Abbey Museum Collection Team

These are a few of my favourite things!

Some of our favourite things!

Ever walked through the Museum and a special object has caught your eye?  It happens with us too! The Collection Management Team meets regularly to research and catalogue the Museum’s artefacts. Each member of the team has particular favourites. Having so many incredible artefacts in the collection we are spoilt for choice, however, here are a few of our favourite things…

Museum Director, Edith Cuffe, likes the Chinese snuff bottle with an ‘inside painting’ of a crane in a landscape scene. It is in Museum Case 26. How did the artist manage to paint all that on the inside of such a small bottle?!Snuff Bottle

Also in Museum Case 26 is one of Michael Strong’s favourites, a Tang tomb model of a female flute player. Michael isn’t the only one for whom this is a favourite. Denise Crawley, who coordinates the shop, is also a fan of the lady with the flute.

Our team’s favourites!

Anne Bradley has spent countless hours investigating our collection of 43 jetons. When she needs a break from them she goes into the Museum to visit the beautiful oak cupboards and feasts her eyes on their wonderful, spontaneous carving. She then goes around the corner to check that the long case clock is telling the correct time.

Jo Carey–Bradshaw has been cataloguing our extensive collection of old post cards. Although they are surprisingly interesting, they are not her top pick. She has always been attracted to the winged goblet in Case 12. It is a wonderful piece of Venetian Soda Glass or Cristallo. With a pair of serpents supporting the bowl, the drinker may well have wondered about the contents of the goblet!

Postcard research

Our data expert is Cathy Pascoe who has spent a very productive time working on the Cyprus collection. She says that cataloguing the first unguentarium was far more intriguing than cataloguing the 24th one. In fact Cathy has come to the conclusion that anything other than an unguentarium would be her favourite!

Every museum needs a conservator. They are in short supply so we are lucky to have one, Christine Ianna, in our team. Christine didn’t have to think twice about her favourite object, the Japanese armoured sleeve with chain mail over blue textile with golden dragon motifs. You can see this intricate piece of craftsmanship in Case 27.

Armoured sleeve Abbey Museum

When Kristy Winter joined the team she was asked to research a collection of Moche effigy vases from Peru. She discovered that the animal on one vase that we thought was a coyote was actually a coati. The coati is a very cute member of the racoon family.  Since then, the coati vase has appeared in the Friend’s Review, the magazine of the Australian Federation of Friends of Museums and the vase has become a firm favourite with the whole team.Coati Vessel

There is no need to ask Lincoln Morse, our Display Technician about his favourite thing! Just watch him as he casts a fond eye on the “Black Rider” our 16th Century Cuirass – a suit of armour. Lincoln is pondering the restoration needs as fundraising for the restoration of the cuirass is a project dear to his heart.

Abbey Museum's suit of armour

There are two Jan’s in our team, Jan Hietzke and Jan Nargar. For them their favourite thing is the last thing that they worked on! That’s because it’s the puzzle of the research that is so intriguing. Things are not always as they seem!  Jan Hietzke discovered that a spatula turned out to be a hand cross.  Jan Nargar is still puzzled by the mysterious pottery lion which was labelled as an aquamanile – an animal shaped jug, but has no holes for the water to go in or out!

Come and pick your favourite!

So why not visit the Abbey Museum in the near future and pick what your favourite thing is!  Ask us about it and figure out why this item appealed to you so much.  You might be surprised what you learn about yourself!!

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