Finningham Church, Suffolk, to John Frere, who, in 1797, foresaw what we now know to be the tremendous depth of human prehistory. Writing to the Society of Antiquaries about flint axes found stratified at some depth at Hoxne, not far from his home, Frere attributed them to “a very remote period indeed, even beyond that of the present world” (by which he meant the world created in 4004 BC, as calculated by Archbishop Usher in the seventeenth century and accepted still by many until Darwin’s work rendered such a short chronology untenable). His slate plaque, erected in 1999 and carved by the Cardozo-Kindersley Workshop of Cambridge, is set with a replica flint hand axe made by Fellow Phil Harding.’

By chance, Norman's wish was fulfilled just four days later when Fellow James Bettley sent in a photograph of precisely that monument (shown left), along with two more East Anglian memorials to Fellows that will be kept for the next issue of Salon, as will some fine images sent to Salon showing the memorials of John Soane and William Burges.

Fellow Frank Kelsall writes to say that he heard ‘Fellow John Ashdown give a memorable (and well-illustrated) talk on monuments to scholars some years ago, based first on his work in Oxford (where he was conservation officer for many years) but then extending the theme more widely nationally and internationally. I took a special interest because of the work that I had done at Chetham’s Library in Manchester of which Clare Hartwell was then writing the history, since published by Yale. The reading room has a large timber tympanum with carved decoration, including columns where the bases are made up of books on edge. I looked for parallels. It is a scholarly affectation — best known in Nicholas Stone’s monument to Thomas Bodley in Merton College Chapel where the pilasters are books on edge. The Friends of Friendless Churches look after Hardmead Church in Buckinghamshire where there is another (to Catesby) with a whole background of books on edge.

‘There is also a nice design for a church monument with books in James Gibbs’s Book of Architecture. This is a speculative design for a monument to Humfrey Wanley, one of the important founders of the Antiquaries. The books are presumably a reference to Wanley’s role as keeper of the Harleian Library and his friendship with Gibbs is presumably through the Earl of Oxford. If the Wanley monument was ever erected I don’t know where it is or was and it’s not listed in any of the extant Gibbs’ works.’



James Gibbs’s
Book of Architecture (1728), plate 124. Drawings of sepulchral monuments (from left to right): monument to a poet; monument to Ben Johnson; monument to Humfrey Wanley, librarian to the Earl of Oxford. Photograph: © The Trustees of the British Museum (inv. no. 1913,1216.11).

Finally, to end this week’s selection (more in the next issue), here is another memorial featuring books, carved by Nicholas Johnson and located in St Andrew Undershaft, in the City of London. This shows John Stow (1525—1605), the historian and antiquary best known for his 1598 Survey of London, seated at his desk in the gown of a scholar, writing with a real quill pen. Stow was a tailor by profession and his quill pen is replaced every three years on the anniversary of his death (6 April) at a memorial service organised by the Merchant Taylors Company (the next service will be on 6 April 2017).
 

Feedback


That quill pen looks very like the feather of a swan  — which brings us back to the question of whether swan is edible or not. Fellow Jean Wilson says that ‘I have several times in the past consumed swan, most memorably the pectorals done en croute — a sort of Swan Wellington — which was absolutely delicious. Swan and venison stew was less successful.’ She adds mysteriously (and alluding to Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta): ‘I am not prepared to go into the circumstances of these meals, except to say that the swans had been, like that consumed by the former Master of the Queen’s Music, killed by flying into power lines, that I was not the cook, and that it was many years ago and in another county and besides the swan is dead’.

Vegetarians and those of a squeamish disposition should perhaps move on now to the next item, while the rest of us enjoy Jean’s recipe for squirrel, which she says is an ‘adaptation of the classic US Brunswick stew, traditionally made with squirrel, possum or rabbit’. Jean calls this dish ‘Squickenizo’, because the main ingredients are squirrel, chicken and chorizo.

‘Having skinned, gutted and jointed one large squirrel, or a brace of smaller ones (discarding the head and guts), simmer the meat in water to cover with one onion, one large carrot and a glug of wine for about twenty minutes; ditto the same with one small free-range chicken (this time you can include the chicken head and innards). Remove the flesh from both carcasses and chop into largish chunks (the bones can be used to make an excellent stock). Chop half a chorizo, two onions and four large carrots into similar-sized bits. Fry 250g of bacon bits in olive oil, dripping, goose or duck fat, add the chorizo and let it cook down a bit, then add the squirrel and chicken, plus garlic, herbs and seasoning. Add wine/stock/water to cover (brandy/calvados go in at this point if available). Bring to boil and simmer for about one hour, until done.

‘If you extract the carrots and don't add other vegetables, this makes a good pie filling. If you want a stew, add chopped celery, beans, peas and or potatoes. In both cases stirring in a good tablespoon of redcurrant, crab-apple or quince jelly will enhance the flavour.’

For those who do not have access to squirrel, Jean informs us that they are ‘dry and not strongly flavoured, more like rabbit than hare’. She asks if anyone has consumed any other unusual dishes to which the words of Shakespeare — ‘strange flesh / Which some did die to look on’ (Anthony and Cleopatra, Act 1, Scene 4, lines 75/6) — might apply.

Continuing the Shakespeare theme ('Exit, pursued by a bear') Fellow Diarmaid MacCulloch wonders if it is safe for him to continue taking exercise on Port Meadow, having read, with a frisson of terror, Salon’s ‘appreciation of that excellent publication Binsey: Oxford's Holy Place, which tells me of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem “Binsey Polars”. As an enthusiastic runner on Port Meadow, I am familiar with the free-ranging cattle and horses of the area, but this was a hazard of which I was unaware. Perhaps they have become extinct since Hopkins’s day, and I can continue running without further apprehension.’

Fellow John Manley takes issue with the ‘Vacancies’ section in issue 327 of Salon in which the ‘heritage job’ at Featherstone Rugby League Club was introduced with the somewhat deprecatory words ‘And just for fun’ after listing jobs in the Classics at Cambridge and Durham. ‘I am sure you meant no slight on the Rugby League Club, or on the town of Featherstone,’ John writes, ‘but this particular Fellow takes his rugby league, and its history, very seriously indeed. Livy and Leeds Rhinos, Seneca and St Helens, Cicero and Castleford Tigers — I respect them all in equal measure!’
 

Art Workers’ Guild: Centenary Appeal Auction


Lot 16: Tom Tower, Christ Church, Oxford by George Pyne (1800—1884)

Charity auctions are definitely the flavour of the moment and if you are hooked on seeking out bargains while benefiting a worthy cause, head for the beautiful premises of the Art Workers’ Guild at 6 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AT (just north of the church of St George the Martyr, where our Fellow William Stukeley was the rector from 1747 until his death in 1765), on 17 November 2014 for the live and silent auctions that begin at 6pm (viewing: 16 November from 9.30am to 6pm and 17 November from 9.30am to 5.30pm; please register in advance with Monica Grose-Hodge or in person at the hall).

Lot 29: a fine Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co ebonised ‘Rossetti’ armchair of slender form with rush seat.

Most of the 130 lots to be auctioned are the work of the brethren of the Guild (a number being unique pieces made especially for the occasion), which was founded in 1884 to ‘advance education in all the visual arts and crafts ... and to foster and maintain high standards of design and craftsmanship ... that may be beneficial to the community’. William Morris served as Master of the Guild in 1892 and some of the most prominent figures in British art, design and architecture are, or have been, members.

The lots include four watercolours of Christ Church, Oxford, Arts and Crafts stained glass by Leonard Walker, a Memorial Portfolio of twelve etchings by Robin Tanner and works by George Pyne, Charles Tunnicliffe, Sir Osbert Lancaster, Rex Whistler and Samuel Palmer. Some of the lots come from the bequest of the late Roderick Gradidge (1929—2000), the prominent architect and colourful evangelist for the Arts and Crafts movement who was Master of the Guild in 1987, and some of these have previously been on show at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts house in Cumbria. They include an oak armchair designed by Sir Frank Brangwyn and made by Pollard & Co, a carpet in the manner of M H Baillie Scott, an electroplate-mounted glass claret jug designed by Christopher Dresser and made by Hukin & Heath and two William de Morgan lustre chargers.

The sale is divided between the first seventy lots, which will be sold live by Guy Schwinge of Dukes, Dorchester, commencing at 6.45pm, and sixty lots that will be sold via a silent auction, on which bids may be left during the view days or during the live auction until 7.30pm. The money raised will contribute to the appeal for £700,000 that the Guild has launched in order to modernise its Queen Square premises, which are used by more than fifty other arts- and community-related organisations (some 10,000 people a year).

The catalogue can be seen online, where absentee bids may also be placed up until 4pm on 17 November.



Lot 51: One of twenty hand-drawn lithographs by Glyn Boyd Harte in Temples of Power (1979), by our Fellow Gavin Stamp, with a foreword by John Betjeman, one of an edition of 250 published by the Cygnet Press, Burford
 

Calls for papers


Sano di Pietro, Madonna della Misericordia (detail), 1440s

‘Sister Act: female monasticism and the arts across Europe 1250—1550’
This conference, to be held on 13 and 14 March 2015 at the Courtauld Institute of Art, seeks to compare, contrast and juxtapose scholarly approaches to the art of medieval and Renaissance religious women that have emerged in recent decades. Seeking to initiate a broader conversation, which is long overdue, we invite papers that examine female monastic art in terms of patronage, space, devotional practice, spiritual identity or material history, spanning all of Europe and bridging the gap between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Proposals are sought for 20-minute papers, which will be organised into sessions that present contrasting approaches and/or differing time periods or places, to stimulate comparative discussion. Topics may include the topography of female religious settlements (eg within a city or a region), female monastic architectural space (social aspects, interaction, hierarchies), the commemorative function of art and architecture in female religious communities, the relationship between lay patrons and female religious communities, art and liturgical/devotional practice, religious women as artistic practitioners, the importance of written sources (chronicles, regulations, etc) for understanding the artistic choices of religious women, comparisons between the art of female and male communities, patronage networks and the influence of female monastic art beyond the nunnery.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words and a biography of 100 words should be sent to the conference organisers, Laura Llewellyn and Michaela Zöschg, by 10 December 2014.

‘Ancient Cultures in the Lands of the Bible’, International Conference on Archaeology 2015
The scientific committee of the conference invites abstracts by 30 October 2014 for the conference that takes place in Israel on 21 to 25 June 2015. A list of topics can be found on the conference website.
 

Events


24 October 2014: ‘Modern Morality: the street scene and social commentary’. To commemorate the 250th anniversary of William Hogarth’s death, Sir John Soane’s Museum is hosting an evening event to explore the role that the setting of the street played and continues to play in art that comments on society. The evening will start (7pm) with drinks in the museum and a chance for guests to see Soane’s collection of Hogarth paintings, after which (at 7.30pm) the artist Laura Oldfield Ford and Fellow Sheila O’Connell, Curator of British Prints before 1900 at the British Museum, will join the Museum’s Director, Abraham Thomas, to discuss Hogarth, the street scene and social commentary. For further information, see the museum’s website.

27 October 2014: ‘The Derby Collection at Knowsley Hall: formation, dispersal and revival’, by Stephen Lloyd, Curator of the Derby Collection, Knowsley Hall, Merseyside, at 5.30pm in the Lecture Theatre, The Wallace Collection. The substantial art collections at Knowsley Hall, that were twice formed, dispersed and revived by successive Earls of Derby over the last six centuries, are very little known to scholars and art historians. Stephen Lloyd will speak about Lord and Lady Derby’s recent campaign to restore the hall and conserve the collections, supported by an extensive family archive, which has only recently begun to be opened up.

Admission is free and booking is not required. For more information and details of future seminars in the History of Collecting series, see the Wallace Collection’s website.

30 October 2014: ‘Academic libraries in the early twenty-first century: metamorphosis or dissolution?’, the Charles Holden Lecture to be given by our Fellow David McKitterick at 6pm, in the Chancellor's Hall, University of London, Senate House. As they face ever more complicated demands from readers, publishers, financial challenges and skills shortages, libraries are meeting change in many different ways. How far do headline-grabbing stories of achievements and disasters reflect the nature of change, and its cumulative effects for the future? In his lecture, David McKitterick will re-examine some recent news stories, and suggest how both classical mythology and the great changes among English libraries in the sixteenth century may help us to understand what is happening today. Attendance free, all welcome; followed by a wine reception. Please send an email to reserve a place.

1 November 2014: ‘Aspects of prehistory in south-east England’, a tribute to our late Fellow Peter Drewett, a CBA South East event run in partnership with the Sussex School of Archaeology and hosted by the University of Brighton Geography Department (Archaeology section) at the Huxley Lecture Theatre, Cockcroft Building, University of Brighton, Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 4GJ, chaired by Fellows Sue Hamilton (am) and David Rudling (pm). Full details are on the Sussex Archaeology website.

7 November 2014: Arts and Crafts Study Day at 7 Hammersmith Terrace, organised by the Emery Walker Trust, 10.30am to 4.30pm. Helen Elletson, Curator, will introduce participants to the collections at 7 Hammersmith Terrace; Peyton Skipwith will talk about the revival of interest in Arts and Crafts from the 1960s to the present; Fellow Lynn Hulse will talk about May Morris (1862—1938) as designer and embroiderer; Alex Werner will talk about James Powell & Sons and their development of a refined table and decorative glass for late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century professional and artistic elites; the day will conclude with Marthe Armitage giving a personal view of the importance of the Arts and Crafts movement for wallpaper design. For a booking form, see the Emery Walker House website.

7 to 9 November 2014: ‘The Augustinian Canons in Britain: architecture, archaeology, art and liturgy 1100—1540’. This weekend school to be held at Rewley House, Oxford, will look in depth at the Augustinian canons, described as ‘the Cinderellas of medieval monastic history’, despite the quantity and quality of their archives, and the fame and celebrity of much of their surviving architecture, including Bolton in Wharfedale, St Frideswide’s in Oxford (now the cathedral church), St Bartholomew’s in London, Hexham, Waltham and Walsingham, Llanthony and Bardsey in Wales and Jedburgh and St Andrews in Scotland. The conference speakers, including several Fellows, will redress this balance and consider the Augustinian legacy from their perspectives as historians, architectural and art historians and archaeologists. Further details can be found on the Rewley House website.

14 November 2014: ‘Hermitage Revealed’, 6pm, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art. This is a free screening of a film about the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg made to mark the museum’s 250th anniversary The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with Director Margy Kinmonth and a reception.

20 November 2014: ‘Excavating Egypt in the 1930s’, by Michael McCluskey, Room G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology, 6pm to 8pm. This lecture will include selections from the three hours of film footage shot by the excavation team at Tell el-Amarna, Egypt, in 1930—3 of the excavation, of the finds and of leisure activities and Cairo street scenes. There will also be footage from the Egypt Exploration Society’s Lucy Gura Archive that has not been seen since the 1930s. The event will launch a new collaborative project, ‘Filming Antiquity’ (http://www.filmingantiquity.com). All welcome; free tickets can be booked in advance at EventBrite.

28 November 2014: Oxford University Department for Continuing Education (Rewley House) announces the second lecture in landscape archaeology named in memory of our late Fellow Mick Aston, who was a former tutor at the department. It takes place at 5.30pm (coffee and tea from 5pm) and will be given by our Fellow James Bond, Mick’s friend and former colleague, on the subject of ‘Landscapes of Monasticism’. See the Rewley House website for further details.

3 December 2014: 'Westminster Abbey: continuing and new projects', by Ptolemy Dean, Surveyor of the Fabric, Westminster Abbey, 6pm for 6.30pm in the Lecture Room of the Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1. Further information from Paul Velluet.

22 to 24 April 2015: The Beau Street Hoard Symposium, at the Assembly Rooms and Roman Baths, Bath. The Beau Street Hoard, consisting of 17,577 Roman silver coins, was found on the Gainsborough Hotel site in Bath in 2007. The coins range in date from 32 BC to AD 274 and are unusual in having been buried in eight separate leather bags. This two-day symposium, supported by the Roman Society, the Association for Roman Archaeology and the Heritage Lottery Fund, will be preceded by a free public lecture to be given by Richard Abdy, Curator of Coins and Medals at the British Museum, who has led on the research and conservation of the hoard. Further details can be found on the Roman Baths website.
 

Bertrand’s Toyshop in Bath


This book by Vanessa Brett, former editor of the Silver Society Journal, is of great antiquarian interest, being based on the newly discovered business archives of Paul Bertrand, proprietor of Bertrand’s Toyshop, the leading retailer of luxury trinkets in Bath from 1730 to 1747. Many Fellows are thanked in the acknowledgements for their help with the research that went into the book, as are the partners of C Hoare & Co for allowing the author access to their banking archives. It is from their ledgers that the list of customers is derived that forms the final third of the book, with accompanying biographical sketches and information about their connections with Bath. These include all three ‘creators’ of Bath — Ralph Allen, Richard Nash and John Wood — and quite a number of governors of the city’s Mineral Water Hospital, and such characters as the Countess of Bath, who was described by Lord Hervey as being of ‘low birth, lower mind and the lowest manners’, but who became ‘Bath’s enobled doxy’ after her husband, William Pulteney, was created Earl of Bath in 1742.

The first part of the book gives an entertaining account of the life of Bertrand, a goldsmith of Huguenot descent, and of his shop, which seems to have operated not only as a retailer of jewellery and trinkets, but was also a destination and meeting place for people of fashion, possibly also operating as an unofficial bank and gambling den, and so much a part of the Bath social scene that the poet Richard Percival wrote a satirical poem intended to ‘laugh people out of their folly’, which begins: ‘To this fam’d shop all loitring people run / Where with incessant noise themselves they stun’.

A great strength of the book is the large number of illustrations of contemporary documents, from maps of Bath to playing cards and advertising material, along with examples of the type of object sold in Bertrand’s shop; there are many insightful asides too on topics as diverse as the cost of a visit to Bath, codes of conduct, dress and the daily round. All in all, the book adds up to a comprehensive account of the development of Bath as a fashionable resort with its peculiarities and eccentric characters.

Bertrand’s Toyshop in Bath: luxury retailing 1685—1765, by Vanessa Brett; ISBN 9780957599246; Oblong Creative, 2014
 

Landscapes and Artefacts


Edited by Fellow Steven Ashley and Adrian Marsden, this collection of twenty-three papers presented as a Festschrift to Fellow Andrew Rogerson is rich in material that is rooted in the archaeology of East Anglia, where Andrew has worked for much of his professional life as a member of the Norfolk Archaeological Unit, but that has far wider significance. For example, Fellow Catherine Hills has contributed an account of the lid from an Anglo-Saxon ceramic cremation urn that takes the form of an enigmatic seated figure; known as ‘the Spong Man’ (although ‘his’ gender is uncertain) after the cremation cemetery from which he was excavated, he has a hauntingly mournful face and holds his head in his hands in a gesture of weary resignation, as if bearing the troubles of the world upon his shoulders.

Catherine makes the point that while Spong Man remains a unique figure in ceramic art (though there are comparable figures of early medieval date in metal) and that the study of similarly enthroned figures of this period is a topic awaiting future research. She also says that the damage to Spong Man and his context, in a shallow irregular pit associated with other pits containing broken urns and scattered bone, is probably the result of an urn-digging episode that our Fellow Peter le Neve recorded in 1711. The phenomenon of lids on burial urns turns out to be rare, whether plain or with figural representations of birds or animals; their relative abundance at Spong is yet another feature of this site that makes Spong Hill distinctive.

Fellow Helen Geake offers Andrew some ‘new and neglected fish’, using the recent discovery by a metal-detectorist of a small gilded silver fish from a hanging bowl as the stepping-off point for an exploration of fish representations in Anglo-Saxon art more generally. Helen argues that the pike is the species most often represented, and that this predator fish, noted for power and aggression, could be seen as symbol of martial masculinity.

The book concludes with an account of the early years of the Norfolk Archaeological Trust by Fellow Peter Wade-Martins, who reminds us that this remarkable organisation was founded in 1923 as a body committed to the ownership and care of monuments and buildings; Peter argues that this makes Norfolk special because in general, while wildlife organisations see the conservation and management of habitats as a fundamental activity, archaeologists have in general preferred fieldwork and digging. The list of buildings saved from demolition by the Trust is remarkable, but the story also includes several episodes of buildings lost to fire or to wartime bombing. More recently, the proceeds from buildings rescued, restored and sold to sympathetic owners has enabled the Trust to acquire some important archaeological sites, including much of the Roman town of Caister and the Roman fort at Burgh Castle, as well as to undertake a programme of research and fieldwork that has seen all of Norfolk’s earthworks surveyed and advice given to owners on their conservation.

Landscapes and Artefacts: studies in East Anglian archaeology presented to Andrew Rogerson, edited by Steven Ashley and Adrian Marsden; ISBN 9781905739752; Archaeopress, 2014
 

Essays on the Archaeology and Ancient History of the Maltese Islands


Fellow Mario Buhagiar is a pioneer in the study of Malta’s medieval art and architecture, and in 1987 he introduced art history as an academic discipline at the University of Malta, nurturing a cohort of academics who have gone on to gain key posts in the island’s artistic and cultural institutions. But, as this selection of nineteen archaeological essays demonstrates, his knowledge and interests extend far wider than this, embracing fortified Bronze Age settlements at one end of the chronological spectrum and such important topics as St Paul’s shipwreck and early Christianity in Malta, the island’s rich heritage of rock-tombs and catacombs, the evidence for a thriving post-Diaspora Jewish community in Malta and the island’s Byzantine and Islamic heritage.

Proudly Maltese, Mario nevertheless approaches iconic topics with judicial neutrality. ‘Small islands,’ he says, ‘have a need for a myth of national identity’, and it is no accident that Malta’s claim to be Melita, the site of St Paul’s shipwreck in AD 60 (Acts 28), emerged at a traumatic time when the Knights of St John had a vested interest in promoting Malta as a Christian bulwark against Muslim expansionism. His unpicking of the evidence reveals that there is no archaeological or textual evidence for a Christian presence in Malta before the fourth century, that place-name evidence is the result of toponomastic confusion, that there has been a great deal of popular and colourful invention over the years, including claims that the descendants of Publius, St Paul’s host, were invested by the Apostle with the power to kill venomous creatures by spitting on them and that certain rocks, blessed by St Paul, could, when pounded to dust and combined with wine, serve as a potent antidote against poisonous substances.

Shooting down myths is one thing; creating new knowledge another and it is in the study of the island’s catacombs and tomb architecture that Mario excels. Indebted as they are, the author says, to Phoenician and Romano-Punic shaft-and-chamber tombs, they are also highly significant and of huge art-historical interest. Half of the essays in the collection are devoted to the architecture of these tombs and the iconography of their carvings, wall paintings, reliefs and graffiti. Not surprisingly St Paul turns up again as something of a running theme, for once the myth of his shipwreck had become orthodox, and questioning it was seen as unpatriotic, antiquaries and archaeologists began to find evidence everywhere. An enjoyable chapter reconsidering the evidence for early Christianity at San Pawl Milqi is typical of the book’s forensic approach, in which the origins of so much misinformation are carefully traced and revealed, even while they are shown to be ‘fantastications’.

Essays on the Archaeology and Ancient History of the Maltese Islands: Bronze Age to Byzantine, by Mario Buhagiar; ISBN 9789993274827; Midsea Books, 2014
 
Lamp flame

Library gifts, July to September 2014


The Society is very grateful to the donors of the following books, given to the Library in the period from July to September 2014. Full records are in the online catalogue and all these books are now available in the Library.
  • From Gabriella Belli, Director of the Museo Correr, Venice, L’immagine della città europea dal Rinascimento al Secolo dei Lumi (2014), the catalogue of an exhibition curated by Cesare de Seta
  • From the joint author, Chris Brandon, FSA, Building for Eternity: the history and technology of Roman concrete engineering in the sea (2014), by C J Brandon, R L Hohlfelder, M D Jackson and J P Oleson
  • From the author, David Breeze, FSA, Roman Frontiers in their Landscape Settings (The Charles Parish Lecture 2011) (2013)
  • From the author, Sarah Brown, FSA, Apocalypse: the great east window of York Minster (2014)
  • From the author, Alan Crocker, FSA, Excavations at the Royal Manor House of Guildford Park 1972—5 (2014)
  • From the author, Janet Fairweather, Bishop Osmund: a missionary to Sweden in the late Viking age (2014)
  • From the author, Eric Fernie, FSA, Romanesque Architecture: the first style of the European age (2014)
  • From the co-editors, K S B Keats-Rohan, FSA, and Michael Jones, FSA, Les acts des Ducs de Bretagne (944—1148) (2014), by Hubert Guillotel, edited by Philippe Charon, Philippe Guigon, Cyprien Henry, Michael Jones, Katharine Keats-Rohan and Jean-Claude Meuret
  • From the author, Anthony King, FSA, Coins and Samian Ware: a study of the dating of coin-loss and the deposition of samian ware (terra sigillata), with a discussion of the decline of samian ware manufacture in the north-western provinces of the Roman Empire, late-second to mid-third centuries AD (2013)
  • From Chris Kitching, FSA, Coudenberg Palace, Brussels: from medieval castle to archaeological site (2014)
  • From Andrew Lawson, FSA, Die gegossenen Bronzebecken der jüngeren nordischen Bronzezeit (1979), by Ernst Sprockhoff and Olaf Höckmann
  • From Vincent Megaw, FSA, De pierre et de terre: Les Gaulois entre Loire et Dordogne: catalogue de l’exposition présentée par les musées de la Ville de Chauvigny (Vienne) du 15 mai au 14 octobre 2007 (2007), by Isabelle Bertrand and Patrick Maguer; Die Welt der Kelten: Zentren der Macht — Kostbarkeiten der Kunst (2012); A Late Hallstatt Settlement in Bohemia: excavation at JenÅ¡tejn, 1984 (1995), by Dagmar Dreslerová; L’ âge du fer en Aquitaine et sur ses marges: mobilité des homes, diffusion des idées, circulation des biens dans l’espace européen à l’âge du fer (2013), edited by Anne Colin and Florence Verdin; L’ âge du fer dans la boucle de la Loire: catalogue des expositions présentées par les Musées de Saint-Amand-Montrond, Bourges et Chàteaumeillant (Cher) du 14 avril au 29 septembre 2008 (2008), edited by Sophie Krausz; Salz — Reich 7000 Jahre Hallstatt (2008), by Anton Kern et al; Beiträge zur Hallstatt— und Latènezeit in Nordostbayern und Thüringen, Tagung vom 26—28 Oktober 2007 in Nürnberg (2009); Der prähistorische Salzbergbau am Dürrnberg bei Hallein II (2002), by Thomas Stöllner; Frühkeltische Fürstensitze: Älteste Städte und Herrschaftszentren nördlich der Alpen? Internationaler workshop zur keltischen archäologie in Eberdingen-Hochdorf 12 und 13 September 2003 (2005), by Jörg Biel and Dirk Krausse; KeltenLand am Fluss: Die Kelten im Rhein-Main-Gebiet (2010), by Markus Marquart
  • From Gwyn Meirion-Jones, FSA, Les élites et leurs résidences en Bretagne au Moyen Âge: actes du colloque organisé par le conseil général des Côtes-d’Armor (2014), by Pierre-Yves Laffont
  • From N P Molyneux, President of the Société Jersiaise, A Concise History of Jersey: a new perspective (2009), by Colin Platt, FSA; The 'Roman de Rou', by Wace (2002), translated by Glyn S Burgess with the text of Anthony J Holden
  • From Adrian Olivier, FSA, World Heritage in Slovakia (2008) by Ľubica Pinčíková; The Degradation of Archaeological Remains (2009), edited by D J Huisman; Dealing with the Dead: archaeological perspectives on prehistoric Scandinavian burial ritual (2005), by Tore Artelius and Fredrik Svanberg; Aircraft, Laser, Sensor, Spade: remote sensing and archaeological fieldwork using the example of early Celtic princely seats (2007), by Jörg Bofinger; Die römischen Steindenkmäler aus Alburnus Maior (2009), by Carmen Ciongradi; Acta Musei Napocensis, 47—48(I), 2010—2011 (2012)
  • From the author, John Owen, FSA, The Emergence of Shepherd Neame from the Earliest Days of Brewing in Faversham Kent 1100—1732 (2014)
  • From Axelle Russo-Heath, The Lacock Cup (2014), by Lloyd de Beer and Naomi Speakman
  • From the author, Katsuhito Takemura, ‘Research on the Gowland notebook held at The Society of Antiquaries of London in relation to the Gowland Collection at the British Museum’ (thesis, 2014)
  • From the author, Jeremy Warren, FSA, Medieval and Renaissance sculpture in the Ashmolean Museum. Volume 1: Sculptures in Metal; Volume 2: Sculptures in Stone, Clay, Ivory, Bone and Wood; Volume 3: Plaquettes (2014)
  • From the author, Sarah Whittingham, FSA, Sir George Oatley: architect of Bristol (2011)
  • From the author, David H Williams, FSA, The Tudor Cistercians (2014)
 

Vacancies


National Trust for Scotland: Chairman
Closing date: 31 October 2014

At a crucial point in its eighty-three-year history and following completion of Sir Kenneth Calman’s current term of office, the organisation is now looking to appoint a new Chairman who will lead the Board of Trustees in upholding the Trust’s values and standards and oversee the development of a new long-term strategy designed to secure the charity’s long-term relevance and viability. The Chairman will represent the Trust externally and promote its interests to the outside world including in the spheres of media, industry and politics. Internally, the Board of Trustees is responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Trust. The new Chair will provide an effective link between the Board of Trustees and the Chief Executive, and in so doing maintain a co-operative and productive relationship between the Board of Trustees and the executive Senior Management Team.

For more information, please see the Saxton Bampfylde website.

Architectural Heritage Fund: Chief Executive,
Attractive salary; closing date: 10 November 2014

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF), founded in 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings at risk for the benefit of the public, is looking for a Chief Executive to build on a successful legacy of impact and regeneration. This is a time for innovative thinking, bringing commercial flair to future business planning and opportunities for growth in a difficult economic context. The new Chief Executive will bring strong leadership and renewed vigour to a small but passionate staff group, enthusiastic to extend influence and reach.

For further information and details of how to apply, please visit the Odgers website.

Historic England: Chief Executive
Competitive salary; closing date 20 November 2014.

The Chief Executive role at Historic England is a rare and outstanding opportunity to create the long-term vision for an organisation that will champion and sustain the nation’s historic environment. It is a role for an influential communicator who can inspire external stakeholders and staff alike. He/she will be able to demonstrate an ability to shape an organisation to deliver world-class services, motivate an expert and diverse team and manage both change and the organisation’s resources skilfully for the long-term. The new Chief Executive will ideally have experience in an area close to the heart of Historic England’s work. He/she will be an inspiring leader of change, bringing a combination of stature, credibility, authenticity and flair.

Please see Odgers website for more information and application details.

English Heritage: Chief Executive
Competitive salary; closing date 20 November 2014.

The Chief Executive role at English Heritage is an exciting opportunity to lead this new charity towards a successful and sustainable future and thereby preserve and enhance some of the most important buildings, monuments and archaeological sites in the country for the enjoyment of generations to come. The new Chief Executive will need to demonstrate a deep appreciation of heritage and a passion for the National Heritage Collection of 420 sites and monuments. He/she will be an outstanding leader and an inspiring ambassador. It is a role for someone capable of delivering substantial change who can achieve the charity’s goals through a combination of creativity and commercial enterprise. He/she must also articulate a strong commitment to conservation, the importance of history and the establishment of a world class visitor experience.

Please see Odgers website for more information and application details.

The Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, a British Academy Project, is seeking temporary self-employed editors to work freelance from home, with a minimum commitment of one day per week. Editors will be allocated online site reports written by CRSBI’s volunteer fieldworkers. Editors must check the descriptions and images of Romanesque sculpture and confirm that the CRSBI guidelines are met before the site report’s publication on the website. Sites are assigned at a rate of £20 and hour and completed within mutually agreed deadlines.

Candidates should have postgraduate experience in art or architectural history, buildings history or archaeology with a specialist understanding of the medieval context, or comparable experience in continuing education or a professional capacity. Computer literacy in an online environment is important. Previous editing experience is an asset but not essential. Please apply to Simon Kirsop with details of relevant qualifications and experience in this area of work.

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.

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