craft

Crafts of the Regency Period

A blog by Felicity Miller…

Crafts were the gentlewoman’s skill of the time

…young ladies can have the patience to be so very accomplished… They all paint tables, cover skreens and net purses.”

As romantic as the crafts of the period sound, basically without Netflix or social media, the ladies of the Regency era were quite bored and had to find something to keep themselves busy until they found a man of good fortune.

In modern times, needlework and painting are hobbies, to be enjoyed during leisure time. Admittedly, all of a gentlewoman’s time in the Austen era was leisure time, but these crafts served many practical purposes as well. Despite not being part of the workforce, women were still expected contribute to the household in their own elegant way. Their mending, production and embellishment of clothing and household goods was seen as their provision for the family, along with the eventual production of sons. Some of the items produced by young ladies were purely decorative, allowing women the chance to exhibit their skills with covered screens or embroidered cushions …

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Discussing Garden Remedies

Remedies of the Regency Period

‘Needs means must’  – especially remedies

(A blog by Felicity Miller, images from Pride & Prejudice Scrapbook blog 1996)

During the Regency period, most consumable goods and remedies needed to be produced directly on the family estate. Herbs and medicines were no exception.  With limited methods of keeping fruit and vegetables fresh, and long travel times between regions, access to a complete, and varied diet was almost impossible. Treatment of most ailments started at home, and a doctor was only called when their condition escalated dramatically. Some people would die before the doctor could even attend!

Families relied on their gardens to produce a range of cure-alls and cosmetics to serve all the families needs, and the needs of the servants in their employ. These gardens were dramatically limited by the climate in England, so those plants that did grow were believed to cure a large range of ailments! For this reason, lavender and roses, which were part of every English garden, were included in a lot of cures.

Regency garden remedies

Herbs, fruit and vegetables were collected from the …

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Abbey Museum medieval lamentation

The ‘Lamentation of Christ’ sculpture is revealed

In July, the Museum celebrated a very special occasion with the addition of a spectacular piece to the Abbey Museum collection.  Now firmly in its final home, this sculpture of the Lamentation of Christ places the Abbey Museum as a world-leader in its collection exhibits, bringing Art that would normally only be found in much larger city-funded museums to regional Australia.   The magnificently carved limestone frieze depicting an episode from Christ’s Passion, the Lamentation, dates from the middle ages, weighs close to half a tonne and like all of the Abbey collection pieces, has an incredible story and journey to tell about how it came to it’s rightful resting place in the Abbey Museum’s Manuscript Gallery.

Rejoicing the Lamentation

From subject alone, this sculpture merits reverence as a magnificent art piece depicting the Passion of Christ.  We see the Three Marys anointing the body of the crucified Christ,  watched by two others,  Joseph of Arimathea – whose tomb Jesus’ body occupied – and Nicodemus –  a man who came down from the tree he was hiding in to follow Jesus …

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Finding the Bunyip! – An adventure with the Abbey Museum Friends

There’s nothing better to raise the spirits like a social get together between friends, where connecting and spending time with friends is the order of the day.  But add a mystical creature who may be lurking in swamps and bush to the mix – namely a Bunyip – and we have an adventure!

The Abbey Museum Friends (the membership group that assists in fundraising and supporting the museum) are planning an ‘adventure’  tour of south-eastern Queensland led by the Museum’s Senior Curator Michael Strong.  The tour consists of visiting possible Bunyip sites in the region and examining their cultural significance. Michael has a detailed knowledge of the Aboriginal history of the area and will lead discussion on the various sites visited on the tour, enabling members of the touring party to have a better understanding of the history of the First People in the Gold Coast and Scenic Rim areas.

The Bunyip is a large mythical creature from Australian Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. The origin of the word Bunyip has been traced to the …

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North Harbour – a partnership in Heritage

North Harbour Heritage Precinct

North Harbour is a great place to choose to call home. This master planned new neighbourhood north of Brisbane in the burgeoning suburb of Burpengary East has been designed to provide all the amenities required for modern day living: plenty of open space and parks (1,000 acres – larger than Central Park in New York!) including future Heritage Precinct with river access for launching canoes and fishing (and a proposed marina for larger vessels), fibre optic cable for fast internet, reticulated gas and close proximity to many great places to eat, drink and shop.

The North Harbour team even provides weekend activities for the fitness conscious: Saturday parkruns around the future Heritage Precinct, and Sunday yoga in Reflections Park which is located opposite Raff Creek eco-corridor.

A partnership with the Arts

While the North Harbour development’s history doesn’t quite stretch back to the Mediaeval era, there is a lot of history to be found locally as the site was one of the first settlements in modern Queensland. North Harbour, in partnership with The Abbey Museum of …

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Regency Ball – Recreating the Regency Period.

The Regency Period – a great artistic era or a bad royal joke?

The Regency Period went for nine years, starting in 1811 when a bill passed declaring that King George III was too unfit to rule, naming his 48-year-old son, the future King George IV, as Prince Regent. While the actual regency only lasted until the King’s death  in 1820, the entire Regency Era is generally thought to be from the 1780’s until George IV’s death in 1830. However, the bill was made with reluctance as the Prince Regent was extremely unpopular. He was discouraged from making decisions regarding official governing business and war, so he instead spent all the money from the treasury on things such as balls, fashion, food, and pageants!  People did not view him as the ‘Great King’ they originally had hoped he would be, and by his official coronation in 1821, he had become a symbol for senseless extravagance and a national joke.

Regency, an era of change

But although the Prince Regent was disliked himself, the actual regency was a great period for literature, …

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Nebanum and his cat

The Egyptians and their cats

Cats in the museum!

Are you a cat lover or a dog lover?

Well, for those who consider themselves cat lovers, a visit to the Egyptian case in the Abbey Museum is always a must-do!

There, taking pride of place, is a beautiful painted wooden statue of a cat.  Why? you might ask. Is the Museum’s senior curator himself a cat lover?? Without prejudice I must declare he loves all creatures great and small, equally.

Our little Egyptian cat, sitting on its own pedestal, declares the importance of cats in ancient Egypt. They were highly regarded not only as pets but also as hunting animals. Wall paintings often show hunting cats, even out in boats.

Cat and mouse mummies!

Cats were considered of such importance that they warranted mummification to ensure their smooth passing into the afterlife. And as the ancient Egyptians  ensured that their human dead had everything they needed for a comfortable afterlife —  as can been seen from the grave goods often excavated in Egyptian tombs — so they ensured that their precious cats never went hungry …

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The Abbey Museum’s Black Rider

The arrival of the Black Rider

In mid-2016, the Abbey Museum finally fulfilled a long-held dream to acquire a complete medieval suit of armour to complement the existing stories of the Abbey collection of medieval artefacts.  With the support of the Abbey Museum Friends and a private donor a 16th century composite suit of breath-taking and awe-inspiring armour was purchased, painstakingly restored and finally put on display in late 2017. Dubbed the Black Rider, after the original German Schwartz Reiter, this medieval piece of history has become one of the most popular objects in the Museum’s collection.

Respect to the Black Rider

When you first see the Black Rider, you experience a moment of silence, while your eyes take it all in.  One of the most noticeable things about this suit of armour is the extensive damage to parts of the helmet and arms; this is original damage left during its time in the field (the battle field that is!). This observation indeed merits slow contemplation.  Who wore this suit and what happened?

The most striking and obvious damage to …

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Favourite things of the Abbey Museum

These are a few of our favourite things

By Jan Nargar

Most of us know that the Abbey Museum has some special items in their collection – but what do you really know about it and do you have a favourite thing?

Have you ever walked through the museum and a special object has caught your eye?  What was it?  Where did it come from?  What story does it have to tell? As staff, it happens to us all the time! Not to mention the Collection Management Team that meets regularly to research and catalogue the Museum’s artefacts – there has been lots of discusion about favourite objects. Each member of the team has particular favourites. Having so many incredible artefacts in the collection we are spoiled for choice.  So, listed below are a few of our our favourite things!

Guess whose favourite thing?

A tiny Chinese snuff bottle with a painting on the inside!  Truly! A beautiful painting of a crane in a landscape scene delicately painted inside the bottle. It is in Museum Case 26. How was that …

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GAMAA awards

Abbey Museum is GAMAA award winner

The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology wins GAMAA award

3rd November 2017

The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology was last night announced as a winner and a finalist at the GAMAA awards.  The awards – Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards – are presented annually to honour the achievements of individuals and organisations in striving towards excellence in the museum and gallery industry.

With six categories for organisations, (including projects, engagement and sustainability) and two for individuals, the Abbey Museum was proudly announced as a finalist for engagement in the organisational category and also as a winner in the individual awards for volunteer staff.

The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology is situated near in the Moreton Bay town of Caboolture, an hour north of Brisbane and is one of Brisbane’s most unique museums. It has one of the finest collections of European and Classical artefacts open to the public in Australia. The Museum’s collection includes prehistoric artefacts, ceramics, glass, stained glass, metalwork, woodwork, lacquer, sculptures, manuscripts and rare books, Renaissance and Baroque paintings, water colours, icons and frescos. The collection …

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