The Horkstow Mosaic

Detail from Horkstow mosaic (image/jpeg)

The Horkstow Mosaic is one of the largest and most interesting mosaics ever found in Britain. It was uncovered in 1797 by labourers making a kitchen garden at Horkstow Hall in Lincolnshire and would have graced a large hall at a very wealthy and sophisticated 4th century Roman villa. The mosaic is made up of three different panels - an Orpheus Mosaic at the top, followed by the so-called 'Painted Ceiling' or Medallions Mosaic, depicting scenes from classical mythology. At the bottom, within a rectangular panel, is the most complete of the three - the unique Chariot Race. Originally measuring 15.25m by 6.10m, the surviving fragments can be seen in the Roman Gallery at the Hull and East Riding Museum. #SUBHEADING#The Orpheus Panel#SUBHEADINGEND# The topmost panel of the mosaic depicts Orpheus enchanting the animals and birds. Unfortunately only about a third survives. Originally it would have looked like an eight-spoked wheel. Paintings made at the time of the discovery of the mosaic in the late 18th century show a figure of Orpheus in Thracian costume at the centre of the wheel, holding a lyre and attended by a peacock and a fox. Around him are other animals; an elephant, a bear and a boar still survive. A hare being chased by a hound can also be seen, as well as pairs of peacocks. The angles of the enclosing square each contained a bust, seemingly male, with a maltese cross on either side of the head. The depiction of Orpheus is one of only a few in this country. #SUBHEADING#The Painted Ceiling or Medallions Panel#SUBHEADINGEND# The central panel of the mosaic is sometimes known as the Painted Ceiling because the design seems more suited to a domed ceiling than a floor. Although large parts have been destroyed, it is clear that the design was a four-spoked wheel held up by serpent-legged giants in the corners. The early paintings suggest that there was a medallion in the centre, although this no longer survives. The rest of the panel is filled with intricate mythological scenes which are difficult to interpret. Some experts have suggested that they show scenes from the life of Achilles, while others think they may be connected to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry. #SUBHEADING#The Chariot Race#SUBHEADINGEND# The mosaic panel at the bottom is unique in Britain and shows an eventful chariot race. The racecourse is indicated by the 'spina' or central island, and the 'metae' or turning posts. The four chariots may represent the four factions in the Roman racing world, each conventionally distinguished by the colour of the charioteers' tunics. The scene is laid out rather like a comic strip. One chariot has lost a wheel and overturned, pitching out the charioteer. An attendant dismounts to rescue him, while another lassos runaway horses. The charioteer who has successfully rounded the end of the 'spina' on the left gives his horses free rein, while the team approaching the other end are reined in for the turn. This scene, so full of action, movement and drama has to be one of the most engaging yet found in Romano-British art.

Detail from Horkstow mosaic (image/jpeg) The Horkstow Mosaic

The Horkstow Mosaic is one of the largest and most interesting mosaics ever found in Britain. It was uncovered in 1797 by labourers making a kitchen garden at Horkstow Hall in Lincolnshire and would have graced a large hall at a very wealthy and sophisticated 4th century Roman villa. The mosaic is made up of three different panels - an Orpheus Mosaic at the top, followed by the so-called 'Painted Ceiling' or Medallions Mosaic, depicting scenes from classical mythology. At the bottom, within a rectangular panel, is the most complete of the three - the unique Chariot Race. Originally measuring 15.25m by 6.10m, the surviving fragments can be seen in the Roman Gallery at the Hull and East Riding Museum. #SUBHEADING#The Orpheus Panel#SUBHEADINGEND# The topmost panel of the mosaic depicts Orpheus enchanting the animals and birds. Unfortunately only about a third survives. Originally it would have looked like an eight-spoked wheel. Paintings made at the time of the discovery of the mosaic in the late 18th century show a figure of Orpheus in Thracian costume at the centre of the wheel, holding a lyre and attended by a peacock and a fox. Around him are other animals; an elephant, a bear and a boar still survive. A hare being chased by a hound can also be seen, as well as pairs of peacocks. The angles of the enclosing square each contained a bust, seemingly male, with a maltese cross on either side of the head. The depiction of Orpheus is one of only a few in this country. #SUBHEADING#The Painted Ceiling or Medallions Panel#SUBHEADINGEND# The central panel of the mosaic is sometimes known as the Painted Ceiling because the design seems more suited to a domed ceiling than a floor. Although large parts have been destroyed, it is clear that the design was a four-spoked wheel held up by serpent-legged giants in the corners. The early paintings suggest that there was a medallion in the centre, although this no longer survives. The rest of the panel is filled with intricate mythological scenes which are difficult to interpret. Some experts have suggested that they show scenes from the life of Achilles, while others think they may be connected to Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry. #SUBHEADING#The Chariot Race#SUBHEADINGEND# The mosaic panel at the bottom is unique in Britain and shows an eventful chariot race. The racecourse is indicated by the 'spina' or central island, and the 'metae' or turning posts. The four chariots may represent the four factions in the Roman racing world, each conventionally distinguished by the colour of the charioteers' tunics. The scene is laid out rather like a comic strip. One chariot has lost a wheel and overturned, pitching out the charioteer. An attendant dismounts to rescue him, while another lassos runaway horses. The charioteer who has successfully rounded the end of the 'spina' on the left gives his horses free rein, while the team approaching the other end are reined in for the turn. This scene, so full of action, movement and drama has to be one of the most engaging yet found in Romano-British art.


Rudston Mosaic in situ (image/jpeg) Rock and Roll! - Or How to Lift a Mosaic

#SUBHEADING#Rock and Roll! - Or How to Lift a Mosaic#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1962 staff at Hull Museums were faced with a huge challenge. How to lift three mosaics from the site of a villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire and safely install them in the Archaeology Museum. The mosaics - The Venus Mosaic, The Aquatic Mosaic and The Swastika Mosaic - had been found in 1933 while the field was being ploughed by the owner, Mr. H. Robson. They had been preserved in the ground beneath a specially-built shed but were becoming increasingly damaged by water and frost. If left these wonderful works of art would be lost forever. The team from Hull Museums, led by John Barlett and W.H.Southern, developed a method which clearly worked as it was also used in 1971 to lift the Charioteer Mosaic from the same site in 1971. The 'Tyche' Mosaic from the villa at Brantingham was also lifted using this same method. The method they chose was rolling. This was tried on some plain borders of white tesserae first but worked well and so it was decided to risk it on the larger irreplaceable pavements. #SUBHEADING#Preparation#SUBHEADINGEND# This first step was to carefully clean and dry the mosaic. Then the gaps between the tesserae were deepened. When the mosaic was completely dry it was coated with two or three layers of a thick plastic solution combined with strips of material and a fourth top coat of plastic solution applied to glue it all in place. This stage in the lifting of the Charioteer Mosaic took 200 hours! #SUBHEADING#Rolling a mosaic#SUBHEADINGEND# A cardboard tube strengthened in the middle and both ends by cable drums from the Hull Telephone Department acted as a column around which the mosaic could be rolled. This was a slow process which involved slowly rolling the increasingly heavy drum onto the tube while cutting away the Roman mortar beneath the tesserae. All the while the tesserae were being securely held in place by the coats of material and glue already applied to the top surface. When completely rolled a large mosaic such as the Venus Mosaic weighed about a ton! The drum was then man-handled onto a low-loader lorry (at 10mph!) to Hull. It was obviously a difficult task as a crane was used when they came to lift the Charioteer Mosaic and its drum in the following decade! #SUBHEADING#Roll On: Roll Off#SUBHEADINGEND# Once safely arrived at the museum the mosaic had to be unrolled. This was done by putting a spindle through the cable drums supporting the huge cardboard roll and sliding the pavement as it came off the top down a ramp. The team could then work on the underside of the pavement, removing the remains of the Roman mortar with 'the liberal use of a vacuum cleaner'. A layer of concrete was then applied as a backing, together with a specially prepared steel wire-mesh reinforcement. When it came to backing the Charioteer mosaic in the 1970's the stainless steel grid was strengthened with a fibre-glass and Araldite mixture. The mosaic could then be turned over. The final stage consisted of removing the layers of plastic coating and material. This was carried out with an electric paint remover. Most of the limestone and brick tesserae were tough, but the chalk ones had to be treated very carefully.


Detail from Castelow's shop front (image/jpeg) 159 Woodhouse Lane

#SUBHEADING#159 Woodhouse Lane#SUBHEADINGEND# Mr Walter Thomas Castelow's shop at 159 Woodhouse Lane was the oldest surviving chemist shop in Leeds when it was demolished for the redevelopment of the University in 1976. #SUBHEADING#Chemist Shop#SUBHEADINGEND# Opening in 1841 under the name Bentley's, the shop had a long history and operated under the names Dearden's and Brown's, before finally coming into the hands of Walter Thomas Castelow in 1907. Over the course of the twentieth century the world outside was to undergo a great deal of change; however the little shop was to retain its Victorian character and atmosphere throughout. #SUBHEADING#Original fittings#SUBHEADINGEND# Many of the original 1840s fittings remained, the sturdy mahogany counter, the drug run, the glass fronted cabinets, showcases and shelves, gilt labelled jars, coloured bottles, and huge glass rounds which contained liquids, powders, tablets and pills, continued to be used by Castelow until his death in 1974. Like his shop Mr Castelow's own appearance was unique; throughout his life he continued to wear the smart, professional dress of his Edwardian youth, he refused to wear the white lab coat and instead opted for a waistcoat, jacket, cravat and stiffly starched two inch collar. He struck an imposing figure but his warm smile quickly put people at ease. #SUBHEADING#Traditional Remedies#SUBHEADINGEND# Mr Castelow's medical consultations often ended with him issuing a traditional remedy rather than dispensing a factory made brand drug. Mr Castelow was a traditional Edwardian chemist; 'cooking up' his medicines in house. He would consult his hard leather bound pharmacopoeia, his hand written equations and Latin notes to concoct the correct preparation. He would pick his ingredients by hand from his drug run and shelves; grinding dried ingredients in the large pestle and mortar, measuring out syrups, treacles and other liquids with nothing but his steady hand and some Victorian glass measures, and turning pastes into tablets, suppositories and even pills with the use if his Victorian pill making machine. Despite increasing restriction and even the removal of some of the traditional ingredients under the poisons act and other regulations, Mr Castelow was still a great believer in many of the traditional remedies, as were his customers, some of whom travelled all over the country to sample Castelow's curious cures, for anything from headaches to bronchitis.


Detail of Skerne Sword (image/jpeg) The Skerne Sword

The Skerne sword is an unusually fine example of a pattern-welded sword with decorated handle dating to the 10th century AD - the Viking period. It was found during excavations of a waterlogged site at Skerne, near Driffield, East Yorkshire in 1982 by the Humberside Archaeology Unit. It had been dropped, complete with its scabbard, into the River Hull from a jetty or bridge. #SUBHEADING#Looking Closer#SUBHEADINGEND# The pommel and guard are decorated with inlaid silver and copper wires in geometric designs. Beneath is a very fine gauze-like silver-wire mesh which under a microscope looks almost like textile weaving. Decorative inlays of copper and silver wires have been recorded on other swords from the Viking period but the fine state of preservation of the two metals on the Skerne Sword makes the decoration particularly striking. X-rays have shown that the sword blade was pattern-welded in a clear herringbone pattern along its whole length. Only the tip and the cutting edges are plain. The hilt (or grip) has largely decayed over the centuries but enough traces remained for scientists to identity it as horn. #SUBHEADING#The Scabbard#SUBHEADINGEND# An exceptional feature of the weapon was that it was found still encased in its wooden scabbard. Without the waterlogged conditions of the site this would have long since decayed. The scabbard was made from willow or poplar and lined with sheepskin. #SUBHEADING#The Excavation#SUBHEADINGEND# The excavation revealed a structure made of oak piles sunk into the river bed. It may have been part of a jetty on the waterfront of the River Hull or alternatively a wooden bridge carrying the road from Skerne to a settlement at Brigham. The oak piles had slowed the current of the river allowing silt to build up quickly around them. In this silt the excavators found four knives, a drill bit, an adze and wood chippings. Perhaps these were dropped by workmen repairing the bridge? #SUBHEADING#Accident or Ceremony#SUBHEADINGEND# It seems unlikely that such a prestigious (and expensive) weapon could have been dropped by accident. This has led to the theory that it was deliberately thrown into the river as a religious offering. Other finds from the silt, such as a spearhead and the remains of complete animal skeletons (including horse, cow, sheep and dog) might also suggest that the site had a ritual significance. The Skerne Sword is not the only Viking Age sword to have been deposited in this way. A mid-10th century sword, with very similar decoration, was found in the River Frome at Wareham in Dorset and is now in the Dorchester Museum. In addition, there are two swords in the British Museum, one from the River Lea at Edmonton and the other from the River Witham in Lincolnshire. Although the custom of throwing or placing offerings in water in more commonly recorded in the Iron Age, it seems that there may have been something of a revival during the Viking Period.


Designated Collections

Designated Collections home page


Valuations of fine art

The curatorial staff at Hull City Museums & Art Gallery are not permitted to give estimates or valuations, whether for insurance purposes or sales. The Auctioneers listed below are reputable firms based in the region.Most make no charge for verbal valuations but do make a small charge for written valuations (especially for insurance purposes.) Some will make home visits. Some run 'opinion days' at other local venues. Please contact them directly for all such details. Tennants 34 Montpellier Parade, Harrogate HG1 2TG (tel.01423 531661) The Auction Centre, Leyburn, North Yorks DL8 5SG (tel. 01969 650776) Valuation days at Tennants are Mondays 10am - 4pm but you may ring to make an appointment during the week. Christies Princes House, 13 Princes Square, Harrogate HG1 1LW (tel. 0845 9001766) Open Mondays - Friday 9am - 5pm Bonhams 17a East Parade, Leeds LS1 2BU (tel. 0113 2448011) Sotheby's 8-12 Montpelier Parade, Harrogate HG1 2TJ (tel. 01423 501466) Free general valuations every Thursday (10am - 1pm; 2 - 4pm) Please ring for details on specialist valuation days, e.g. silver, ceramics. Dee, Atkinson and Harrison 56 Market Place, Driffield YO25 6AW (tel. 01377 241919)


William Wilberforce (image/jpeg) Wilberforce and slavery

Wilberforce House Museum, opened in 1906 and recently refurbished, is the birthplace of slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce. The museum explores the history of slavery, abolition and the legacy of slavery today. This section explores the history of the house and its former occupants, wilberforce the man and politician and the slavery collections including contemporary issues.


Adopt a Painting - An Interior with Ladies and Gentlemen at Cards

An Interior with Ladies and Gentlemen at Cards, mid 1660s by Eglon Hendrik van der Neer (1634-1703) Description A key Old Master in the Dutch permanent displays this scene is unusual due to its portrayal of the latest in French fashions in clothing and hairstyles, suggesting a very wealthy Dutch family. Work required The painting has suffered from various losses, scratches and abrasions in the past and the paint layer is in danger of flaking in some areas. Estimated conservation cost: £1,750 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5221 Dimensions: 65 x 73 cm


Adopt a Painting - The Sally

The Sally, c1870 by John Pettie (1839-1893) Description Pettie often painted scenes taken from the 16th and 17th century with no exact historical or literary source but treated in a typically theatrical style. Work required The canvas is not fit for display presently owing to numerous small losses, very poor tension of the canvas and a small tear, lower centre. Estimated conservation cost: £1,750 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5269 Dimensions: 49.5 x 79.4 cm


Adopt a Painting - The Holy Family with Two Female Saints

The Holy Family with Two Female Saints, mid 17th Century attributed to Giovanni Batista Salvi Il Sassoferrato (1609-1685) Description The quality of this Italian Old Master has always been recognised. The treatment is unusual due to the inclusion of the two female figures on the left. Work required The work needs urgent treatment owing to cracking and cupping of the paint layer. It needs to be removed from its stretcher before treating to prevent future deterioration. Estimated conservation cost: £4,200 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.6137 Dimensions: 88.7 x 115.7 cm


Adopt a Painting - The Lame Duck

The Lame Duck, c1917 by Thomas Jacques Somerscales (1842-1927) Description This important Hull artist is represented by several marines in the Ferens collection of which this is the most ambitious. It is a major work in the planned Victorian and Edwardian catalogue and survey exhibition. Work required There are raised cracks along the lower part of the canvas from which some small losses have occurred and it requires urgent treatment. Estimated conservation cost: £2,625 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.6166 Dimensions: 121 x 183 cm


Adopt a Painting - Lady Barrington Bouchier

Lady Barrington Bouchier, before 1687 attributed to Willem Wissing (c1656-1687) Description An important Old Master and a good example of late Stuart official portraiture this work is currently on display. Both the artist attribution and the identity of the sitter remains to be confirmed. Work required Urgent treatment is required to structural and shrinkage cracking in addition to several obvious damages to the paint layer. Estimated conservation cost: £4,200 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.6290 Dimensions: 123 x 100 cm


Sin

The Seven Deadly Sins were identified by Pope Gregory the Great (d.604) as Pride, Envy, Anger, Avarice, Sadness, Gluttony and Lust. The sin of Sadness was later replaced with Sloth. Before this there had been many other religiously motivated lists of evil thoughts and vice. Sin was a central theme in Dante's epic poem The Divine Comedy written in the early 14th Century. The Roman Catholic Church was chiefly responsible for promoting and perpetuating the idea of the Seven Deadly Sins. This was done for two reasons: to discourage people from committing the sins, and so that they could confess them when they did. The Deadly Sins were so called because they were considered to have a fatal effect on an individual's soul. To be forgiven the 'sinner' was required to partake of the Catholic sacrament of Confession. Each sin has a corresponding holy virtue as follows: pride (humility); envy (kindness); anger (forgiveness); greed (charity); sloth (diligence); gluttony (temperance) and lust (chastity). #SUBHEADING# The sins #SUBHEADINGEND# Pride (or vanity) is the excessive belief in your own abilities and a sense of superiority and is usually considered to be the worst of the sins. Envy is the desire to possess what other people have and includes both material goods and spiritual traits. Anger (or wrath) is the feeling of rage or fury and can lead to violence. Greed (or avarice) is the desire for material wealth. Gluttony is the desire to consume more than is needed and is usually used in the context of food. Lust (or lechery) is the desire for physical, especially sexual, pleasures. Sloth (or lazy) is the avoidance of physical work. #SUBHEADING# The role of art #SUBHEADINGEND# Art played a major role in informing people when the majority were unable to read. Some of the first depictions of the Deadly Sins were in wall paintings and the architectural decoration in churches. A particular art historical tradition of depicting the Sins developed and is especially associated with Northern European artists such as Hieronymous Bosch (c.1450-1516) and Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-69). Perceptions of the world and the society in which we live, have changed radically over the centuries. The Seven Deadly Sins are now largely forgotten and are rarely the subject of discussion or art. However, the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins has survived the test of time. Although none of the works of art in the gallery were created with the intention of depicting the Seven Deadly Sins, we invite you to consider which, if any, you see in these pictures?


(image/jpeg) The Discovery of Tutankhamun

The discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun has been hailed one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th Century. While the Pharaoh's reign itself may have lacked distinction, the publicity that surrounded his discovery ensured that Tutankhamun has become immortalised in popular culture. #SUBHEADING# Discovering the tomb #SUBHEADINGEND# The discovery of this long lost pharaoh was a long time coming. Archaeologist Howard Carter had been excavating in the Valley of the Kings for years, and other archaeologists such as Theodore Davis claimed there was nothing left to find there. Lord Carnarvon, Carter's patron had already threatened to pull financial backing, but was persuaded to continue for one more season. Three days into work, on the 4th November 1922, the entrance and stairway to the tomb was discovered, next to that of Ramesses VI. An urgent telegram was sent to Lord Carnarvon in England requesting his presence in Egypt, and further excavations later revealed the cartouche of Tutankhamun - finally the search was over! #SUBHEADING# Can you see anything?'... 'Yes, wonderful things #SUBHEADINGEND# The treasures that awaited Carter and Carnarvon as they entered the tomb on the 25th November 1922 were amazing. Although evidence suggested activity from grave robbers twice in antiquity, the Tomb was still the most intact that had ever been discovered. Directly behind the first door was a corridor filled with rubble, which was cleared to reveal another door, leading to a room Carter described as full of 'wonderful things' - containing 'strange animals, statues and gold - everywhere a glint of gold'. They discovered three funerary couches with Hippo, Cow and Lion heads, white and black bedsteads, a golden throne depicting the Pharaoh and his wife, a wooden mannequin of the Pharaoh used for fitting his robes, and two guardians of the tomb, either side of a door through to the burial chamber. It was not until 23rd February 1923 that Carter ventured into the burial chamber. There he found four gilded shrines, nested one inside the other and a stone sarcophagus, which held three coffins, the innermost made from solid gold and weighing 2500 lbs. The task of removing each coffin was a slow and delicate operation and it was not until 24th October 1925 that the last coffin was opened to reveal the mummified remains of the King and the iconic gold mask. Two other rooms were also discovered; a treasury, containing all the items needed in the afterlife (including the canoptic chest with his internal organs), and an annexe. #SUBHEADING# A lifetime's work #SUBHEADINGEND# Each of the 5000 items in the tomb was meticulously recorded and catalogued. The Tomb took 6 years to excavate and 10 years to remove, treat and study. Progress was not helped by a constant barrage of visitors desperate to catch a glimpse of the latest discovery. #SUBHEADING# Beware the curse of the mummy #SUBHEADINGEND# After the tomb was discovered media fuelled rumours of an ancient 'mummy's curse' were rife, especially following the death of Lord Carnarvon in April 1923, just seven weeks after the opening of the burial chamber. Carter's pet canary was another victim apparently claimed by the curse, after it was eaten by a Cobra on the day the tomb was discovered. However the majority of people connected to the event went on to live for many years, including Carter himself. Lord Carnarvon already had a weak constitution and was primarily advised to visit Egypt for his health. He died of pneumonia, contracted after falling ill from an infected mosquito bite.


Spanish ‘Cuenca’ Tile Panel

This is an example of a panel of four tiles that was made in Spain in the sixteenth century. They are decorated using a technique known as ‘cuenca’. This involved pressing a mould into a clay slab to create a raised outline of the design with hollows between. These hollows were known as ‘cuenca’, which means ‘bowls’ in Spanish. The hollows were then filled with coloured glazes, in this case, with blue, green and copper. The technique was developed from an earlier method called ‘cuerda seca’ which means ‘dry cord’. To make these tiles, wax was drawn on the tile surface to make a resist outline. Different colours were then applied into the spaces in the design. The purpose of the wax line was to stop the colours from running into each other. However, sometimes this did happen as the line melted away during the firing.


Designation Challenge Fund 2006-08

Made for Us – Discovering Hull's Decorative Art, craft and design collections. This project was funded by the Designation Challenge Fund, 2006-2008. Hull Museums' decorative art collections are a varied collection of locally and nationally significant items. They include silver, furniture, scrimshaw, jewellery and ceramics. This project for the first time has enabled Hull to work comprehensively with specific collections service wide, rather than focusing on what may be in just one of the museums. This project was led by educational objectives and included significant public consultation. It worked towards increasing access to an important and hidden resource. Two temporary full time posts were funded as part of the project: those of 'Project Assistant – Decorative Arts', and 'Educational Project Officer' (job share). The project digitised and researched the collections, making this information on-line as part of a wider, service wide project. With the aim of making the collections accessible to new audiences, a new interactive touch-screen kiosk was also developed for museum gallery spaces. A series of educational workshops and teacher’s resource were also created and provided on-line via the MyLearning website. A major seminar on decorative arts will also be held on March 11th 2008 for the completion of this project. This will be to share experience in the sector in making decorative arts accessible and sharing current research. As a result of the work undertaken, a major exhibition using the research and experience gained will be held at the Ferens Art Gallery from May 2008. This will show case Hull’s extensive craft and design collections in an accessible and original way. For further information see: http://www.mla.gov.uk/website/programmes/designation http://www.mylearning.org/


Opinions and Restoration of fine art items

Opinions The curatorial staff of the Ferens Art Gallery are happy to give opinions on privately owned works of art (paintings, drawings, sculpture and prints). We do, however, require that you make an appointment before bringing your works into the gallery. Works cannot be left at the Gallery for opinions unless a member of curatorial staff has agreed beforehand. There is no charge for our 'opinions' service. Restoration The restoration of works of art and antiques is a highly specialised profession. It can also be very expensive. We do not undertake restoration at the Ferens but can advise you. Our curatorial staff prefer to see the work in question prior to recommending a restorer. This is normally done as a part of our 'opinions' service (see above). All of the people we recommend have completed restoration work for public art collections. They will normally give you an estimate of the cost of the work and seek your written agreement before proceeding. Untrained people should never attempt to clean works of art themselves, as this can often result in irreparable damage. If you would like our advice on a work of art, please make an appointment by telephoning 01482 613902 and asking to speak to a member of the curatorial staff. Alternately, you may wish to fill in one of our public enquiry forms, available at the gallery reception desk. Appointments are made during weekdays between 10am – 4.30pm. (Please note that curatorial staff are not available at weekends).


The Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery

The Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery was established in 1960 and exists: to encourage and promote appreciation and enjoyment of art and especially the activities of the Ferens Art Gallery. to provide pictures, sculptures, and other works of art for exhibition in the Ferens Art Gallery by way of gift to the permanent collection and to encourage others to do likewise. to encourage both private individuals and business to support the gallery and its activities. to raise money to support special projects at the Gallery, including improved facilities for children. Each year, the Friends organise meetings, lectures and social events, as well as visits to places of artistic interest both at home and abroad. Membership benefits include regular notification of events taking place in the Ferens Art Gallery, and a topical newsletter published at intervals during the year, with news of acquisitions, behind-the-scenes stories and competitions. Recent purchases by, or with assistance from, the Friends, include: - "Oleander" by Henry Ryland [KINCM:2006.7559] - "Portrait of a Young Man" by C. J. Dusart [KINCM:2006.7558] - "Ultramarine" kinetic sculpture by Tim Lewis {KINCM:2005.6394] Joining the Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery The current annual subscription to the Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery is a minimum of £5. The Friends is a Registered Charity No 225045, and if you pay UK Income Tax at the standard rate, subscriptions may be paid by Gift Aid, enabling us to recover this tax. Please enquire for details of Gift Aid from the Honorary Secretary. For further information, please contact: The Hon Secretary, The Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery, c/o The Ferens Art Gallery, Queen Victoria Square, Hull HU1 3RA


Adopt a Painting - The Entombment of Atala

The Entombment of Atala, early19th century After Girodet de Roucy Trioson Description Included in the Gallery's Old Master catalogue, Girodet was one of the star pupils of the neo-classical French painter Jacques- Louis David (1748 -1825). Work required The canvas will be cleaned and darkened over-painting that has been added removed. The tension will also be corrected. The work will dramatically improve the work's appearance. Estimated conservation cost: £2,975 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.4968 Dimensions: 85 x 110 cm


Adopt a Painting - Sophronia asking the Saracen King Aladine to release the Christian Prisoners

Sophronia asking the Saracen King Aladine to release the Christian Prisoners, mid 18th century by Francesco Guardi (1699-1761) Description One of the Gallery's finest and largest masterpieces, Guardi along with Canaletto, was one of the most celebrated of the Venetian 'vedute' or view painters. This earlier figure scene was originally part of a larger decorative cycle executed in Venice. Work required Urgent treatment is required to the fine cracking of the paint and to reline the canvas. This will ensure that the painting is preserved for the enjoyment of future visitors. Estimated conservation cost: £10,500 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.4993 Dimensions: 300 x 108 cm


Adopt a Painting - The Death of Dido

The Death of Dido, late 17th century by Daniel Haringhs (1636-1706) Description Haringhs was essentially a fashionable Dutch portrait painter and his subject pictures such as this are far rarer. Conservation will enable it to be brought out of the reserve collection and displayed for the first time. It strengthens the Ferens important holdings of 17th century Netherlandish art. Work required The picture is disfigured by extensive raised cracking and crude over-painting as well as surface dirt and discoloured varnish which needs to be treated. Estimated conservation cost: £3,500 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5010 Dimensions: 114 x 108 cm


Adopt a Painting - Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Sacrifice of Iphigenia, c1699 Attributed to Jean Jouvenet (1644- 1717) Description Identified as a work of significance during the Gallery's research for its Old Masters project (2002), Jouvenet's career spans a critical period in French painting showing influence from Poussin to Charles le Brun. Work required There are numerous losses and some structural distortions of the canvas which need to be treated before this painting can be displayed. Estimated conservation cost: £5,250 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5087 Dimensions: 180 x 130 cm


Adopt a Painting - Aurora and Tithonius

Aurora and Tithonius, c1700 Attributed to Gregorio Lazzarini (1655-1730) Description Lazzarini was the leading decorative painter in Venice at the turn of the 18th century. Conservation will enable this painting to be displayed alongside later works which it anticipates, such as the large canvas by Guardi. Work required Discoloured varnish and darkened and discoloured re-touchings will be removed to restore this work to the vision the artist intended. The frame is also in need of conservation Estimated conservation cost (without frame): £4,375 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5129 Dimensions: 108 x 83 cm


Adopt a Painting - Madonna and Child with St Joseph

Madonna and Child with St Joseph, mid 18th Century by Francesco Mancini (1679-1758) Description Mancini represents the end of the Baroque tradition in Italy and worked on many church altarpieces mainly in and around Rome. This work is not on display owing to its poor condition. Work required The paint layer has extensive structural cracking and some badly matched re-touchings of old losses. The frame also requires treatment. Estimated conservation cost (without frame): £3,500 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5179 Dimensions: 142 x 106 cm


Adopt a Painting - The Man with the Muck Rake

The Man with the Muck Rake, 1877 by Joseph Noel Paton (1821-1901) Description This ambitiously scaled, religious canvas was inspired by the popular Victorian text, 'The Pilgrims Progress' after which Paton painted a number of scenes. The Gallery has a small preparatory oil study for this work, as well as a further large scale oil painting by the artist. Work required The canvas needs cleaning and re-stretching to restore it to the artist's original intentions and remove disfiguring distortions that have developed over the years. Estimated conservation cost: £5,250 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5251 Dimensions: 251.5 x 157.5 cm


Adopt a Painting - Holy Family

Holy Family, early 17th Century Attributed to Giulio Cesare Procaccini (c.1572-1625) Description This intimately scaled Old Master is attributed to one of the leading painters of his generation in northern Italy. Many of his best pictures are large altar pieces painted for churches in Milan. Work required There is danger of future paint loss as well as many discoloured and badly applied re-touchings from previous interventions. Estimated conservation cost: £1,575 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.5281 Dimensions: 45.5 x 37.6 cm


Adopt a Painting - Portrait of George Birkbeck

Portrait of George Birkbeck, 1805 by John Russell (1744-1806) Description This is probably the earliest painting in the collection for which the details of the commission are known and can be traced to Hull. The sitter visited in 1805 to give lectures on Natural and Mechanical Philosophy and the commission was made by Hull Subscription Library. Work required The structural and shrinkage cracking in the paint surface mean there is a danger of paint loss through flaking. The canvas needs to be relined and re-stretched before the work can be displayed. Estimated conservation cost: £2,975 Catalogue information Accession No: KINCM:2005.6126 Dimensions: 76 x 64 cm


tile detail (image/jpeg) Victorian Printed Tiles

Many Victorian tiles were decorated with printed designs. These were either transfer or block printed onto the tile surface. The technique of transferring prints onto a ceramic surface was developed by John Sadler as early as 1756. However, mechanised production in the Victorian age made it a more widely used process. It was also much quicker and cheaper to produce designs by print than by hand. #SUBHEADING#Transfer Printed Tiles#SUBHEADINGEND# Transfer printing was especially useful for creating fine line images or designs with a lot of detail. This hand-coloured tile by Minton has a transfer-printed design outline depicting pond life. The transfer-printing process started with the design being inked onto a thin piece of paper, either from an engraved plate or lithographic stone. The paper containing the wet oil-based ink image was applied to the surface of the tile. This was then rubbed to transfer the ink and the tile was then soaked to remove the paper. Next, the tile was fired at a low temperature to fix the ink and then the final glaze was added and the tile was fired again. If desired, colour could be added over the top of the transfer either before or after the final glaze was added. #SUBHEADING#Tile Design#SUBHEADINGEND# A wide range of subjects were featured on transfer print designs and frequently included natural forms, scenes, figures, literary and historical illustrations and concepts such as 'The Seasons'. Some designs imitated other materials and crafts including a tapestry pattern whilst others copied elements from Roman mosaics, having the 'tesserae' pattern and typical 'guilloche' or interwoven cable border. #SUBHEADING#Block Printed Tiles#SUBHEADINGEND# The block printing process used separate blocks for each colour in the design. A series of four colour designs produced by Mintons China Works depicting scenes from Shakespeare including this scene from 'The Taming of the Shrew'. The tile was designed by John Moyr Smith, who designed many tiles for the company. A closer look reveals his initials within the design. #SUBHEADING#Making the Tile #SUBHEADINGEND# The Minton company adapted a process, developed by Richard Prosser in the 1840s, that revolutionised tile-making and enabled the mass production of tiles. The 'dust pressing' method involved clay dust being pressed in a mould under extreme force in a mechanical press. The clay dust contained just enough moisture for it to stick together. With only a small amount of moisture in the tile it meant that the drying-out time was reduced before the tiles went into the kiln for firing. Prosser originally used the process for making clay buttons but Herbert Minton saw its potential application to make tiles and bought a share in its patent. Other tile companies adopted the method and it quickly became the most popular production method from the mid nineteenth century onwards. The presses used for the process could incorporate a metal plate that stamped the company name or trademarks into the back of the tile.


noahs ark detail (image/jpeg) The Animals Went in 2 by 2...

A Noah's ark toy is not on every child's Christmas list, but years ago, it was an expensive and highly desirable object. The toy ark with its family and set of animals were a popular choice for children for many generations. Based on the popular biblical story, it is believed that the toy originated in Germany, in a small village called Oberammergau. Noah's arks have been made since the 18th century and were especially popular on Sundays as families felt that it was more suitable for their children to play with toys with a biblical theme on this religious day. #SUBHEADING#A community project#SUBHEADINGEND# The whole community would work together to create the Noah's ark and animals. Numerous households in Oberammergau would carve the individual sets of animals. Once the animals were finished, they would be collected ready to be placed in the newly-made ark. The Noah's ark in the museum collection is quite rare and is dated around the 1830s. Many arks came in different shapes and sizes, but the ark that you see is the most common style with the bottom of the ark being used to store all the animals. Some arks had up to 400 animals, but it is rare for all the animals to survive. #SUBHEADING#A Symbol of Peace#SUBHEADINGEND# The dove which was released by Noah to find land was usually painted on the ark's roof. The dove came to symbolise Hope or Peace. For centuries, Germany had exported arks all over the world and it wasn't until the 1920s that the production of arks declined. During the war, a tax on wood was imposed making arks an expensive toy to produce. German toymakers moved away from making Noah's ark and created wooden toys that were smaller in size.



Detail form Hull Tapestry (image/jpeg) The Hull Tapestry Project

The Hull Tapestry depicts, in colourful and varied stitch, the history and achievements of the city of Kingston upon Hull. The idea was first suggested in June 1990 and was approved by the City Council the following year and the designer Mrs Pat Mackrill was asked to consider possible scenes for inclusion in the panels. A wide range of organisations and individuals were approached to take part in the project and more than 100 people expressed a desire to be involved and indeed the project has been fortunate to have so many people so willing to give their time and effort so generously. #SUBHEADING#The Work Begins#SUBHEADINGEND# In early May 1991 work began on samplers to test the abilities of the volunteers and as a means of teaching the different stitches involved. The volunteers worked under the supervision of Suzanne Flew and Eileen Chapman both of whom remain in this capacity more than 16 years after work first started. Later that year the late Queen Mother visiting Hull to re-open the Ferens Art Gallery commented on the design of the first panel showing Charles I being refused entry to the City at the Beverley Gate. In November 1991 the themes for the individual panels were decided upon and work started on the first panels. They are currently on open access in a dedicated room inside the Guildhall.


Detail from Peter Howson picture (image/jpeg) Peter Howson

Peter Howson is one of Britain's most important contemporary artists and the country's most recent Official War Artist. Although born in London in 1958, Howson is commonly associated with the new 'Glasgow Boys', a group of figurative artists who rose to fame during the 1970s and '80s. Dropping out of Glasgow School of Art in 1997, Howson spent a short time in the army and then worked as a warehouseman and bouncer, living in a gymnasium. Here he met the boxers, dossers, squaddies and drinkers who populate so much of his work. Mr. Great Heart is a distillation of the many people Howson holds recorded in his memory through his personal experiences, from the rougher parts of Glasgow to the war-torn towns of Bosnia. The boxer is a recurrent motif - Howson was himself a boxer - and signifies for him the triumph of the underdog. Howson was inspired in 1996, by reading Bunyan's Bilgrim's Progress and the novels of John Buchan, to explore through in his works the strength of the human spirit. #SUBHEADING#Narrative Format#SUBHEADINGEND# Peter Howson's earlier works have a narrative format, describing episodes which reflect the darker side of human nature. It was only in the late 1980s and early 1990s that he began to focus more closely on the characters who populate his work, presenting single figures whose grossly exaggerated faces and bodies convey a conflicting range of emotions, from anger and despair to pride and hope. Although Mr. Great Heart can be termed a portrait it is very much a representation of a type of person rather than a specific individual. While on the one hand it conjures up the earthy, proud streetfighters of Glasgow's Gallowgate it also evokes the threat and violence Howson witnessed in Bosnia and the rawness of human brutality. #SUBHEADING#The style#SUBHEADINGEND# Howson's painting technique exhibits two distinctly different approaches. One is the free, impastoed and gestural style which lent so much strength to his Bosnia works. The other is a smooth, slick, highly finished technique, demonstrated in Mr. Great Heart, which models the solid, muscular bodies and faces of his characters and heightens their sense of the grotesque. This is enhanced by his working on a large scale with the characteristic use of a monochrome palette and shadow to sculpt and distort the figure. #SUBHEADING#The influence of war#SUBHEADINGEND# Following the outbreak of war in Bosnia, Howson became obsessed with the images of suffering and human devastation reported in the press. Driven by his personal desire for adventure and the need to draw attention to that country's plight, he travelled to Bosnia in Spring 1993 as the Official War Artist (OWA) under the sponsorship of The Times newspaper. The resulting exhibition of his work were met with both controversy and critical acclaim, like those of his OWA predecessor, John Keane (b.1954), whose work is also represented in the Ferens collection. The Ferens has significant holdings of work by Official War Artists, particularly of the Second WorldWar, together with examples of work by artists whose 'non-war' work still reflects the influences of war. Paul Nash's (1889-1946) Michaelmas Landscape, 1943, and John Piper's (1903-92) Marchlyn Mawr, c.1947-8, are notable examples. Similarly, John Keane's (b.1954) Fairy Tales of London, 1992, offers a further contemporary perspective of the impact of war upon a leading artist.


Detail of the Roos Carr figures (image/jpeg) Roos Carr Figures: Faces From the Past

#SUBHEADING# The Discovery #SUBHEADINGEND# In 1836 some labourers cleaning a ditch at Roos Carr, near Withernsea in East Yorkshire made a surprising discovery. About two metres below the surface they came across a collection of well-preserved wooden objects including several 'warrior' figures with stone eyes, a wooden box, a serpent-headed boat, and various other wooden articles 'too much decayed to remove'. Four of the figures; together with the boat and various other attachments which seemed to be arms, paddles and shields; were given to the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society and eventually became part of the collections of Hull Museums. A fifth figure was acquired by the museum in 1902. One of the men present at the time of the discovery had apparently given the 'ancient doll' to his daughter to play with! In the 19th century four of the figures were fixed into the boat, with the 'arms', shields and paddles glued or nailed on wherever they seemed to fit. Recently, the figures were conserved using more sympathetic methods - the Victorian glue and varnish were removed and they were taken out of the boat. Under close examination it became clear that there are subtle differences between the figures, for example, some have nostrils whilst other don't. These differences (not to mention the fact that there isn't room on the boat for the fifth figure!) strongly suggest that there were originally two boats complete with crews. #SUBHEADING# Arms and the man! #SUBHEADINGEND# Modern examination has established that the figures, which are between 35 and 41 cm tall, are carved from yew wood and have quartzite eyes. It also seems that the pieces of curved wood, previously considered to be short 'arms', fit perfectly into another hole - and were actually intended as detachable male genitalia! Perhaps it was felt that the Victorian museum visitor should be spared a lesson in anatomy... #SUBHEADING# From Noah to ritual deposition #SUBHEADINGEND# People have been intrigued by the Roos Carr figures ever since they first came to light. How old are they and what were they for? They have at various times been attributed to Viking invaders and even identified as representing Noah and his family! The question of date has been resolved by radio-carbon testing - the figures are now known to be about 2,600 years old. This places them in the Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age. But the question of their purpose is more difficult to fathom... Modern archaeologists consider them to represent votive offerings of some kind, perhaps gods or ancestor figures. The fact that they were apparently recovered from 'a layer of blue clay' suggests that they were originally deposited in or near water. This would be in keeping with the wider European cult practice of depositing items such as metalwork in rivers, marshes and other marginal land. #SUBHEADING# Totally Unique? #SUBHEADINGEND# There are actually nine other surviving comparable figures in Britain and Ireland, ranging in date from about 2500 BC to 148 BC. They are made from a number of different woods - ash, pine, yew or oak. Some are definitely male; some, like the Roos Carr figures, have removable genitalia and so could be either male or female. Only one, from Ballachulish in Scotland, is unambiguously female. #SUBHEADING# A Glimpse Into the Past #SUBHEADINGEND# A recent study has suggested that the choice of wood may be significant and relate to the particular god being represented. Perhaps there is a link between a particular god and a type of wood, such as Odin (or his earlier manifestation, Ull), and the yew tree. While this is an intriguing theory, there is only one certainty. The Roos Carr figures will continue to fascinate us for many years to come. Not least because of the glimpse they provide into a complex prehistoric world of ritual and religion which we can only wonder at.


Hull Seamen's General Orphanage

Hull Seamen's and General Orphan Society was established at Spring Bank in 1865. It was set up to house children whose fathers had been lost at sea. The orphanage was very expensive to run. From the beginning the Wilson family, who owned a very successful and world renowned shipping company, gave generously to the orphanage funds. They donated thousands of pounds, paid for extensions to the building which could accommodate more children, and organised summer excursions for the orphans. Other funds were generated by placing metal collection tins at various sites across Hull, the East Riding and Lincolnshire, including pubs, hotels, social clubs and institutions, the Wilson Line vessels and the Humber ferries, as well as Tranby Croft (Arthur Wilson's home in Anlaby). #SUBHEADING#Finding a New Home#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1916 the Wilson Company was bought out and the Orphan Society lost a major source of its funding. Three years later, the Spring Bank premises became unsuitable for the orphanage's needs and the search began for a new home. In 1920, the children visited Hesslewood Hall in East Yorkshire. They must have liked it because the Society moved into it. Girls arrived on 18th January 1921 and the boys followed in February. Hesslewood was a large country house which had been built for Joseph Robinson Pease Senior in 1792. His son was the first chairman of the Mariners Church Orphan Society (the pre-runner of the Hull Seamen's and General Orphan Society) from 1853. #SUBHEADING#Raising New Funds#SUBHEADINGEND# The premises at Hesslewood were expensive to run and struggled to accommodate the children residing there, who totalled over 100. The boys had to live in a wooden hut until a new wing was completed for them in 1924. From the 1930s, the master demanded that each child received pocket money of 1 shilling per week. Maintenance to the aging buildings had to be periodically undertaken. All of this put pressure on funds. The situation had become so bad by the 1950s that even food bills were cut to save money. Funds were raised by various means including concerts by the school band, theatrical performances, fetes, charity events and film advertisements. Much still relied on benevolent funders, but collections boxes also continued to bring in money. These were now made from wood. Some of them are held at the Maritime Museum. The one pictured here is roughly cut, suggesting it may have been made on-site at the orphanage, perhaps by one of the children. [image: KINCM: 2006.5190] Looking back, the orphan's motto 'courage to climb' was a fitting slogan for the perseverance shown by staff, children and the local community in maintaining financial support for the Hull Seamen's and General Orphanage for over 100 years. Further Reading: J.D. Hicks, Our Orphans: the story of the Hull Seamen's and General Orphanage, 1853-1979 (Lockington Publishing Company, North Ferriby, 1983) G.M. Attwood, The Wilsons of Tranby Croft (Hutton Press, Beverley, 1988)


Speeding along

Sailors could work out their general location by measuring how far they had travelled within a given amount of time. They therefore needed to know the ship's speed. Distance at sea has always been measured in nautical miles, and therefore speed in nautical miles per hour. The nautical mile is equivalent to 1.15 miles or 1,852 metres. #SUBHEADING# Ship's Log #SUBHEADINGEND# Going back to ancient times, the ship's log was a very basic way of calculating speed. Literally a wooden log, it was attached to rope on a wooden reel and thrown into the water from the back of a moving ship. The rope was tied with knots usually at every 50 ft. These knots represented different speeds. Speed was measured by counting the number of knots released in a certain time (normally about 30 seconds). The faster the ship was moving, the quicker the number of knots unreeled. This gave the origin to the nautical speed unit, the 'knot', a term we still use today. #SUBHEADING# Mechanical Logs #SUBHEADINGEND# More accurate mechanical versions made of metal (usually brass) were being used from the 19th century. Edward Massey invented the first successful mechanical log at the beginning of the 19th century. Thomas Walker later became one of the best known makers in England and produced a more compact and efficient version. The type he invented in 1861 was used for almost 100 years. The instrument was thrown into the sea and the force of the water caused a rotator to turn. This rotator was connected by a mechanism to dials which showed the ship's speed. Hull Maritime Museum holds a number of these logs. They are often called 'harpoon' ship logs because of their shape. #SUBHEADING# A traverse board #SUBHEADINGEND# A traverse board was used to record speed (and direction) regularly in a 4-hour watch period. This was made usually of wood and contained 2 sets of holes. The first set was in the shape of a compass rose and was used to record direction. The second was rectangular and was used to record the speed the ship was travelling in knots. Bone pegs were placed into the holes that represented the relevant reading. Sailors' time was regulated every 4 hours by the 'watch' system. When a 4-hour watch was up, the results were recorded and the process started again. The speed given by the log and line was recorded by putting a peg in the left hand side of the first line of holes. For example, a speed of four knots would be recorded by putting a peg in the fourth hole from the left. Next time, it was recorded in the second line down and so on. This would be repeated every half hour. After two hours, the right hand side of the board would be used. At the end of the watch all of the information would be recorded on a slate or piece of paper so it could be put into the ship's log book and recorded on a chart.


Victorian 'Encaustic' Floor Tiles

This is a Victorian 'Encaustic' Floor Tile. It was made by the Minton factory in around 1850. Its decoration was based on a design by the Victorian 'Gothic Revival' architect and designer A.W.N. Pugin. It features a cross-shaped stylised leaf motif at the centre and has 'fleur-de-lis' corner motifs. Many tiles like this one were modelled on medieval 'inlaid' floor tiles which were being rediscovered and admired at the time. The Minton Company, based in Stoke-On-Trent, was the first and most successful manufacturer of Victorian encaustic floor tiles. Herbert Minton adapted a mechanised process for making inlaid floor tiles that had been developed by Samuel Wright in 1830. He bought his equipment and a share in his patent for the production method. Minton changed the colour scheme of the tiles that had been made by Wright from black and white to brown and buff. This was so that they could be made to look more medieval in style. The tiles were made by pressing a slab of moist clay over a mould that had the design on it in relief. This reproduced the design as an impressed area in the clay slab which was then filled in with a more liquid clay mixture (called 'slip') of a contrasting colour. The tiles are known as 'encaustic'. This name is derived from the Greek word 'enkaustikos', meaning 'burnt in'. They are given this term because the liquid clay area is heated to such an extent in the firing that it is 'burnt in'. It bonds with the surrounding area of the tile, making it integral rather than just a surface. The tiles were made in this way until the mid 1850s when a patent was taken out for making them from dust-pressed clay. The tiles were often unglazed but were very hardwearing, being thick and heavy and were often used for floors in churches and cathedrals, great houses, railway stations and public buildings including the Houses of Parliament. #SUBHEADING#Tile Design#SUBHEADING# The Victorian period saw the revival of the Gothic and Classical decorative styles in architecture and design. Floor tile schemes were an important part of the Gothic Revival style interior and tiles were therefore made with medieval motifs. Some are decorated with stylised sections of plants based on flower heads and leaves. Others contain whole plant motifs such as this one which depicts a Lily of the Valley. Often tiles have purely geometric designs, such as a chequerboard layout. These tiles, with their contrasting tones, created very dramatic visual impact when laid as a floor scheme. The decoration on some tiles contains a combination of both geometric shapes and stylised leaves such as this one. As for the colour palette used, often tiles consist of two contrasting colours such as cream on a brown ground. This is usually the case with the earlier Victorian tiles but also applies to some later tiles. Other tile designs contain several colours.


painting detail (image/jpeg) 'Interior of a Wallpaper Manufacturers Workshop'

The painting depicts the interior of Hardy's wallpaper printing workshop at Junction Dock Street, Hull. It is thought to show work being carried out at the premises around 1840-45. It is of particular interest because it shows the three main stages involved in the production of printed wallpaper using woodblocks at this time. #SUBHEADING#Stage 1 - printing#SUBHEADINGEND# Firstly, a man to the left is using a weighted treadle to position a printing block on the wallpaper. He is standing and working at a window which allows plentiful light to enable him to see where the block edges need to align for the pattern to be accurately delivered on the paper. He may have been printing with either a black/colour printing medium or with an adhesive. #SUBHEADING#Stage 2 - flocking#SUBHEADINGEND# It has been suggested that 'flocked' wallpaper is being produced in this scene. These were wallpapers that had a slightly raised textile design on the flat ground of the paper. They started to be produced around the end of the seventeenth century and copied the process that had already been used for decorating furnishing textiles. Adhesive was used as part of the process of making 'flocked' wallpapers. It was printed as a design onto the wallpaper and then 'flock', or processed woollen fibres, were shaken through a sieve onto the prepared paper. The flock would stick to the areas that had the printed glue surface and could be easily removed from unprinted areas. The man who is working in the left corner of the room may be involved in this stage of the process. #SUBHEADING#Stage 3 - drying#SUBHEADINGEND# Finally, on the right side of the painting, lengths of printed and flocked wallpapers are hanging from the ceiling to dry. Once dry, the lengths are being rolled up by the figure on the right. Prior to this, wallpaper was produced in short sections which were joined together to form a roll and this process was much more time-consuming. Slightly after the date of this painting, wallpaper started to be produced even more efficiently by machine printing. Whole rolls of paper were continuously fed through mechanised metal or wooden printing rollers which each delivered a different colour for the design. #SUBHEADING#Hardy's#SUBHEADINGEND# Hardy's wallpaper manufactory was a family business, run by Mary Hardy and her son William. Trade Directories record that the Junction Dock Street address was occupied by the business in 1842 and in 1857. In 1846 at around the time that this scene was painted, there were six wallpaper manufacturers in Hull, but by 1857 the number had dwindled to three and William Hardy was listed simply as a 'Paper Hanger', so was probably no longer manufacturing papers.


ulysses detail (image/jpeg) Ulysses and the Sirens

One of the most popular works in the Ferens Art Gallery, it was purchased from the artist in 1910 for 600 pounds (the equivalent of 42,000 pounds at today's prices). However when it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy it received rather poor reviews. The Times newspaper was critical because it was not faithful to Homer's tale. #SUBHEADING#The legend of Ulysses#SUBHEADINGEND# The tale of Ulysses, or Odysses as he was to the Greeks, was first recorded by Homer. One of the principal heroes of the Trojan War Ulysses adventures took him to the underworld. On his return, he visited Circe, an enchantress with the power to drive the wind. She warned him that on his journey he would pass the island where the sirens dwelled. The sirens were mythical, female creatures who sang hypnotically at sailors to lure them onto dangerous rocks. Circe advised Ulysses to have his men's ears blocked with bees wax and to have himself bound to the mast so he might hear their song and live. Ulysses followed the enchantress' advice and we can see he has been strongly bound by his men and they sailed safely past the island. #SUBHEADING#The Sirens#SUBHEADINGEND# The depiction of the sirens is an interesting one as Homer's account was rather vague and artists usually drew them as bird like figures with female heads. Draper, however, depicts them as mermaids and young women. We see a boat full of muscly sailors apparently terrified by three nude girls. As they climb aboard, an act of assertive sexuality, the sirens change from mermaids into women. The theme of the nymph and the temptress became something of an obsession in Draper's work. This work was done later in Draper’s career, when he was a married man, and contrasts dramatically with an earlier work by him The Sea Maiden which shows the sailors as the aggressors. The picture contains many contrasts; the sea and the air, the masculine and the feminine, the dark and the light, hard and soft. These contrasts are enhanced by the colours used by Draper with the sailors being dark and weather beaten, the sirens are pale and untouched by the sun like an English Edwardian lady. #SUBHEADING#The artist#SUBHEADINGEND# Herbert Draper was born in 1863 in London. A talented child he went on to study at the Royal Academy's schools of Art and later won a travelling scholarship taking him to both Paris and Rome. As a young man Draper was informally engaged to May Walker, and he seems to have been deeply effected when she broke off this engagement and later painted a work called 'The Promise of May'. He later met and married Ida Williams despite a brief holiday romance with Evelyn Percival Clark. Herbert Draper enjoyed popularity as an artist in his own lifetime and we know that Draper took care to ensure the accuracy of his work by visiting the British Museum to consult contemporary artefacts. When Draper sold the work to the Ferens he wrote to say that he was pleased that "my work will not be buried in a private collection as is too often the case" .


horse brass detail (image/jpeg) Horse Brasses

Hull Museums has a collection of 483 horse brasses deposited by H. Robinson Carter. The flat decorative brass objects we know today as horse brasses have a long history that can be traced back in essence to the pre-historic era. It is believed they were originally created as a talisman against evil spirits, over time they became more decorative in nature. Today they are seen as an excellent form of folk art usually associated with the working horse. #SUBHEADING# Early History#SUBHEADINGEND# It is widely accepted that the early horse brasses were used as a talisman to protect the working horse and oxen from evil spirits. A working horse was a very valuable commodity not only to pull the plough but also transporting people and goods. It is thought that the early talisman would have been amulets made from polished stone and would have carried depictions of the suns rays. The sun and the day were frequently used to represent the power of good whilst night and darkness were associated with evil. The grave of a Siberian chieftain thought to be over 2000 years old included seven mummified horses complete with bronze decorations that would be recognised today. It is unclear whether the tradition was introduced to Britain by Gypsy communities or by knights returning from the Crusades. Brasses from the medieval period have been found created from thin sheets of hammered brass called latten, with its warm yellow colour closely resembling that of gold and would bear a simple design. #SUBHEADING#As Decoration#SUBHEADINGEND# The use of horse brasses simply as decoration is believed to date from the early nineteenth century. From about 1825 casts were use to create the brasses enabling them to adopt more and more complex patterns. These patterns would be created by carving the original in close-grained pearwood and then making an imprint of the pattern using wet sand, a small channel would be dug into the sand between the different patterns to allow the brass to run from one mould to the other. The cast brasses were coloured in one of two ways - through immersing it in an acid or by applying a lacquered coating. Adding a silver finish to the metal helped to protect it in coastal areas with briny seas. Each brass would then be finished by hand including the filing down of the rough edges from the casting process and finally given a vigorous polish.


mosaic detail (image/jpeg) The Brantingham Tyche Mosaic

The so-called 'Tyche Mosaic' was discovered in 1961at the site of a large villa near Brantingham, about 3km northwest of Brough in East Yorkshire. It measures 11 x 7.8m and dates to the middle of the 4th century, about 330-335 AD. The mosaic features a distinctive figure at the centre wearing a crown and surrounded by a nimbus or halo. Some experts believe this figure is a 'Tyche' (pronounced tie-key), a personification of a province or tribe, and this has given the mosaic its name. #SUBHEADING#Tyche or Muse?#SUBHEADINGEND# There are actually two theories about who the figure is. Supporters of the 'Tyche' identification see the crown in the form of a city wall with towers - a feature seen in other representations of the deity. Some have speculated that it could be the Tyche of the Parisi, the local tribe of the area. A Tyche is usually seen with a cornucopia, or horn of plenty, but unfortunately this clinching piece of evidence would be on the left shoulder - the very part of the centre piece that has been lost! An alternative theory is that the central bust represents one of the Nine Muses, the other eight being arranged in two rows of four at the top and bottom of the mosaic. If this is the case then the crown would actually be a feathered head-dress as worn by the muses after their legendary singing contest with the Sirens. What do you think? #SUBHEADING#Water-nymphs#SUBHEADINGEND# Around the central bust are semicircular compartments, each containing a reclining water-nymph, holding a reed in her right hand and resting her elbow on an overturned vase - the symbol of spring. The spaces between the nymphs contain large canthari (wine-cups) or craters (vessels for mixing water and wine). #SUBHEADING#The Eight Ladies#SUBHEADINGEND# Oblong friezes above and below the central panel each contained four female busts with a top-knot and a nimbus or halo. They are shown within a round-headed panel making the panel look rather like a row of niches in a wall. The busts are similar to the central bust but lack a crown. Unfortunately only three of the original eight have survived but all are slightly different. #SUBHEADING#Painting in Stone#SUBHEADINGEND# Interestingly it seems that the design for the Tyche Mosaic was actually intended for painted ceilings or walls. The form of the central panel would have fitted perfectly into a dome, while the architectural niches with busts in the top and bottom panels would suit a wall. Painted wall plaster that had fallen onto the mosaic includes a nimbed bust in a roundel and shows that the design was carried upwards onto the walls of the room. The whole effect must have been a vast array of faces!


painting detail (image/jpeg) The Slave in Chains

Ever since this painting came in to the museum in 1933, there has been a lot of mystery surrounding it. Who painted it? Who is the African in the picture and why was it painted? Over the years, the painting has been attributed to many artists including the Thomas Barker of Bath (1769-1847). However recent research doubts such claims. During the time that the picture was painting in around 1827, the subject matter of an enslaved African would have been controversial. Slavery had yet to be abolished in Parliament and the painting would have drawn attention to the plight of the many enslaved Africans in Britain. The Act for the abolition of the slave trade was passed in 1807. This made the trading in human beings against the law, but slavery still existed and continued until 1833 when it was finally abolished. A similar painting is found... The only clue that we have in tracking the artist down is from a catalogue description from a similar painting exhibited in the London Royal Academy in 1827. This painting was by John Phillip Simpson (1782-1847) with the title, 'The Captive Slave. But Ah! What wish can prosper or what prayer for merchants rich in cargoes of despair'. Maybe John Philip Simpson painted both versions of the painting? The truth behind the painting is yet to be uncovered.


Landscape with cattle

Romeyn is recorded as a pupil of Nicolaes Berchem (1620-1683) in 1642, master in Haarlem in 1646 and a member of the guild of St.Luke in 1659. His wife died in Haarlem in 1683 but the artist's date and place of death are unknown.


Hull as a Timber Port

Hull's status as a regional centre for furniture making in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was founded on the city's role as a timber port. Imports of wood from northern Europe and the Baltic have been part of Hull's commerce for centuries. As early as 1304, 25,000 boards of timber arrived in Hull, to be used mainly in the building and shipbuilding industries. By the 1600s, Hull was second only to London as a timber port. England's rising population and the beginnings of industrialisation during the 1700s led to a greater demand for wood, which was met partly by the opening up of the forests of Russia in the mid-1700s. #SUBHEADING#Hull's first Dock#SUBHEADINGEND# Hull's first constructed dock opened in 1778, covering 9 ¾ acres. Before this, the only place for timber ships to dock was in the 'Old Harbour' in the River Hull. The establishment of new timber yards around the dock tempted furniture makers to set up business in the surrounding streets, such as Savile Street and Bond Street. The extra cost of transporting wood to Beverley and York, both established centres of furniture production, put their craftsmen at a disadvantage. The more enterprising Hull makers had the further benefit of easy access to the export trade, which they exploited as Free Trade advanced in scope during the 1800s. As the nineteenth century progressed more docks were built to cater for the increasing number of ships using Hull's port. By 1843, timber imports accounted for about a fifth of Hull's trade tonnage. The requirements of the timber trade led to the opening of the Victoria Dock in 1850. Between 1861 and 1876 alone, the number of timber merchants in Hull more than doubled, from 20 to 44. Hull's excellent trade links meant that long before 1800 it had become the regional centre for furniture making, overtaking Beverley and York. The rise of Hull and corresponding decline of Beverley and York as centres for supplying furniture to Yorkshire's great houses can be traced from as early as the 1750s. Hull's furniture makers still had to compete with craftsmen from London and from Wakefield, another important centre for furniture production. However, by 1794 Hull's cabinet makers had gained such a good reputation in the capital that a Mr Crust of London advertised in the Hull Packet for local journeymen to seek employment there. The Hull furniture industry continued to prosper, and by 1846 there were 33 craftsmen advertising themselves as cabinet makers in local trade directories. It is difficult to build a consistent picture of how much furniture was made in Hull and whether there were distinctive Hull styles and designs, due to the lack of marked Hull pieces. Furniture was rarely marked with the maker's name in the 1700s, and few marked pieces survive even from the 1800s. #SUBHEADING#The decline of the timber industry#SUBHEADINGEND# The decline of Hull's furniture industry during the First World War also heralded the end of the port's role as an importer of hardwood for furniture making. However Hull's port remains UK's leading importer of softwood, supplying timber trade all over Britain. In 2005 it handled more than 1.5 million cubic metres of timber, much of it from Russia and the Baltic states. Hull's furniture industry may be no more, but the timber port that allowed it to flourish in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries is still thriving.


charioteer detail (image/jpeg) The Rudston Charioteer Mosaic

The Charioteer Mosaic is one of the most striking and unusual mosaics to have been found so far in Roman Britain. Named after the central figure standing on a 'quadriga' or four-horse chariot, it paved a large room at a 4th century AD villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It is thought to have been laid between about 325 and 350 AD. The mosaic was discovered in 1971 and is one of five surviving from the site. Three other mosaics found in another building at the villa - The Venus Mosaic, The Aquatic Mosaic and The Swastika Mosaic, - are also on display at the Hull and East Riding Museum. #SUBHEADING#The Charioteer#SUBHEADINGEND# The central circular panel depicts a charioteer standing in a 'quadriga' or four-horse chariot facing straight out towards the viewer. He holds symbols of victory: a palm-frond and a wreath. He wears a crash-helmet and a leather corslet to protect him in the event of an accident. His red tunic suggest he drives for the 'russata factio', the red club. Each of the horses has a plume on its head and their manes are bound with coloured ribbons. #SUBHEADING#Four Seasons#SUBHEADINGEND# In the corners are circular panels containing female representations of the Four Seasons. Only Spring and Summer are well-preserved. Spring, at the top right of the design, has a swallow on her right shoulder. This roundel is very skilfully crafted using specially-shaped tesserae, an unusual feature in Romano-British mosaics. he result is exceptionally beautiful. Summer, in the roundel on the bottom right, is crowned with poppies and corn. This roundel is much cruder than Spring and is likely to have been made by a different mosaicist. Only part of the figure of Autumn survives, with a rake on her right shoulder. The personification of Winter is completely destroyed but may have been a hooded and cloaked figure as can been seen in other Seasons Mosaics elsewhere. #SUBHEADING#Bird Panels#SUBHEADINGEND# The rectangular side panels contain birds, resembling strange pheasants or perhaps peacocks, with large bodies and long, curving tails. Each panel also contains a pear-shaped fruit and a round one, perhaps an apple or pomegranate. The mosaic was designed to be view from a couch positioned along the end wall of the room, on the border of squares, rather than from the entrance. This would explain why the bird below the Charioteer, and so closest to the viewer, is the most carefully executed of the four.


mosiac detail (image/jpeg) The Rudston Aquatic Mosaic

The Aquatic Mosaic paved the 'apodytherium' or changing room of the bath-house at the Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It was discovered in 1933 together with the Venus Mosaic and the Swastika Mosaic. All three were donated to Hull Museums in 1962 and can be seen in the Hull and East Riding Museum. The Aquatic Mosaic is displayed on the wall in a reconstruction of a Roman bath-house. Less than a quarter of the mosaic survives, but enough remains to estimate that it would have measured c. 3.2 x 2.46m. It seems that the mosaic was a replacement for the original floor of the changing room and dates to the early 4th century, c. 300-300AD. Aquatic mosaics are rare in Britain, and this example is unique in the North. #SUBHEADING#Fishy Forms#SUBHEADINGEND# The central panel shows fish, dolphins, an oyster-like bivalve and other sea-creatures although it is very difficult to identify the species. Unfortunately the central section is partly missing but we can still see what looks like a wavy mass with two L-shaped projections and a rounder projection to the right. Although it is difficult to be certain, this is likely to have been the bust of an aquatic god such as Nepture or Oceanus. The wavy mass would be the god's tousled long hair and the rounded projection part of his forked beard. This doesn't explain the L-shaped projections though, unless they represent a crustacean's legs. Perhaps it was a sea-monster and not a god at all? #SUBHEADING#Flowers#SUBHEADINGEND# Immediately around the central panel are borders of lotus flowers. Only two border panels remain as it is now displayed but it is likely that the flowers extended all the way round originally. The two side-panels have a tree growing inwards towards a bird. Little remains of this area but one side still retains part of what could be the handle of a cantharus or wine-cup. As with the Venus Mosaic from the same house at Rudston villa, the Aquatic Mosaic is naive in contrast to other Romano-British examples. Again it is likely that a native British mosaicist was copying a pattern-book image.


mosiac detail (image/jpeg) The Story of the Rudston Mosaics

The Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire, first came to light in 1838 when walls, roofing tiles, wall plaster and the remains of a mosaic floor were found by farm workers. Unfortunately most of the pavement was destroyed by the same workers -- they dug it up in the hope of finding treasure! #SUBHEADING#Unusual harvest#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1933, the owner and farmer of the land Mr. H. Robson hit the Venus Mosaic while ploughing to the south of the Kilham-Rudston road. Over the next few months he found and exposed the Swastika Mosaic and Aquatic Mosaic that paved other rooms in the building. Mr. Robson built a shed over the mosaics and opened it to the public. Unfortunately by the early 1960's it was clear that the mosaics could no longer stay in the ground. Frost damage was having a serious effect on all three mosaics and the exposed chalk walls were quickly deteriorating. It was agreed that the mosaics should be lifted and removed to Hull Museums. They have been on display in the Hull and East Riding Museum since 1963. You can learn more about how the mosaics were lifted by clicking here (Lifting Mosaics). The building found by Mr. Robson has been subsequently named 'Building 1'. In the 4th century it consisted of three ranges of buildings round a courtyard. Those on the eastern side contained domestic quarters and a bath-suite. This was where the three mosaics, the Venus, Aquatic and Swastika mosaics, were found. The other two sides of the courtyard contained farm buildings and workshops. #SUBHEADING#A long history#SUBHEADINGEND# This was not the first building on the site. Pre-dating the 4th century building were ranges of stone-built structures dating to earlier in the Roman period, and before that there had been circular huts and linear ditches from late Iron Age. So what had been a native Iron Age farm had been transformed during the years of the Roman occupation into a large prosperous villa. By the late 3rd or early 4th century this was successful enough for the owners to be able to equip it with hypocausts (under-floor heating) and expensive mosaics. #SUBHEADING#Not more mosaics!#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1971 a trial excavation was carried out to the north of the Kilham - Rudston road in the hope of finds more outbuildings connected with Building 1. What the team found was far more exciting. The new building is known as Building 8 and contained The Charioteer Mosaic (and its accompanying Leopards Panel) along with two other mosaics, one of which had been badly damaged by 19th century pipe-laying. The number of fine mosaics and wall-plaster in these two buildings makes Rudston one of the very best equipped villas known in the north of England.


brantingham geometic mosiac (image/jpeg) The Brantingham Geometric Mosaics

#SUBHEADING#The Brantingham Geometric Mosaics#SUBHEADINGEND# The Roman villa at Brantingham, 3km northwest of Brough in East Yorkshire, was first discovered in 1941 when two geometric mosaics were found in a stone quarry known as the 'Cockle Pits'. They were recorded and then reburied. What followed is one of the biggest mysteries in Yorkshire archaeology. #SUBHEADING#One of our mosaics is missing!#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1948, members of staff from Hull Museums returned to the site. It had been decided to lift the mosaics and bring them to Hull for display in the Archaeology Museum. So they set to work to prepare them for transportation to the city. All seemed to be going smoothly, the mosaics were successfully lifted and all was set for their journey. But on the eve of their departure the larger of the two, rather unimaginatively called 'The First Geometric Mosaic', was stolen! It has never been recovered. The smaller 'Second Geometric Mosaic' was however safely installed in the museum. #SUBHEADING#What we have lost#SUBHEADINGEND# From drawings made at the time of discovery it is possible to reconstruct the design of the First Geometric Mosaic. It measured about 3.55 x 2.05m and had at its centre a motif resembling an open umbrella picked out in different-coloured tesserae all surrounded by a crow-stepped pattern and another circle, this time of guilloche. On either side of the central panel were two smaller squares, one with a chess-board motif in red and white and the other bearing an endless knot. #SUBHEADING#One's better than nothing!#SUBHEADINGEND# The Second Geometric Mosaic was thankfully left behind and can be seen in the Roman Gallery of the Hull and East Riding Museum. It measured 2.74m square and features a very unusual 'running pelta' pattern in the centre framed by triangles placed end-to-end as a border. Around the outside is a wider border of over-lapping scales - giving the mosaic its alternative name of 'The Scales Mosaic'. #SUBHEADING#Stepping into the past#SUBHEADINGEND# The Scales Mosaic wasn't lifted in one piece, like the Venus Mosaic from Rudston or the Tyche Mosaic which was found at Brantingham in 1971. Instead it was dismantled, after it had been carefully drawn, and the tesserae sorted into bags. They were then re-set in concrete as separate slabs. One of these slabs has been used a part of the walkway in the Roman Gallery at the Hull and East Riding Museum - so if you visit you can actually walk on the same floor that the inhabitants of the villa at Brantingham did nearly 1700 years ago.


mosiac detail (image/jpeg) Everything you always wanted to know about mosaics

#SUBHEADING#The First Mosaics#SUBHEADINGEND# The earliest mosaics were made in Greece in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC. These were made of black and white pebbles set into patterns - the use of colour was rare. By the 2nd century BC tesserae - small, specially hand-cut cubes of stone, marble, clay and glass - were being used. The use of tesserae meant that more complicated designs were possible. #SUBHEADING#How Were Mosaics Made?#SUBHEADINGEND# The design was chosen, often from a pattern book of fairly standard designs, and the number of tesserae required was calculated and made in the right size, shape and colour. It has been estimated that the Rudston Charioteer Mosaic contains some 150,000 tesserae! Tesserae were either made in the stonemason's workshop or on the site where the new floor was to be laid. The mosaic had to be well-drained so if possible it was laid over a hypocaust system. Where there was no hypocaust a foundation of pounded sand, gravel or rubble was constructed. A layer of concrete, opus signinum (containing crush brick or tile) or lime mortar was then spread over the foundation. The tesserae were set into the top layer while it was still slightly wet and grouted with a slurry of fine mortar. The pattern was sometimes marked out on the surface first and the tesserae laid out using rules and set-squares. The mosaic was then rolled and polished. #SUBHEADING#What Materials Were Used?#SUBHEADINGEND# Tesserae were made out of whatever materials were locally available. Materials were rarely imported into Britain specifically for mosaic-making. However, if chippings or broken fragments of imported marble, glass or pottery were available these were utilised. Different materials were carefully chosen for their colour. The Venus Mosaic, from the villa at Rudston includes tesserae in red, bluish black, grey, yellow ochre, brown, green and white. #SUBHEADING#How Did They Choose The Design?#SUBHEADINGEND# The designs of mosaic floors were very similar throughout the Roman world, the same themes and motifs occurring again and again. This is partly due to the mobility of the craftsmen who moved around the provinces but also due to the use of pattern books from which home-owners would chose a suitable design. The pattern books do not seem to have been slavishly copied however, and some individuality was possible - for example, the use of the gladiatorial animals in the Venus Mosaic. #SUBHEADING#Who Made Mosaics?#SUBHEADINGEND# Mosaic making was an alien art to the British before the Roman Conquest so many of the earlier mosaics would have been made by craftsmen from Italy or Greece. They probably trained local people in the art and it is likely that the Venus Mosaic was made by one of these native trainees. #SUBHEADING#How Do Archaeologists Lift Mosaics?#SUBHEADINGEND# There are two principal methods of lifting mosaics. In both methods the mosaic is first secured by sticking gauze to its surface with water-soluble adhesive. The most common method is to lift the mosaic in sections. Vertical cuts are made along the design lines to minimise ugly joints when the sections are reassembled. As the bedding is carefully undercut boards are slid underneath and the section lifted. The second method is rolling and this is the way most of the mosaics on display in the Hull and East Riding Museum were lifted. This is only possible if the bedding is fairly soft and the surface of the mosaic is level. The mosaic is slowly rolled up, usually in one piece, around a reinforced drum while being slowly undercut.


brookes ship poster detail (image/jpeg) Slavery Collections

Hull Museums has many objects relating to slavery and the campaign for its abolition; including paper documents, plantation and slavery records, wedgwood medallions and anti-slavery ceramics. The museums also have collections representing the diversity of richness of West African Cultures prior to Western Slavery. This section explores the interesting and varied Slavery collections, what they can tell us about the history of Slavery and insights they can give into the horrors of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade.


item during conservation (image/jpeg) Adopt a painting scheme

The Ferens Art Gallery houses an internationally significant collection of work ranging from Old Masters through to 21st century contemporary art. The Gallery is dedicated to making all of the art in its care accessible to as many people as possible. An important aspect of this is ensuring that works are preserved in as good a condition as possible so that they can be enjoyed by visitors now and in the future.






(image/jpeg) Thomas Thompson (1754 - 1828)

Thomas Thompson was a local businessman and MP, who resided at 25 High Street, now Wilberforce House Museum, for nearly forty years. In 1770 at the age of 16 he went to work as a Clerk to William Wilberforce (senior) in what later became a branch of Wilberforce, Smith & Co Bank. Thompson's ability and intelligence impressed his employers with Wilberforce (senior) describing him as 'a man of first character'. In 1787 he became a partner in the bank and as senior clerk was required to live 'above shop' for part of each week. In 1798 he moved in permanently and a year later he was also managing the merchant house. #SUBHEADING#Family life#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1781 Thompson married Philothea Perronet Briggs with whom he had five children. The family lived on Lowgate before moving to 25 High Street. Each summer the family moved to rented accommodation in Cottingham to escape the heat and pollution of the city centre. In 1800 he purchased a 54 acre plot of land to build a country house, 'Cottingham Castle'. Completed in 1816 it provided a welcome retreat from the city as both his wife and a daughter suffered from consumption. #SUBHEADING#Lay preacher and MP#SUBHEADINGEND# From an early age Thomas had served as a Methodist lay preacher in homes, meeting houses and in the open air. He gave money towards the building of many Methodist Chapels and is said to have paid for the building of Cottingham Methodist Chapel himself. He had a firm belief in providence, that God had rewarded his hard work with prosperity. Thompson was an active supporter of William Wilberforce and both were members of the Clapham sect, an influential religious and social group of the early 1800s. In 1807 Thompson was elected as Member of Parliament for Midhurst, Sussex. During his 11 years in Parliament, he contributed to many debates relating to banking and financial issues including taxation, the Bank of England and the value of paper currency. Thompson stepped down as an MP in 1818, believing that his Parliamentary years had 'spoiled a very good banker and made a very bad MP'. #SUBHEADING#Thomas Perronet Thompson#SUBHEADINGEND# Wilberforce's influence promoted the career of Thomas Thompson's son, Thomas Perronet Thompson, who was appointed Governor of Sierra Leone, the African colony for freed slaves, in 1808. He left after two years, however, mainly due to his unpopularity in England for exceeding his authority. #SUBHEADING#Leading public figure#SUBHEADINGEND# In Hull Thomas Thompson remained the manager of both Smith's Bank and Wilberforce's merchant house. In the early 1800s he served as Chairman of the Hull Guardians of the Poor and introduced a system of economy that relieved the burden of poor rates on merchants. He was also a Magistrate and was Chairman of Hull Dock Company between 1810 and 1818. After 1818 Thomas spent more time at Cottingham with his family, although he still worked at the bank. During the last 20 years of his life he became increasingly concerned with his health. In 1824 Thompson's wife and daughter both died from consumption. Thompson died in September 1828 whilst travelling in France, and was buried in Paris, with a memorial being placed in Cottingham Church.


Fishy Business!

Hull's fishing industry boomed between the late 19th century and the mid 20th century. Fish merchants played a key role in distributing the catch to the public. While the trawlermen, tired from a long trip, were going ashore, fish merchants would be arriving on St. Andrew's Dock from 6am to examine the catch and decide which batches they would bid for later that day. They would have met a bustling scene, with fish bobbers unloading basket after basket of fresh fish from the trawlers and filleters ready to process it. #SUBHEADING#George Beaumont - Fish Merchant#SUBHEADINGEND# George Robert Beaumont worked as a fish merchant in Hull, and the papers he left give us an interesting insight into his occupation. Trade directories tell us George had his own business from the late 1910s. This was based at Billingsgate market on St. Andrew's Dock - often referred to by locals as the 'Fish Dock'. He lived close by in the City's fishing community district. George became a member of The Hull Fish Merchants' Protection Association, Ltd. in the mid-1930s. This body had been set up in 1890 and is still operating today. The Hull fishing industry faced difficult times in the late 1930s as many of the port's trawlers were requisitioned for war service. Catches became so low that fish merchants struggled to continue trading. Despite these difficulties, George's business survived and continued operating into the late 1950s. A collection of George's correspondence was acquired by Hull Museums in 1995. This includes lists of sales and purchases to various people between 1950 and 1951, telegraphs concerning fish catches at sea and copies of the annual reports of The Hull Fish Merchants' Protection Association, Ltd. for 1934-5 and 1938-40. #SUBHEADING#Advertising his trade#SUBHEADINGEND# Like anyone involved in a competitive industry, fish merchants had to promote their trade. One item amongst George Beaumont's papers is a card blotter which advertised his business. It was used as a marketing technique which would have been distributed to potential and existing customers. The blotter served both a decorative and practical purpose. It would have been kept on a desk and used to absorb the excess ink from letters and accounts, etc., which resulted from writing with fountain pens. It is easy to imagine how such a useful tool could serve as a constant reminder of this fish merchant's business, with his contact details always to hand. The picture shown is of a scene at Robin Hood's Bay. Why this small fishing village on the North Yorkshire Coast was depicted rather than a scene of Hull's fishing industry is unknown. Maybe it was intended to represent the quality catch linked to a traditional fishing haven, or perhaps George Beaumont simply liked the picture. The exact date when the blotter was made is unknown, but it was certainly after 1937 when George Beaumont adopted the telephone number printed onto the front.


Mary Dawson Elwell oil painting

A painting simply referred to as 'interior study' by Mary Dawson Elwell. At a desk is seated an elderly man, illuminated by light falling from windows beyond our view. It is a private and intimate moment. The man's inclined back is slightly turned towards the viewer and with a pen in his right hand and a sheet of paper on the desk; he looks down at the task in hand, quietly absorbed. #SUBHEADING#The setting#SUBHEADINGEND# The setting of this painting has recently been identified as No 14. Newbegin, a residence in the heart of Beverley. The house dates from the 17th century and at the time of this painting, in 1932, was divided into 2 properties, nos. 14 & 16. The house is now simply known as Newbegin House and is tantalizingly out of view for the casual passer by. The date of the house is revealed by the deeply moulded panelling which is deeply moulded to dado level, in a style which predates the 1830s. It is a ground floor room actually lit by three tall windows, only one is visible in this painting. #SUBHEADING#The sitter#SUBHEADINGEND# The sitter is most probably the resident, a Reverend Wigfall, the perpetual curate at Beverley Minster and St John's Chapel, Lairgate, which is now know as the Memorial Hall. The detailed interior begs lots of questions about Wigfall's interests, but it certainly suggests he was a cultured and learned man. An elaborately carved African hardwood bookcase is lined with an impressive array of books and in front of this is what appears to be a design folder. To the right are a cello case and a music stand with sheet music resting upon it. The stuffed birds in cases on top of the bookcase also suggest that Wigfall, or a previous occupant, was perhaps an ornithologist. #SUBHEADING#The artist#SUBHEADING# Mary Dawson Elwell (formally Bishop), as her surname indicates, Mary was indeed married to the rather better known artist and society figure, Beverley-born Fred Elwell. Despite recent research there is a stark contrast between her art, both in terms of the scale and quality of her output, and the general poverty of public awareness. Mary's love of decoration is also evident in the careful and deliberate placing of the exotic cushion on the arm of the sofa, with a striking pattern of gold, green, red and black. Although Mary was not part of any group of artists, she lived at an exciting and progressive time and with frequent trips to London, and visits to Bar House by fellow artists, Mary must have been influenced and provoked by contemporary developments. What is clearly apparent, though, is that this painting is a highly decorative and modern picture, in tune with contemporary developments, which asserts her achievements as a highly accomplished and creative artist.


leopard detail (image/jpeg) The Leopards Panel

#SUBHEADING#The Leopards Panel#SUBHEADINGEND# The so-called 'Leopards Panel' was found in 1971 at the 4th century Roman villa at Rudston, East Yorkshire. It formed the floor of a threshold into the room of the Charioteer Mosaic and may have been placed under an archway. Like its neighbour it dates to between about 325 and 350 AD. #SUBHEADING#Weird Creatures#SUBHEADINGEND# The mosaic depicts two leopards leaping towards a 'crater' - a bowl for mixing water and wine. The vessel has a fluted body and is shown as though just below eye level. Although the animals are fairly naturalistic, the colouring is anything but with green coats and blue spots! It is likely, as with the animals on the Venus Mosaic also from Rudston villa, that the mosaicists were copying the design from a pattern-book and had never seen a leopard in the flesh. #SUBHEADING#Drink Up!#SUBHEADINGEND# The use of the 'crater' links the design to Bacchus, the god of wine and revelry. This is a common theme in mosaics intended for Roman dining rooms. The link can also be seen in the vines and bunches of grapes that appear in the borders of the Venus Mosaic. #SUBHEADING#What we have lost#SUBHEADINGEND# The Leopards Panel was found in the centre of a double room in Building 8 at Rudston Villa. The Charioteer Mosaic was at the north-western end of the room and another mosaic, known as 'The Mosaic of Small Figures', formed the floor of the south-eastern half. Unfortunately this part of the room had been much damaged by the laying of a pipe trench in the 19th century and only tantalising fragments of the mosaic remain. #SUBHEADING#'The Mosaic of Intersecting Circles'#SUBHEADINGEND# In an adjoining room to the south west the excavators found another mosaic, also sadly damaged. This was called 'The Mosaic of Intersecting Circles' and was clearly not the first mosaic in the room as the wall plaster was seen to carry on below its level. Although this mosaic was lifted and transferred to Hull Museums, the operation was not nearly as successful as the lifting of the other mosaics from the site. It seems that the pavement was not allowed sufficient time to dry before being coated and rolled for removal. The remains are today very fragmentary and unfortunately cannot be displayed.


detail from the title page (image/jpeg) Forty Years' Researches

Forty Years Researches in British and Saxon Burial Mounds was published by John Robert Mortimer in 1905 and remains one of the most importance publications for archaeologists in the region. Mortimer said that studying the ancient burial mounds could "reveal the secrets of the past". #SUBHEADING# J.R. Mortimer #SUBHEADINGEND# Mortimer was born in June 1825 and worked as a corn merchant in the small market town of Driffield in East Yorkshire. In 1851 as a result of a visit to the Great Exhibition in London he acquired a love for knowledge. He was to dedicate the rest of his life to applying a scientific approach to his interesting in collecting local antiquities. He had many contacts with local farmers and labourers and advertised for people to give or sell their discoveries to him for the growing collection. He and his brother Robert excavated over 300 prehistoric burial mounds on the Yorkshire Wolds. #SUBHEADING# Detail record #SUBHEADINGEND# From the first notes made in 1860, it was Mortimer's detailed recording of everything he saw and found that make his work so exceptional. Each excavation includes plans, sections, descriptions of the stratigraphy encountered and detailed illustrations of finds. Much of this information was published in Forty Years Researches. The Mortimer Collection was acquired by Hull Museums in 1913 and today it provides the historic core of the archaeological collections in the Hull and East Riding Museum. Mortimer was fortunate that at the time he was working much of the Wolds landscape was still under pasture. A rise in large scale intensive arable farming meant that many of the earthworks familiar to Mortimer in his boyhood 'disappeared' under the plough. A significant number of the burials recorded in Forty Years Researches would have been destroyed had they not been investigated, recorded and recovered by Mortimer. #SUBHEADING# 'A Work of Reference' #SUBHEADINGEND# When Forty Years Researches was published in 1905 one reviewer wrote: "[it] will be a standard work of reference for all time, and no educated Yorkshire man ought to be without it...That it will have a large sale outside the county, and even abroad, is only what might be expected from the excellence of the information contained therein." ('Prehistoric Remains in East Yorkshire' The Naturalist, May 1905, p155). The book features more than 1000 illustrations which were drawn, over a six year period, by Mortimer's teenage daughter Agnes. Thomas Sheppard, who had previously worked with Mortimer on the collections in the Driffield museum, proof-read the text and helped compile the index. The work is now only available as an increasingly rare and expensive second hand copy. More than a century after its publication Forty Years Researches is still a highly authoritative work. Even though archaeological understanding may have developed enormously since Mortimer's time, the wealth of information contained in the work makes it possible for archaeologists to re-interpret what was discovered.


detail from a chair (image/jpeg) Furniture Making in Hull

The easy availability of timber in Hull encouraged furniture makers to settle there in the 1700s, and this in turn changed the character of the timber trade. Until the mid 1700s most quality furniture was made of walnut, but from the early 1720s mahogany for furniture making began to be imported into London from Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras. #SUBHEADING#Workshops#SUBHEADINGEND# Workshops were run by a master with one or more apprentices and journeymen. Apprenticeship usually lasted seven years, from age 14 to 21. After this an apprentice might stay with the same firm as a journeyman. Sometimes a journeyman would marry the daughter or widow of his master and continue the business himself. Small workshops had little capital and couldn't afford to make much furniture for stock. Throughout the 1700s and into the 1800s every piece of furniture was made to order, although later in the century the more confident makers made display pieces for their shop windows. As the Victorian era progressed, the growth of the prosperous middle classes led to an increased demand for good quality furniture. Larger workshops developed, and these became increasingly mechanised. Even the finest handmade pieces were likely to be made in a large factory, with each piece being worked on by many different people. Even much of the decorative carving could be done by machine. Furniture makers increasingly had an international outlook, with the cabinet maker R. Stratford joining a party of Hull artisans who visited the Paris International Exhibition in 1889. The exhibition would have been an excellent opportunity to view fashionable furniture from all over Europe. #SUBHEADING#Richardson and Sons#SUBHEADINGEND# Richardson and Sons was the largest and most prestigious furniture maker in nineteenth-century Hull. The founder Thomas Richardson claimed to have started the business in 1812. By 1903 Richardson and Sons had been appointed upholsterers to King Edward VII. Richardson and Sons had the skills, materials and machinery to undertake major projects in Hull, including furnishing the Council Chamber of the New Town Hall in 1863. The mayor's and doorkeeper's chairs made by Richardson and Sons for the Town Hall are still preserved in Hull Museums' collections. Also in Hull's collections is a walnut pedestal desk, which may be the desk mentioned by Sheahan in his History of Hull as being part of Richardson's furnishings for the Council Chamber: 'In front of the mayor is a desk, on which rests the mace when the Town Council is assembled'. In 1854 Richardson and Sons made three ornately carved and gilded softwood chairs for Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and the Prince of Wales to use during their visit to Hull. The chairs were placed in a temporarily converted 'throne room' in the hotel next to Hull station, where the royal party stayed. Another major commission for Richardson and Sons was to furnish the Hull Exchange, which opened in 1866, with solid oak tables, reading desks and chairs. #SUBHEADING#Decline of the furniture industry#SUBHEADINGEND# The First World War largely destroyed Hull's furniture industry. The demand for quality furniture declined sharply and their export trade to Europe ended. Restriction of the use of timber during wartime added to the firms like Richardson and Sons difficulties. The company is not listed anywhere after 1915. This experience was shared by many other Hull furniture makers, and after the First World War Hull was no longer known for its furniture production. The trade did not disappear there were still making in the 1950s.


interior of Castelows chemist shop (image/jpeg) From 159 Woodhouse Lane to Hull Streetlife Museum

When Mr Castelow died at the age of 98 his chemist shop which had stood at 159 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, for 133 years, was to be demolished. Realising the potential loss, Mr Castelow's will provided that the shop's unique contents be preserved within a Yorkshire Museum. Hull Museums complied with Mr Castelow's wishes. In 1976, after a team was despatched to take detailed photographs of every shelf, drawer, bottle and jar on the premises the shop was carefully packed up and transported to Hull's Wilberforce Museum on High Street. #SUBHEADING#Reconstruction#SUBHEADINGEND# It was reconstructed exactly as it appeared during Mr Castelow's ownership, everything down to the smallest detail was replaced; the shop even retained its distinctive smell. The shop was eventually re-housed in the more fitting environment of the Hull Streetlife Museum street scene. The reconstructed shop offers an intriguing insight into the Victorian world. The shelves are full of concoctions which are simply unobtainable today, such as Blood Purifiers and Liver Rousers. The shelves abound with medications from throughout the twentieth century, including some recognisable brands offering a chance to see which ailments have troubled people throughout the past one hundred years. Some are recognisable and continue to inflict us to this day, such as, headaches, diarrhoea, flu, colds and coughs, some ailments such as typhoid no longer figure so predominantly in modern British life. #SUBHEADING#Attraction#SUBHEADINGEND# During Mr Castelow's ownership the pharmacy attracted visitors from all over the world, intrigued to see the chemist shop from a different age. That atmosphere was so unique that one American visitor offered to buy the shop off Mr Castelow in the 1960s and have it shipped in it's entirety to the United States. Mr Castelow politely refused, he was adamant his shop would stay in Yorkshire. Now safely housed in Hull Streetlife Museum, it continues to be a major attraction and is still a visitor favourite.


Decorated Whale Teeth

One of these teeth shows a tattooed warrior. On the other side of this tooth is an image called 'Indians Devouring their enemies'. The other tooth is more peaceful and shows a Marquesas woman in her village. These whale teeth depict native people of the Marquesas Islands in the South Seas, one thousand miles north-east of Tahiti. These pictures may have been a record of a sailor’s experience of new cultures. These images may be a personal record of a whaler’s experience. However, they may also have been copied from a book on board his ship. The Marquesas Islands are the furthest island group in the world from any continent. They are 400 - 600 miles south of the equator and approximately 1,000 miles northeast of Tahiti. The Islands were first discovered about 2,000 years ago by Polynesian voyagers. They named the Island group Henua Enana or ‘Ground of the Men’. Human bones have been found with signs that some early natives practised cannibalism. The Spanish were the first Westerners to discover the Marquesas Islands. They recorded the Marquesas as a warlike people who practiced cannibalism. Later, in 1842 the Marquesas became part of the French Colonial Empire. Very little remains of the native Marquesan culture today. The French painter Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) left France for Tahiti in 1891. He later moved to the Marquesas, where he died. Gauguin was fascinated by the Polynesians, whose culture had already been nearly totally destroyed by the missionaries and colonial administrators.


Decorated Whalebone Plaque (c.1801-1900)

It’s possible that all of the pictures on this bone represented one man’s experience. It reflects the world he lived and worked in. The main picture depicts a whaling ship. Smaller whaling boats can also be seen hunting Sperm whales. The little picture in the top right corner depicts men in the Royal Marines. This image in the top left of the picture depicts the HMS Acorn chasing a Spanish slave ship called Gabriel. In 1807 Britain officially stopped its own role in the slave trade. Britain then used its powerful navy to stop others from trading in slaves as well. Between 1807 and 1866 the Royal Navy captured more than 500 slave ships. This plaque shows just one of these incidents. HMS Acorn was a 12 gun vessel launched on 15th November 1838. Between 1839 and 1843 she was commanded by Commander John Adams off the west coast of Africa. HMS Acorn was hulked in 1861. Scrimshaw is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone, teeth or baleen. Scrimshaw was at its height in early 19th century. A lot of scrimshaw is from the US, especially pieces made from the teeth of Sperm whales. Items identified with the Hull whaling trade are extremely rare, and occasionally fake. Hull was a major whaling port from c.1750 and the trade ended in 1869. Most of the products of the industry were sent to London. Most surviving scrimshaw is from the 19th century.


Silver Spoon by Robert Robinson, Hull, 1630

This is called a seal top spoon. They often had the seal or badge of the owner on the end of the handle. This type of spoon was very popular in the 1600s. Not everyone would have had a silver one. A cheaper metal called pewter was also used. Robert Robinson made this spoon in Hull. His workshop was in Church Lane, near Holy Trinity Church. This was an area used by many silversmiths before him. This is a Charles I silver seal top spoon with a pear-shaped bowl and a hexagonal shaft. The seal top style was the commonest type of English spoon between the 1400s and 1600s. The earliest recorded silversmiths in Hull were working in the 1400s. During the 1500s gold and silver smiths formed ‘The Guild of Goldsmiths of Hull’. Hull silversmiths being away from London were able to work without the interference of official regulations. There is no record of an assay office in Hull. Silver pieces were normally sent to an assay office to ensure they were of the correct standard. The marks used on Hull silver never had any official recognition. From the 1500s the letter ‘H’ was used. Later, Hull’s town badge of three coronets was adopted for the stamped mark on silver. Many of Hull’s silversmiths were based in the same location on Church Lane (now demolished). This was near Holy Trinity Church. Eleven silversmiths worked at the Church Lane premises at some point, including Robert Robinson.


Silver Wine Cup, Made in London in 1625

Israel Popple gave this cup to Hull’s Merchants' Company in 1648. The Merchants' Company later became extinct. Its silver went to the Town Hall for safe keeping in 1707. Six of these silver cups are still owned by the council and are on display in the Guildhall. The Merchants' Company was a group of traders who had great powers in Hull from 1577. They had a special Merchants' Hall and no one could trade from Hull without their permission. This wine cup is engraved: ‘The guift of Israel Popple to the Marchants hall 1648’. Israel Popple was Chamberlain of Hull in 1629 and Sheriff in 1674. The Kingston upon Hull Merchants' Company was incorporated by Letters Patent dated 11th May 1577. This was under the title of ‘The Governor, Assistants, and Fellowship of Merchants inhabiting the Town of Kingston upon Hull’. This charter gave the merchants great powers and privileges, including the power to make bye-laws. Meetings of the merchants were held in the Merchants' Hall for 120 years. The Hall doesn’t exist any more. The seal, or badge, of the Hull Merchants was a ship with three crowns above it. After more than a century’s existence the Merchants' Company gradually became extinct. On 13th February 1707 Aldermen Hydes, Trippett and Mould were ordered by the bench ‘to take care that the Plate and Books in the Merchants' Hall to be removed to the Town’s Hall for their better security in regard to the Governor’s absence and that Courts there are very seldom kept.’ (B.B. 8 f.567)


The Johnson Salver, Made by Thomas Mangie, York, 1666

This silver salver is a type of tray with a stand. These salvers usually came with a caudle cup and cover. Caudle was warm drink made with wine and eggs. Unfortunately the cup was lost long ago but this has survived. The decoration shows a lion, a unicorn and a dog as well as the Hull town arms in the centre. In the same year this was made there was also the Great Fire of London and the Great Plague. This salver, along with a silver pot and cover, is recorded as being a gift from Alderman Thomas Johnson in 1668 to the city. This was instead of paying a fine for being free from the office of Sheriff. Unfortunately, there is no record of why he wanted to stop being Sheriff but he later became Mayor in 1672. It is engraved underneath: “The gift of Thomas Johnson Merchant 1668 who was major Anno 1672/3 and Maior A gaine Anno 1685/6.” Alderman Thomas Johnson also became an Honorary Brother of the Hull Trinity House in 1689.


Delft Tile

This tile shows a countryside scene in Holland in the 1600s or 1700s. This type of tile is called ‘Dutch blue and white’ or ‘Dutch Delft’. Tiles like these can be seen in the fireplaces at Wilberforce House. Delft tiles were always hand painted. They originally had multi-coloured decoration, including green, purple and orange. From around 1620 simpler blue and white tiles were made. These eventually became much more popular than the coloured tiles. The name ‘Dutch Delft’ comes from the city of Delft in Holland. Delft was one of many cities making tiles and other pottery. At first, tiles and pottery were made in the same factories. Later, Delft specialised in making affordable imitations of costly Chinese porcelain. Tile making was left to other cities, including Rotterdam. Dutch tiles were brought to English ports like Hull in huge numbers. They can be seen lining the fireplaces of many buildings, including Hull’s Wilberforce House. Tiles were rarely used to cover entire walls of Dutch houses. They were used around windows and fireplaces, or as narrow skirtings at the bottom of walls. Sometimes they were used as a dado to stop whitewash being rubbed off the walls onto clothes. The decoration on this tile was made by painting directly onto an unfired glaze. Glaze is a type of liquid or powdered glass used to give pottery a shiny, waterproof covering. Usually, the design was first ‘pounced’ onto the tile with charcoal. This involved using a piece of paper with the outline of the design pricked into it. This paper was laid onto the tile and struck with a bag containing powdered charcoal. This transferred the outline of the picture to the tile. The outline was painted over and filled in with paint. When the tile was fired, the glaze became shiny white and opaque.


William De Morgan Carnation Tiles, Made at Sands End Pottery, Fulham, c.1888-1897

William De Morgan designed these tiles. He was a well known member of the Arts and Crafts movement, which looked to nature for inspiration. William used flower pictures on many of his tiles. He preferred flowers with a simple shape, like this carnation. He often used round or fan-shaped flowers to make patterns. William admired tiles made in Persia (modern day Iran) in the 1400s and 1500s. Like this tile, Persian tiles were decorated with flowers with swirling, curving leaves. Natural forms, especially flowers, were often used to decorate objects made in the Victorian age (1837-1901). Flowers were probably the most popular and frequently produced decoration for tiles. The carnation is a traditional Turkish and Persian flower. It was often used to decorate Islamic ‘Isnik’ tiles made in Persia. William De Morgan’s tiles were inspired by these designs. The picture on these tiles is hand painted using a method invented by De Morgan. However, it has not been painted directly onto the tiles. De Morgan’s workers used a ‘painted paper’ technique. The tile design was painted onto a thin piece of paper. This was done by tracing the outline of the design from a master drawing. The colours were painted in by referring to a coloured drawing or a completed tile. The painted piece of paper was then placed onto a tile covered with a thin layer of porcelain. The back of the paper was brushed with glaze. When the tile was fired, the fine paper was reduced to a film of ash that mingled with the glaze. The porcelain surface, painted decoration and glaze fused together. This made the painted design a permanent part of the tile. The painted paper technique allowed tiles to be decorated with precision, whilst giving the look of hand painting. De Morgan abandoned the usual approach to hand painting tiles. Traditionally, the outline of the design was applied to the tile through a piece of paper pricked with holes. The outline was filled in by painting directly onto the tile.


William De Morgan Tiles, Made at Sand's End Pottery, Fulham, c.1888-1897

The peacock painted onto these tiles has brilliantly coloured plumage. It perches on a berry-covered branch. William De Morgan designed the tiles in the late 1800s. He was a well known member of the Arts and Crafts movement. Arts and Crafts designers were inspired by nature, including birds, animals and flowers. The peacock has often been seen as a symbol of beauty. In Christian religion it is a symbol of the Resurrection of Christ and everlasting life. The peacock and its tail feathers were often used as motifs by artists and craftspeople. The peacock was popular with artists working in the ‘Aesthetic’ style of the 1870s and 1880s. These tiles were probably made to decorate a fireplace. Alternatively, they could have been used on a wall, or framed as a picture. In the late 1800s tiles became very popular for decorating cast-iron fireplaces. They were placed either in the hearth or in the side or ‘cheek’ panels. One company advertised slide-out cheek trays as a feature of their fireplaces. This allowed the owner to change the tiles from time to time. Stove and fireplace manufacturers ordered tiles from tile companies to decorate their products. William De Morgan’s tile designs were specially commissioned by such companies.


Set of Tiles by Maw & Company, Shropshire, c.1860

This is one of a set of tiles showing four different tradesmen at work. They are all using their skills to make things by hand. The carpenter is shaping a piece of wood at his work bench. The stone mason is carving a block of stone for a building. The tailor is stitching buttons on a garment with a needle and thread. The navvy is pushing a wheelbarrow full of rocks. Navvies were labourers who worked on projects like digging canals or building railways. These tiles are from a series showing 12 trades altogether. The tiles were printed in just two colours: black and grey on a white background. The grey colour is used to show shadows. The letters making up the names of the four men’s trades have been split up and placed in the tiles’ corners. The subject of ‘trades’ was a popular one for tiles. They were made right up to the end of the 1800s. The subject was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement’s idealisation of craft skills and handmade objects. Arts and Crafts was an important stylistic movement from the 1860s onwards. Towards the end of the 1800s, many designers valued things made by hand more than those made by machine. Some looked back to earlier times before the Industrial Revolution and believed medieval trades and crafts were superior. Some tiles were made showing tradesmen in medieval clothes to reflect this belief. Like Maw & Company, many other firms made tiles showing people. These included trades, but also subjects from books like scenes from Shakespeare and Aesop’s Fables. These tiles were used to decorate walls and furniture, such as wash stands, chairs and cabinets.


Longcase Clock by Thomas Henderson, Hull, mid-1700s

This clock is made from four different types of wood: oak, walnut, ebony and sycamore. Thomas Henderson made this clock. He was born in Scarborough in 1712. His father Robert was also a clockmaker. Thomas moved to Hull to set up his own clock making business in Silver Street. We don’t know when the business was established. It closed down in 1767 when clockmaker William Pridgin took over the workshop in Silver Street. Thomas returned to Scarborough. This clock case is made from oak. Most cases were made from oak because it was quite cheap. This clock would have been more expensive because the oak case is covered with a walnut veneer. This clock also has pieces of ebony and sycamore attached in a thin line near the case edge for decoration. Clocks and watches were made in Hull from the early 1700s. Hull had no clockmakers’ guild to regulate and record the trade, so it’s difficult to find out about local clock making. Information comes from surviving examples, newspapers and trade directories. Trade directories were a kind of old fashioned Yellow Pages. The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some local craftsmen had the skills to make all of these parts. Other ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts and marked their name on the clock. Many of the cases for such clocks were probably still made in East Yorkshire, which had a number of skilled joiners. Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Skeleton Clock by Thomas Cowham, Hull, c.1841-1851

This clock’s skeleton is on show. Unlike most clocks, the cogs that make its hands turn aren’t covered up. This is why it’s called a skeleton clock. This style of clock became popular in the mid-1800s. It made a decorative feature out of the clock mechanism. This clock was made by Thomas Cowham of Hull. Thomas was a clock and watch maker at 2 Engine Street in 1841 and 4 Engine Street from 1846-1851. Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles at first. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks. By 1820 there were 30 clockmakers in Hull, but there were also new threats to local clock making. By 1800 clock and watch parts were being mass produced in Birmingham. By the 1830s entire clock mechanisms could be bought from Birmingham. This reduced the demand for local clockmakers’ skills. In the 1800s clocks and watches began to be imported on a large scale from France, Germany and America. This destroyed the market for clocks made in Hull. By 1855 Jacobs & Lucas of Hull were advertising ‘Geneva watches, solely by competent foreign workmen.’ Local traders became clock sellers rather than clockmakers, although many could make basic parts and do repairs. We’ll never know which parts of this clock were made in Hull, although the parts would have been put together by Cowham. ‘Cowham Hull’ is inscribed on the clock face, but sometimes clockmakers marked their own name on ready made clock parts. By the date this clock was made, it’s likely that the mechanism was bought ready made, from Birmingham or abroad. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Bracket Clock by John Baker, Hull, c.1760

This is one of the earliest surviving examples of a clock made in Hull. It is a bracket clock, which was a clock made to stand on a table or mantelpiece. The four brass decorations on top of the clock are called finials. These finials are shaped like pineapples. Many finials were removed from their clocks and given to the Government in the early 1940s. They were melted down and used to make weapons for the Second World War. Clocks and watches were made in Hull from the early 1700s. Hull had no clockmakers’ guild to regulate and record the trade, so it’s difficult to find out about local clock making. Information comes from surviving examples, newspapers and trade directories. Trade directories were a kind of old fashioned Yellow Pages. The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some local craftsmen had the skills to make all of these parts. Other ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts and marked their name on the clock. Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget. Bracket clocks have short pendulums and mechanisms driven by steel springs. Most people couldn’t afford bracket clocks, as the steel springs were very expensive to make. Most bracket clocks, like this one, have a handle on top. This allowed the clock to be carried into the bedroom at night. This clock also has a cord called a ‘pull repeat’, which makes the clock chime the last hour when pulled. This was a useful way of finding out the approximate time in the dark without having to light a candle. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Bracket Clock Sold by Barnby & Rust, Hull, 1911

This beautifully carved clock was a special present. A plaque on the base says it was presented to Colonel C.H. Milburn by officers who served under his command. The officers were from the Second East Riding of Yorkshire Royal Garrison Artillery and Second Northumbrian Brigade Royal Field Artillery. Both of these were based in Hull. They were Volunteer brigades. Volunteers are part time soldiers who are only called up to fight in an emergency. This clock was sold by Barnby & Rust, clockmakers and jewellers of Hull. The firm was established by Bishop Barnby. He was a watchmaker and silversmith at 13 Marketplace in 1834. By 1851 the company was called Barnby & Son, and by 1858 it had become Barnby & Rust. It still existed in Silver Street in the 1980s. Clocks and watches were made in Hull from the early 1700s. Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. By 1820 there were 30 clockmakers in Hull, but there were also new threats to local clock making. By 1800 clock and watch parts were being mass produced in Birmingham. By the 1830s entire clock mechanisms could be bought from Birmingham. This reduced the demand for local clockmakers’ skills. In the 1800s clocks and watches were imported from France, Germany and America. By 1855 Jacobs & Lucas of Hull were advertising ‘Geneva watches, solely by competent foreign workmen.’ Many local traders became clock sellers rather than clockmakers, although they could make basic parts and do repairs. We’ll never know which parts of this clock were made in Hull. There is a plate inscribed ‘Barnby & Rust Hull’ attached to the clock face, so the clock would have been assembled in Hull. Sometimes clockmakers marked their own name on ready made clock parts. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Evening Dress by Madame Clapham, Hull, c.1929

A translucent fabric called chiffon has been used to make this dress. The dress has a navy blue slip underneath to stop people from being able to see through it! Because chiffon is so light, it is the perfect fabric for the floaty frills attached to the dress. There are frills attached to the skirt and to the matching bolero, which was worn to cover up the lady’s shoulders. This dress was made by Madame Clapham, Hull’s most famous dressmaker. Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was regarded as Hull’s finest dressmaker. All of Madame Clapham’s clothes were handmade to order. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies during its heyday in the 1890s and early 1900s. The First World War (1914-1918) had a dramatic effect on Madame Clapham’s business. Ladies swapped dresses for voluntary service uniforms, resulting in declining demand for Madame Clapham’s outfits. Attitudes and social codes changed after the war with women gaining the vote. Young women had more freedom for the former restrictions of dress and society. Madame Clapham’s extravagant feminine designs became less popular as young women adopted the new shorter, straighter fashions of the 1920s. The 1920s look required less material. Layers of lining, long trains and elaborate bodices were abandoned for a simpler and freer style. Although her business declined during the 1920s and 1930s, Madame Clapham was still patronised by her older pre-war clients. Sometimes their unwilling daughters were brought to her salon to be fitted for dresses too. The business became more local as many of Madame Clapham’s London clients looked to Paris for the latest fashions. Madame Clapham’s business also suffered from the growth of ready-to-wear clothing increasingly available from Hull stores such as Thornton Varley. However, she ran her salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967.


Day Dress by Madame Clapham, Hull, 1891

This dress was made by Hull's most famous dressmaker for the wife of Robert Jameson, mayor of Hull in 1870-1873. She wore it at her son's wedding in 1891. An embroidered label in the waistband of the dress says: 'Robes et Modes, E Clapham, Kingston Square, Hull.' Madame Clapham liked to be associated with the latest Paris fashions. This is why she used the French words 'robes et modes', meaning 'dresses and fashion', on her labels. Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was widely regarded as Hull's finest dressmaker. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies. Madame Clapham ran the salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967. Madame Clapham's skill was to select aspects of the latest Paris and London fashions to create her own designs. Each season she bought a selection of sample gowns from the leading fashion houses of London and Paris. She designed her own creations using bodices, skirts and sleeves from different dresses. She had a talent for selecting the right colour, cut and trimmings to suit her client. In the workrooms of her salon Madame Clapham's highly trained workers made clothes to her designs. Their fine needlework earned Madame Clapham her international reputation as a dressmaker. Madame Clapham's most famous client was Queen Maud of Norway, daughter of Edward VII of England. The salon advertised its royal patronage to enhance its exclusivity and prestige. Madame Clapham took pride in the custom she attracted. In an interview with the 'Hull Lady' magazine in 1901 she said: 'To give you some idea as to the large connection I have, I may tell you I make dresses for most of the county and leading society ladies, also a great many for royalty, and I send out dresses to ladies living abroad whom I have never seen.'


Evening Dress by Madame Clapham, Hull, c.1920-1929

The simple, straight shape of this dress with no waist was all the rage in the 1920s. Tight corsets, layers of lining, long trains and elaborate bodices were abandoned for a freer style. This reflected women’s new freedom following the First World War (1914-1918). Women gained the right to vote, and some of the former restrictions of dress and society were relaxed. Wearing a dress that showed off the legs like this one would have been unthinkable before the War. This dress was made by Madame Clapham, Hull’s most famous dressmaker. Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was regarded as Hull’s finest dressmaker. All of Madame Clapham’s clothes were handmade to order. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies during its heyday in the 1890s and early 1900s. The First World War had a dramatic effect on Madame Clapham’s business. Ladies swapped dresses for voluntary service uniforms, resulting in declining demand for Madame Clapham’s outfits. Attitudes and social codes changed after the war with women gaining the vote. Madame Clapham’s extravagant feminine designs became less popular as young women adopted the new shorter, straighter style of the 1920s. The typical 1920s style of this dress shows that Madame Clapham did try to adapt to new trends. However, she lost her most fashionable clients as they looked to the Paris fashion houses for the latest designs. Although her business declined during the 1920s and 1930s, Madame Clapham was still patronised by her older pre-war clients. Sometimes their unwilling daughters were brought to her salon to be fitted for dresses too. Madame Clapham’s business also suffered from the growth of ready-to-wear clothing increasingly available from Hull stores such as Thornton Varley. However, she ran her salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967.


Return from the Farm

Evans uses images such as photographs, books and catalogues to create the surroundings for his imagined portraits. He is fascinated with the suburban, painting small perfectly observed scenes with precise outlines. There is a sadness which runs through all of Evans’s work but sometimes they can’t help but appear witty and humorous at the same time. Evans presents us with different situations and leaves us to construct our own meanings and responses. He depicts his characters pursuing hobbies and interests. They always look slightly awkward, with blank expressions on their faces, suggesting that it is not all that it seems. What are they doing? Are they waiting for something or someone? What are they thinking? As a poor, young artist Evans took a job as a gallery technician, giving him an insight into the art world. Does he show himself in the art store, surrounded by artworks, perhaps reminders of the success that he himself seeks as an artist?


Harewood Castle Self Portrait

Jason Brooks works are immaculately produced photo-realist images which he creates using an air-brush. He analyses the whole process of creating it; his subject matter, the materials he uses and the notion of the artist as a craftsman. This results in a very complex images. Harewood Castle Self Portrait was inspired by a Turner (1775-1851) landscape painting at Harewood House. Brooks is very concerned with the notion of Turner’s paintings mirroring the artist’s response to nature just as this piece mirrors Brooks’s response to a Turner. This is Brooks first and only self-portrait, his face appears faintly in the background, almost lurking amidst the piece as a vague presence. It was also important to him that he should be the one to take the photograph of himself in the glass of the Turner and not get someone else to take the shot. That way, he has controlled the process throughout- in keeping with a traditional self-portrait. The frame also appears to be within another frame, adding to the total illusion of this piece. Brooks is aware of the self reflective nature of the piece and feels it is important to have the viewer’s face also reflected in the glass.


An Imaginary Dutch Church Interior

De Blieck was an architect and painter of church interiors, working in Middelburg, Holland. The Ferens' example shows one of his most frequently repeated subjects. Very different from the sombre Flemish night scenes, represented at the Ferens by Pieter Neefs (1601-1675), Dutch church interiors paintings are much lighter in tone and mood. A view from the side of the church, daylight streams in from the windows. The strolling figures and dogs add anecdotal interest. In the background a man is digging a grave. Not strictly architecturally accurate, de Blieck has employed artistic license to exaggerate the monumentality of the building.


Alexander the Great Slaying his General Cleitus

Alexander slaying Cleitus is a rare example of a Dutch mythological painting - landscapes and genre scenes being much more popular. This dramatic scene is also an unusual example of a de Blieck’s work, most of which is church interiors. This imaginary scene of classical architecture is more reminiscent of Italy than Holland, the only Dutch element being the still-life to the left in the foreground. The actual story of the brutal murder by Alexander the Great of his general Cleitus is secondary to the sweeping arches and soaring colonnades of this architectural fantasy.


Annunciation

Born in Brussels, de Champaigne moved to Paris in 1621 and became a Court Painter in 1626. His life and work was deeply influenced by the Jansenists, an austere Catholic sect. The Annunciation shows the moment when the Virgin Mary is told she is to be the mother of Christ (Luke 1: 28ff). Champaigne focuses on the religious intensity of the scene. The stillness of the Virgin and the Angel Gabriel, with their symbolic gestures, contrasts with the flying putti (winged cherubs) circling round the dove of the Holy Spirit. Champaigne’s painting makes an interesting comparison with Maffei’s more dramatic version of the same scene, also on show in this gallery.


Vertumnus and Pomona

Pastoral subjects of nymphs and shepherds in idyllic landscapes were very popular in Bor’s day. This is the story of the wooing of Pomona by Vertumnus, Italian god and goddess of orchards, trees and ripening fruits. Here Vertumnus appears in disguise as an old man decorating Pomona's hair with ears of corn and flowers, symbols of fertility. The painting is a fusion of styles - a Dutch earthiness combined with a classical Italian composition, the three figures of Vertumnus, Pomona and the cupid forming a triangle. The mythological subject has provided the artist with a splendid excuse to paint naked breasts. The female figure is idealised to match the contemporary ideal of womanly beauty. The contrast of age and youth between the lovers was another device commonly used to heighten the erotic connotations of such paintings. Suggestive works like Vertumnus and Pomona were much in demand amongst patrons in the 17th century but they usually masqueraded under their respectable, mythological subject matter.


Old Man Writing

Brekelenkam was a genre painter working in Leiden. Genre pictures were usually small in size and attempted to present life as it really was, not in any way idealised. Brekelenkham specialised in recording people of the lower, middle class involved in homely tasks. These paintings were conceived as a pair. The moral message is one of humble self-improvement.


Old Woman Reading

Brekelenkam was a genre painter working in Leiden. Genre pictures were usually small in size and attempted to present life as it really was, not in any way idealised. Brekelenkham specialised in recording people of the lower, middle class involved in homely tasks. These paintings were conceived as a pair. The moral message is one of humble self-improvement.


Untitled 1980/1

Newsome’s nude is highly stylised and no longer a recognisable individual. Although her eyelids are modestly lowered, the exaggerated shape of her head, with its carefully hatched linaer brush-strokes, juts out uncomfortably close to the spectator. Her head appears cut off from the rest of her body which is immersed in bath water; her shoulders and nipple multiply beneath the ripples. The figurative artist Victor Newsome is very interested in the problems of creating the illusion of real space and depth on a flat surface. He executed a series of paintings and drawings of figures in bathrooms which presented him with the challenge of recreating the reflections and distortions seen in the mirrors and through water.


Portrait of Francis Burdett

This was painted in the 1760s at a time when Cotes had a great deal of competition from other distinguished portrait artists, such as Gainsborough (1727-1788). Cotes was able to maintain his clientele by producing an extremely professional type of portraiture. The likeness was accurate if a little flattering. The dress was fashionable without ostentation, the sitter could thus appear poised and elegant but without self-enhancement. Such portraits never reveal the true character of the sitters with the result that Cote’s reputation died with him.Little is known about this sitter.


A Squadron Going to Windward in a Gale

Brooking is now regarded as the finest English marine painter of his generation. His achievements as a seascape painter can be compared with his 17th century Dutch predecessors. This magnificent seascape with its convincing rendering of a storm and beautifully observed shipping owes almost all of its merits to the inspiration of William van de Velde the Younger (1633-1707), especially in its composition and weather effects. The Baroque rhythms of the composition are entirely different from the calm of the Hull school painters half a century later.


The Whaling Fleet of Sir Samuel Standidge

Although by an unknown artist this is another fine example of the proud Hull shipowner’s fleet in the Arctic.


The Standidge Whaling Fleet (Berry, Britannia and British Queen) in the Arctic

This highly descriptive painting of the whaling fleet of Sir Samuel Standidge is actually a copy, with little alteration other than it is reversed, from the engraving made by Boydell (1719-1804), after the painting by Charles Brooking (1723-59) of the Greenland Whale Fishery. The latter now hangs at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It was painted long after these ships had ceased sailing as a companion to another canvas showing the fleet, of 1788, to grace the walls of the Standidge home and counting house in High Street. Standidge sent the ‘Berry’ from Hull in 1766 to fish for whales. She returned with only one whale but also brought 300 seal-skins. The skins provided him with the capital needed to make him a successful whale-ship owner.


Portrait of a Lady

This enigmatic and beautiful picture has so far resisted identification, either of the sitter or the artist. The handling of the paint is both free and distinctive. The portrait was once thought to be by William Hogarth (1697-1764), one of the most original English artists, famous for his lively, moralising genre scenes. Although this example has a frankness and psychological intensity characteristic of a portrait by Hogarth, its style is not typical of his work. The sketchiness and loose brushwork of certain areas suggest that this is perhaps an unfinished portrait.


The Annunciation

Francesco Maffei is one of the most important 17th century Venetian painters, whose style carried on the great dramatic and painterly tradition of Tintoretto (1518-94) and Bassano (c.1510/18-92). His subjects range from richly decorative allegorical portraits to mythological scenes, often influenced by contemporary opera settings, and imbued with a note of mystery or bizarre fantasy. The Annunciation is from Maffei's later period when his works were characterised by moving religious scenes. Originally painted for the chapel of St. Peter Martyr in Padua, Maffei’s Annunciation makes an interesting comparison with Philippe de Champaigne's (1602-74) version of a similar period, also at the Ferens. Whereas Champaigne's painting is still and intense, Maffei's altarpiece is full of the movement and drama typical of the Italian Baroque. This is best seen in the spiralling body of the Angel Gabriel, a shape repeated in the twisted folds of drapery behind the Virgin Mary.


A View on the Grand Canal

This painting was bequeathed by the former Muriel Wilson, the daughter of Hull's leading Shipping family. It is one of the few undoubted Canalettos in an English municipal collection. The artist made many paintings of the Grand Canal, from slightly different viewpoints, but employing the same distinctive perspective. It is this re-working of subjects that helps to make his work so familiar to modern audiences. Canaletto was the most prolific of the Venetian vedutista or view painters, whose work depicted towns like Rome and Venice. Accurate paintings were in demand by patrons as souvenirs of their 'Grand Tours' of Italy. Later in his career, Canaletto applied a similar treatment to London. His earlier works, amongst which this ranks as one of the best, have more atmosphere, light, warmth and shadow. Details are richly painted and lively figures populate the scene. Stylistically, his views are similar to those of his contemporaries, Francesco (1712-1793) and Gianantonio (1698-1760) Guardi, and their work is sometimes confused.


Fish market

De Beukelaer followed in the footsteps of his artistic uncle, Pieter Aetsen (1507/8-1575) who developed a new type of picture known as the genre piece, depicting scenes of everyday life and surroundings. This is a good example of their manner. The foreground is used as a platform upon which an abundance of still-life is displayed, including fish of all sorts, each so accurately painted that the various species can be identified - salt-water fish on the left and fresh-water fish on the right. The detailed background is typically Flemish. Not only is the townscape painted with topographical exactitude but we can also see in the far distance how the fresh fish were unloaded on the canal bank before being distributed by wheelbarrow to the fishmongers in the market. Recent research from the Dutch National Museum for the History of Fishery has revealed that fish in particular were often used as sexual metaphors in such scenes. One interpretation of the Fish market is that De Beukelaer has portrayed the slice of salmon in a way to suggest that the man’s intentions are rather less than honourable!


Interior with Ladies and Gentleman at Cards

Neer was the son of the moonlight and winter scene painter Aert van der Neer (1603-1667). He specialised in elegant middle-class genre scenes. This picture was painted towards the end of the century when the Golden Age of Dutch art was in decline. Much more stylised and elaborate than earlier Dutch paintings, the fashion and interior decoration of this genre scene is clearly influenced by French styles. The image of the upper-middle class at leisure illustrates that the Netherlands - successfully trading and colonising overseas - was still enjoying its reputation as the richest nation in Europe.


Danäe

Calvaert was first apprenticed to the landscape painter Christian van den Queborne (b.1515). In common with other Flemish artists he then left his home country to continue his training in Italy. Never to return, Calvaert spent most of the rest of his life in Bologna. Danäe is a rare example of a mythological work by Calvaert who painted mostly religious subjects. In Greek legend, Danäe, a mortal princess, was seduced by Jupiter, King of the Gods, disguised as a shower of gold. The Danäe theme was particularly popular with Renaissance and Baroque artists because of its sexual and emotional overtones. Calvaert's inclusion of the draped figure of Danäe is perhaps more subtle, since he crowds his composition with secondary figures to great theatrical effect, taking some of the attention off the central character. Danäe's body, however, does represent the erotic ideal of the age, with her elegant limbs, pert breasts and gently swelling stomach. These features are heightened by her exaggerated pose. The coat of arms in the right hand corner of the canvas is evidence that this picture was painted for Jacob Arnold, Captain of the Papal Swiss Guards.


Portrait of Cornelia Burch, Aged Two Months

This exceptional painting is the earliest portrait in our collection. Its naturalistic style suggests that it is by a Dutch artist and an inscription on the architectural detail (upper right) identifies the sitter as Cornelia Burch, painted in 1581 at the age of two months. It has been suggested that Burch is a corruption of the name 'Burgh' and that the child is the daughter of Thomas, Lord Burgh (1558-97). Burgh was the English Ambassador to Scotland in the late 16th century. Our research into her real identity is continuing. Depictions of such young children in 16th century portraits are extremely rare owing in part to the very high infant mortality rate. Cornelia is presented in elaborate swaddling bands, as was customary for the period. She is displayed upon a handsomely decorated cushion and bearing cloth which suggest that this was a christening portrait. The gold cross and fine rattle-cum-teether, made of a shark's tooth, support this theory. Over her bonnet Cornelia wears a cap that is likely to have been modelled on her mother's.


Winter Landscape

Molenaer’s charming landscape illustrates the direct responses to the locality that set Haarlem’s artists apart from their Utrecht counterparts, whose landscapes favoured the fashionable Italianate manner. To judge by the large numbers that survive, winter scenes of this type must have been extremely popular. No particular town is described and Molenaer generalised all his skies, repeating the same elements from picture to picture. Each little figure, however, is invested with a particular and unique character that conveys a struggle through the icy weather.


The Edge of the Wood

At one time attributed John Constable (1776-1827), one of the greatest English landscape artists, this picture bears no signature and its history remains unclear. To compound the mysteries surrounding this work, during the 19th century completed works by such masters were copied frequently and skilfully. Nevertheless, this painting has a distinguished provenance going back to within two years of Constables’ death. The most likely solution here is that the Victorian owner of the scene, Edward Fitzgerald, sold off his original by Constable (now untraced) and commissioned his friend Thomas Churchyard, an imitator of his, to paint a substitute.


Family Group

For many years this portrait was thought to be French on account of its elegance and the proliferation of beautifully painted flowers amongst the figures. The picture can now with some confidence be attributed to Maubert by comparison with two other group portraits by the artist, which also feature the characteristic flowers. Sadly, the identity of the sitters remains unknown but the costume suggests that they were a wealthy family dressed in the latest fashion, which would in any event betray French influence. There had always been an elaborate symbolism for flowers and in this picture the honeysuckle could symbolise the union of the husband and their two children.


Northfleet near Greenwich

In his lifetime Callcott’s achievement as a landscapist was regarded as considerable and his paintings were acquired by many of the era’s leading collectors. He was popular because he continued the old master tradition of landscape painting. His main inspiration was the artist Claude Lorraine (1600-82). Callcott exhibited at the Royal Academy first at the age of twenty, and then continuously until his death. This landscape was painted towards the end of his career. He has abandoned much of his grand style and turned to a much more naturalistic approach.


Man of War on a Calm Sea

Mitchell was employed by the Navy, hence his specialisation in marine subjects This rather solemn painting represents the continuation of the Dutch 17th century tradition in English 18th century painting. The careful positioning of the silhouette of the ship against the sky harks back to William van de Velde the Younger (1633-1707). At the same time the artists is more interested in the effects of light and composition than in the portrayal of a specific ship.


Shipping on the Medway

The Medway was a favourite haunt of the artist’s. He appreciated the pastoral quiet combined with the concerted activity of the Chatham Naval Dockyard, seen in the background. His views were usually of calm or benign weather conditions which seem to reflect the sense of peace on the river.


Westminster Bridge

This picture marks the end of the topographical tradition begun by Canaletto (1697-1768). Here the artist seems more interested in the weather and the boats than the strict topography of the bridge. The silhouette of Westminster Hall and the Abbey is handled sufficiently carefully to convince topographically but the other buildings seem to be treated in a more summary manner.


The Twin Children of Capt. George Walsh, Master Mariner of Selby, Yorkshire

This painting is known to be of the boy and girl twins of Captain George Walsh of Selby. The view behind the children is of the town of Selby. The trading vessel in the background belongs to Captain Walsh, who was a Master Mariner. The painting is revealing for its inclusion of both Selby and Walsh's vessel behind his children. It is more than simply a portrait of his family, becoming a display of property and social standing.


Head of a Girl

This delightful portrait has always been considered to be by a follower of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92) but it can now be attributed to one of the artist’s closest followers, Northcote. There is also some influence of French painting, especially Greuze (1725-1805), whose work was well known in England through engravings. The sitter has not been identified although the rather similar picture in the museum at Saint-Etienne in France has traditionally been called Emma Hart, later Lady Hamilton.


The Progress of Civilsation: The Ancient Britons instructed by the Romans in the Mechanical Arts

Briggs studied at the Royal Academy in 1811 and exhibited there from 1814 to 1844. Initially he specialised in uplifting historical subjects, on a large scale. These included themes from Shakespeare and English history. He eventually gave this up in favour of portraits. The Duke of Wellington was one of his famous sitters. As ‘Baron Briggs’ he was ranked first by Thackeray in his List of Best Victorian Painters. The central theme in this painting is the relationship between the noble savages (Britons) and their mentors (Romans). The Britons are shown in archetypal ‘native’ costume, partially covered with animal skins. They gaze at a symbol of civilised life, presented by a Roman. Briggs offers a 19th century interpretation of what these people looked like. Much of this was based on the Bible and classical texts. The painting was formerly owned by John Vincent Thompson, a Hull merchant, who presented it to the Hull Mechanics Institute in 1832 where it occupied pride of place.


The Poacher's Snare

In this painting Buttery has chosen to depict the dramatic moment when a poacher has just been caught red handed. The figure with the gun may be the landowner out shooting, as emphasised by the country house in the background. His rather rustic clothing, however, indicates that he could be the master's gamekeeper. Both poacher and faithful hound look fittingly shamed; the dog hangs his head whilst the poacher, stricken and shocked, holds his hand to his face in a dramatic gesture of remorse. This scene depicts a real life situation of the kind that most of Buttery's contemporaries, such as John Constable (1776-1837) were shying away from in favour of more idealistic and harmonious representations of country life. Charles Buttery was a Hull-based painter who lived off George Street and Savile Street with his brother George, also an artist. Little else is known about him except that he showed works at the 1829 Hull Art Exhibition with George. Charles' other brother Thomas was a 'bird and animal preserver', or taxidermist, in George Street in the 1830s and 40s. A large number of his birds were shown at the 1845 Hull Mechanics Exhibition.


Virgin and Child with St Joseph

The suave depiction of the Holy Family represents the end of the Baroque in Italy just before it gave way to neo classicism in the years after 1750. The robustness of 17th century has given way to a sweetness and sentimentality, which runs through a good deal of Italian early 18th century religious painting. The poverty of Christ’s family is lost in the artist’s quest for smooth surfaces and elegant colours.


View of the South End, Hull, Taken in the Year 1809

Barton had a duel career as an artist/manager of panoramas (large canvases, sometimes placed within a circular building to surround the viewer) and in the last few years of his life as a marine painter in Hull. Like the Dutch before him he combined nautical skill with perfectly painted architecture. Characteristic of his style are low viewpoints and a curious elongation of figures. It is possible that these two paintings were connected with a scheme for a panorama. Barton certainly appears to have been experimenting with the perspective. The Old Harbour, seen in both works, was the sheltered stretch of water between the present-day North Bridge and the mouth of the River Hull, an area also known as ‘the Haven’. It formed Hull’s main mooring point until the completion of the first dock in 1778. The jumble of sails in View of the South End (misleadingly labelled ‘the Citadel’ on the frame) illustrates the congestion at the river mouth as trade developed. Also visible are soldiers lounging near the Old Blockhouse (Citadel) on the east side of the river.


The’s Gravensteen Gate abd the Sint Veerleplein in Ghent, 1833

De Noter was a painter, watercolourist and etcher. He specialised in town scenes, church interiors and landscapes. This minutely painted picture shows part of the historic heart of Ghent. The gate is that of the castle of Gravensteen which was begun by Baldwin Iron Arm in the 9th century and reconstructed by Philip of Alsace from 1180 onwards. The houses in the surrounding square are mostly medieval and are depicted with great attention to topographical accuracy.


The Old Harbour, Hull

Barton had a duel career as an artist/manager of panoramas (large canvases, sometimes placed within a circular building to surround the viewer) and in the last few years of his life as a marine painter in Hull. Like the Dutch before him he combined nautical skill with perfectly painted architecture. Characteristic of his style are low viewpoints and a curious elongation of figures. It is possible that these two paintings were connected with a scheme for a panorama. Barton certainly appears to have been experimenting with the perspective. The Old Harbour, seen in both works, was the sheltered stretch of water between the present-day North Bridge and the mouth of the River Hull, an area also known as ‘the Haven’. It formed Hull’s main mooring point until the completion of the first dock in 1778. The jumble of sails in View of the South End (misleadingly labelled ‘the Citadel’ on the frame) illustrates the congestion at the river mouth as trade developed. Also visible are soldiers lounging near the Old Blockhouse (Citadel) on the east side of the river.


The Stable Door

The Stable Door was painted three years after Gainsborough's (1727-1788) death at a time when the fifteen year old Constable (1798-1865) was still training to be an artist. Whereas these more idealistic artists used people merely as a part of their landscapes, for Morland they were an integral part of his rural genre scenes. He represented rural life as it was, at a time when meat was a luxury exclusively for the middle and upper classes. In The Stable Door for example, rather than depict his country workers as hearty folk, happy with their lot, he shows them slouched and grumpy, lugging heavy sacks and clearly tired from their labours. As a result of his honesty, Morland's work was often criticised. Despite this, his paintings were popular and frequently forged during his lifetime and later.


A Baltic trader off Paull, Hull in the Distance

This is particularly fine topographical study of the Humber bank. The shoreline of Hull can be seen in the distance. The ships in the foreground are two views of a Russian merchantman - Hull had a brisk trade with the Baltic as early as the 13th century. To the right of the scene is the signal station at Paull which controlled the movement of shipping in and out of the Humber, and which Barton has used to give added compositional interest to the painting.


Drake's Island, Plymouth Sound

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


Caught in the Ice

The artist served his apprenticeship as a painter in the George Yard workshop of Thomas Meggitt (1779-1858). Binks would have learnt from him the basic skills of mixing colours and applying paint to wood and canvas. He was probably self-taught as a marine artist, learning from copying and observation. This painting, which bustles with dramatic detail, is thought to show the Hull whaler 'Dauntless', which was lost in ice in the Davis Straits, west of Greenland, in 1829. The ship was owned by John Beadle & Co. and her Master was Cap. Bramham. Although 1829 was a particularly difficult season, 'Dauntless' was the only vessel lost.


Three paddle-steamers, ‘Kingston’, ‘Prince Frederick’ and ‘Calder’ of Selby in Hull Roads

The artist served his apprenticeship as a painter in the George Yard workshop of Thomas Meggitt (1779- 1858). Never developing a distinctive personal style, Binks often collaborated with another of Meggitt’s apprentices, William Griffin (fl. 1800-50). This picture is more than likely one of their joint productions when they were still apprentices, with Binks being responsible for the sea and Griffin, the steamers. The Paull waterfront appears on the left in the background and the Lincolnshire coast on the right. The Hull Roads were mid-river in the deepest stretch of water. They were the most navigable passage in the Humber - ships were unlikely to run aground. They could also anchor here if they did not want come into the port. The ‘Kingston’ was the first locally built steamship to enter sea-going service. Binks and Griffin were the first local artists to paint the early Humber steamers.


The Three-Masted Barque ‘Halcyon’ of Hull

The ‘Halcyon’ was a barque of three masts, weighing 358 tons and measuring 105ft in length. She was built in 1825 by Dykes and Gibson on the River Hull for William Lowthorpe of Welton. Sadly the barque foundered in the same year. Binks was renowned for his paintings of merchant ships around Hull as well as scenes of arctic exploration. The style in which he painted was likened to that of the best known Hull marine artist, John Ward (1798-1849). Both share a certain clarity and precision in their portraits of ships, using a more graphic than painterly style of working.


Hull Whalers in the Arctic

Binks is typical of many marine artists in belonging to a family of marine painters where the tradition was passed down from father to son. He died in 1852 aged fifty-three but was succeeded by his son Thomas A. Binks (fl.1840-60) who also became a prominent Hull artist. There are numerous instances of sons taking over the ‘family business’ of marine painting from their fathers. Some of the most famous include the van de Veldes, the Cookes, the Stanfields and the Cotmans.


The Shipyard at Hessle Cliffs

A Newcastle artist who later moved to London and then Scarborough, Carmichael was not part of the Hull school. After a short spell at sea, he was apprenticed as a shipbuilder before becoming a serious painter. As well as marines, he painted topographical scenes and elements of both these styles are combined in his work: ‘…no living painter more happily combines portraiture (in shipping) with the picturesque.’ Art Journal, 1849. The shipyard depicted was at one time owned by the wealthy merchant family, the Blaydes. By 1822 it was closed down and later landscaped over. This painting was probably worked up from sketches made on-the-spot. One of the vessels shown is the Humber Ferry, a service that ran between Hull and Barton. On the far right is a boat ready for launching.


View of the Port of Hull with the 'Spartan'

Chambers began earning his living at the age of eight, holding coal bags open for miners to fill. At sixteen he went to sea on a Humber Keel. On board he showed great aptitude for painting ships’ timbers and decorating buckets and other fittings. An early talent recognised, he became apprentice to a house and ship painter. Greatly acclaimed in his life-time, the pinnacle of Chambers’ career was gaining the patronage of King William IV. He was to die young, aged thirty-seven. The Ferens owns the only two known works of Hull by Chambers. This is the only signed and dated oil. As a Whitby artist he was invited to Hull to paint the Whitby-built brig, the ‘Spartan’. The vessel was made in the yard of Thomas Brodrick. Chambers’ painting shows the ship in two different views, a common practice in ship portraiture.


‘The Wellington Coach’ (The Newcastle-York-London Mail)

There is very little information concerning the long career of this prolific artist. Cordrey probably worked in London since all his coaching scenes have London as their destination. Coaching scenes were very popular in Regency and early Victorian England but fell out of fashion with the spread of the railways in the years after 1840. The Wellington was the last regular coach running on the Great North Road. It travelled through Ferrybridge, Doncaster and Stamford and arrived at the Bull and Mouth Inn in London.


Portrait of Captain Joseph Boulderson

Devis was the son and pupil of Arthur Devis (1711-1787). He travelled to the Far East, spending a year in Canton. The most remarkable period of his career was spent in Bengal, India, from 1785-95. One his return to England he produced conventional portraits that give no hint of his earlier prowess. Little is known about the sitter in the portrait. Although this portrait is in need of conservation we have decided to include it in the exhibition so that visitors have an opportunity to view it. It has been in this condition for decades, but sadly has not, so far, been a priority for restoration. As with all our works of art, please do not touch. Examples of artworks that we have been able to restore are on show throughout the exhibition.


Copy after Titian’s ‘La Bella’

Despite the experimentation and innovation in English painting during his lifetime, Etty remained untouched by it. He pursued an independent course, copying the old masters and between 1822-23 visited all the main Italian cities. After this, his approach became far more serious and out of step with his contemporaries. To be inspired by Rubens (1577-1640) and Titian (c.1487-1576) made his art an anachronism in its time. Etty retained strong links with York, involving himself in the successful campaign to prevent the demolition of the city’s medieval walls. Etty’s letters to his friend Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830) reveal his passion for the original by Titian, one of the artist’s most beautiful and sumptuous works. Etty responded to it with passion but could not replicate the magic of the original. Given its sketchiness there is every likelihood that the artist executed it on the spot.


‘King Charles Demanding Entrance at the Beverley Gate, Hull, April 23, 1642’

Arnald's career lasted over fifty years. He experimented with many different subjects, from landscapes and seascapes to mythological and history painting. He travelled extensively around Britain and took a particular interest in medieval sites. He enjoyed considerable success in his lifetime and first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1788, becoming a full member in 1810. The scene depicted here shows the refusal in 1642 by Hull's Governor, Sir John Hotham, to let King Charles I enter Hull at the city gate. Clarendon's ‘History of the Rebellion', Book V, records the story, one of the acts that led to the outbreak of the English Civil War: 'Sr. John Hotham from ye Wall acquainted the King that He durst not open the Gates, being instructed by the Parliament. His Majesty replyed, that if He persisted in ye resolution, He shou’d be obliged to proclaim him a Traitor'. This episode was depicted by many artists and there are several versions, both oils and prints, in the Ferens’ collection.


Plymouth Coast from Plymouth Sound

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


Loading a Timber Wagon in the Grounds of Cave Castle, Yorkshire

This painting depicts Cave Castle in the village of South Cave, situated about thirteen miles from Hull. Arnald's view shows the surrounding parklands across to the Humber Estuary and towards Lincolnshire. Originally built on the site of an old castle, the building, the only one of its kind still in existence in East Yorkshire, is shown shortly after its renovation in 1791 when the owner, Henry Boldero Barnard, carried out enlargements and 'castellations' in the neo-Gothic style. Arnald, who specialised in such topographical views, travelled extensively throughout the British Isles, Ireland and France. He is known to have visited Yorkshire on a number of occasions and undertook several commissions for his patrons, the Boldero Barnard family. They were an old, well established family of landowners who settled in East Yorkshire in the 13th century. It is possible that this work is the same Cave Castle, Yorkshire exhibited by Arnald at the Royal Academy in London in 1809.


Plymouth Sound, Looking Towards Coastline

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


The Hongs at Canton

Chinnery was born in London in 1774. He exhibited a miniature at the Royal Academy at the age of seventeen and subsequently enrolled at the Academy Schools. In 1796 he moved to Ireland where a branch of his family had lived since the 17th century. A successful career followed which included many portrait commissions and landscapes. Chinnery was elected a Director of the Royal Dublin Society and, in 1800, Secretary of the Society of Artists in Ireland. Following the breakdown of his marriage, he later returned to London en route to Madras. He was to spend the rest of his life in the East. Despite initial success he was bad at managing his money and by 1825 he fled his debts and settled in Macao, a trading post on the Chinese coast. This small painting, probably by one of Chinnery’s Chinese followers in its meticulous style, shows the flags of all the different nations that had trading rights in Canton. The whole complex depicted here was destroyed by fire in 1822.


View Across Plymouth Sound from Barbican

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


Oriental Scene by Moonlight

These three works are similar in technique and style to one another but are inferior to The Hongs at Canton, which is probably by a different artist. They are in the European style but are likely to be the work of a Chinese artist.


Plymouth Sound ? Unknown View

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


Old Jetty under the Citadel, Plymouth, or near Sutton Pool

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. It is likely that this set of paintings was executed during a visit to Plymouth on Naval duties. It is rare for a group of pictures like these to have survived together, as there was always the temptation to sell them separately.


Picturesque landscape with a Man Fishing and Another Sketching Before a Bridge

These three works are similar in technique and style to one another but are inferior to The Hongs at Canton, which is probably by a different artist. They are in the European style but are likely to be the work of a Chinese artist.


A Ship in Rough Seas Near a Chalk Headland

Luny was one of the most prolific of all marine painters and enjoyed probably the longest career of all. He continued to produce large numbers of pictures even when, in old age, he was crippled by arthritis. He was a pupil of Francis Holman (died 1790) and his marine expertise came from his time serving in the Navy. This picture was produced in the year of his retirement. It belongs to the 18th century tradition in composition and mood as well as for the accurate depiction of the ships.


Oriental scene, East Indies: A procession

These three works are similar in technique and style to one another but are inferior to The Hongs at Canton, which is probably by a different artist. They are in the European style but are likely to be the work of a Chinese artist.


Landscape with Hills, Cottages and Figures

Patrick was the eldest child of Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840). His work consists mostly of Scottish landscapes, but after moving to London in 1810 his style became more traditionally English. He combined Italian and Dutch influences to satisfy the conventional tastes of his patrons. His work is now widely represented in British public collections. This small landscape is Italianate but has been modified to suit a northern taste. Whilst the buildings are Italian in style the hills and valleys appear very English. The figures add human interest.


Cloud Study

In an age when landscape painting was considered an inferior art form, Constable was ahead of his time. Ironically, although his paintings are imbued with a love of the English landscape, particularly the scenery around his native Suffolk, he found greater success in France than in England. His scientific approach to nature was greatly admired by the French Impressionists of the later part of the 19th century. Wishing to record exactly what he saw, Constable often painted out of doors. He considered the sky to be the ‘key note’ in a landscape and executed many rapid sketches, such as this Cloud study, capturing the English weather in all its moods.


Landscape with a Woman Crossing a Stream

Patrick was the eldest child of Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840). His work consists mostly of Scottish landscapes, but after moving to London in 1810 his style became more traditionally English. He combined Italian and Dutch influences to satisfy the conventional tastes of his patrons. Nasmyth was one of the most forged and imitated artists of his time, so great was the demand for small, traditional landscapes. This landscape is highly naturalistic. Nasmyth has included the dead branches of trees, for example, rather than chosing to ‘tidy up’ his scene. It does have picturesque qualities, however, including the figure of the woman and the path that winds in to the distance


Coast Scene in Picardy near Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme

Bonington was born in England, but moved to France with his family when he was fifteen, where he remained until his early death in 1828. In a working career of little more than six years he perfected a dazzling technique in both oil and watercolour that was the envy of artists on both sides of the Channel. Coast Scene in Picardy, painted when Bonington was about 24 years old, is a fine example of the combined English and French influences at work. The cloud-filled sky and shimmering horizon are part of that English landscape tradition which is in turn derived from 17th century Holland. The boldness and simplicity of Bonington's zig-zagging composition, suggesting limitless distance, owes much to the French artist Delacroix (1798-1863) with whom Bonington shared a studio between 1824 and 1826.


The Eel catcher

Edmund Bristow was the son of an heraldic painter. He appeared indifferent to wealth and fame. He seldom worked to order and sometimes even refused to sell his finished pictures. Bristow was probably satisfied with the distinction that patronage from the Royal family brought him; he worked for the Duke of Clarence, William IV, Princess Elizabeth and Prince George. Despite this prestige, he lived the life of a recluse and died in such obscurity that the Art Journal could find nothing to say about him for his obituary. Most of Bristow's best works are produced on a small scale. He excelled in finely detailed compositions such as the Eel catcher, influenced by the Dutch old masters. His subject matter was wide, from interiors and still lifes to sporting art and pictures of rural life which show a deep understanding of the lives of countrymen and gamekeepers. The basket traps in this painting are very detailed. The bung for emptying the trap can just be seen at the narrow end of the upright basket. Netting traps were also used for catching eels.


Man on Horseback with a Page

De Keyser is credited with having originated the small equestrian portrait, of which this is a good example. Despite its size, there is remarkable character in the faces of both the sitter and his rather dull-witted servant. The dark clothing with only white collar and cuffs seen in both of our de Keyser portraits, is the typical sombre black preferred by Dutch burghers and their wives.The unknown sitter would probably have posed in the artist's studio on a 'dummy' mount, the background and horse being added later.


Limehouse Reach

Anderson was a shipwright by trade. He later moved to London where he exhibited nearly every year at the Royal Academy between 1787 and 1814. His work earned him a considerable reputation in his lifetime. Anderson took as his model the brilliant and tranquil marine paintings of van de Velde the Younger (1633-1707) but replaced the Dutch boats and canals with everyday scenes on the Thames and Medway. However, despite the influence of the Dutch master, his oil paintings and watercolours are entirely English in spirit and are closely akin to the work of Thomas Hearne (1744-1817) and Edward Dayes (1763-1804).


Portraits of Rachel Mary and Elizabeth Francis Constable (Mrs Salmond and Mrs Bentinck)

Allen specialised in somewhat conventional portraiture. He attended the Royal Academy Schools and built a successful practice in the north west of England. He was also a founder member of the Liverpool Academy in 1810. The sitters here are the daughters of the Rev. Thomas Constable of Sigglesthorne, Yorkshire and his wife Sarah Goulton. They wear the fashionable high-waisted dress of the Regency period and their hairstyles show a new informality.


Nativity

This painting was previously attributed to Honthorst, the Dutch painter of biblical, mythological and genre scenes who spent ten years in Italy where he was greatly inspired by the work of Caravaggio (1573-1610). However, its style suggests that it was probably painted in Italy soon after 1600. The artist - as yet unidentified - has relied on the Renaissance tradition of night scenes rather than the more obvious Caravaggist approach. The treatment of the figures and fall of light point to an artist more familiar with the Italian style. The Nativity is one of the most commonly depicted scenes in art history. The inclusion of a manger in the scene did not appear until images from the 13th century, and it was only from the 16th century that artists gave particular prominence to the shepherds and wise men visiting the stable.


St. Benedict, Christ, St. John the Baptist

This devotional triptych was perhaps intended for an altar in a private house. Its dark tones suggest that it was painted in Siena in the early 16th century. The exaggerated, elongated figures are characteristic of the anti-naturalistic style associated with Beccafumi, the leading artist in Siena in the first half of the 16th century. These three panels are currently arranged as a triptych but the perspective of the floor would suggest that they were originally arranged one above the other. Such an arrangement would mean that the pictures would have formed the pilaster of a large altarpiece. It was the practice in the Renaissance for the artist to leave the less important parts of a large altarpiece to his assistants especially when the commission involved a large number of different panels. Christ appears in the centre bearing the cross, with a chalice - the symbol of the Christian faith - at his feet. On the right stands St. John the Baptist, typically depicted wearing an animal-hair tunic. He carries a staff, the symbol for numerous saints noteworthy for their travels and pilgrimages. St. Benedict is usually depicted with a long white beard, and dressed as a Benedictine abbot. He is seen here holding wheat, symbolising the bread of the Eucharist, and his book of rules. Recent restoration has revealed the remains of two keyholes centre-left of the Christ suggesting that the paintings were rearranged and adapted as a piece of furniture early in their history.


View of Het Valckhof, Nijmegen

Little is known about the artist’s early artistic activity, and only seven paintings are attributed to him. He appears to have favoured large architectural subjects. Het Valckhof, with its overcast sky and low horizon typifies a particular type of Dutch landscape painting. The name of the castle means ‘Falcon Court’, and it was at this time the most famous in Holland. It was founded as an Imperial Palace by the Emperor Charlemagne (742/3-814 AD).


Still Life

Janssens Elinga worked in Amsterdam at the same time as the gradually declining Pieter de Hooch (1629-83). They both used the same intimist subject matter - domestic interiors of the better-off classes with little human intervention. Janssens Elinga’s career is barely documented and his dates and places of birth are unknown. This Still life is typical of a certain type of composition: everyday, inexpensive objects have been simply arranged to display the painter’s skill in depicting different surfaces. A human presence is implied by the peeled orange skin and discarded pips.


Sailing Boats in a Rough Sea

By the time Bakhuizen painted this stormy picture the great tradition of Dutch 17th century seascape painting was nearing its end. Bakhuizen was paticularly adept at recording the atmosphere of an inky sky. As well as painting marines, for which he is best known, the artist was a portrait painter and engraver. He was very successful during his lifetime, spending his long career in Amsterdam. He had many eminent patrons and it was only in the 19th century that his reputation faltered.


Farm Scene

This modest picture does not seem to be by any particularly distinctive hand. Clearly English, it does not appear to be related to any particular locality. An anonymous note in the gallery files suggests this picture could be by John Berney Crome (1768-1821).


Landscape, River Scene

This picture was originally thought to be Dutch. Its current poor condition makes attribution difficult.


Mountainous Landscape with Figures

This landscape, Italian in influence, represents that the type that remained popular with British collectors into the 19th century.


Portrait of Rosamond Clifford, Mistress of King Henry II

When this work was originally acquired it was believed to be a portrait of Jane Shore, mistress of Edward IV. Fair Rosamond, mistress of King Henry II, was said to have been murdered by his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, c.1176. Such portraits are all of much later origin.


A Woman (possibly a member of the Strickland family, formerly called Anne Hyde, Duchess of York)

The resemblance to Anne Hyde, Duchess of York (who was mother to Queen Mary II and Queen Anne) is striking. It has been suggested that this painting was related to the artist Peter Borsselaer (1664-87).


Landscape (Mousehold Heath)

In the past, this picture was been attributed to John Berney Crome (1768-1821). The quality of this painting would suggest that it is by a specific artist of the Norwich School, rather than by an anonymous follower. Current research into minor figures of the Norwich School is still at an early stage.


Portrait of King Charles I

The main type from which the Ferens’ picture is derived is in itself based on the Daniel Mytens (1590-1648) portrait in Durham Town Hall. The date of this rather crude portrait is indeterminate. It is likely to have been made after Charles became King in 1625 as when Prince of Wales he did not have a beard or moustache.


Pistols by William Needler, Hull, c.1849-1867

This fascinating boxed set of pistols has survived completely intact. You can see all the extra items needed to load the guns, prepare them for firing and clean them afterwards. If not properly looked after a gun can become dangerous. It can even fail to fire just when it matters most. These extras include a ramrod, a wad cutter and an oil cup. You can also see the maker’s card in the box: ‘William Needler from Hull.’ These pistols were made by William Needler. William was the son of an innkeeper from Pocklington. William was born in Pocklington in 1820. His trade card describes him coming from London where he was living in 1841 during his apprenticeship. Needler eventually established himself at 26 Silver Street in Hull. He acquired this shop from Hull gunsmith, Samuel Mozeen. Needler produced a wide range of firearms possibly including harpoon guns. Needler’s shop was the scene of a death in 1856. A music seller called William Atkinson asked Needler to load a gun for him. Atkinson then shot himself. An inquest into this returned an open verdict. William Needler’s son, William Stevenson Needler was also a gunsmith who later traded at 26 Silver Street. This is an outstanding cased set of four pistols. Each has a silver escutcheon engraved with a talbot’s head, probably the crest of the Ellerker family. They have Birmingham proof and view marks.


Ivory and Silver Jewel Casket by Katherine Mangie, Hull, c.1685-1697

Katherine Mangie was quite unusual in being a woman silversmith in this period. Her husband Edward Mangie was a silversmith too. When he died in 1685, Katherine became the boss of Edward’s workshop. We don’t know if she actually made the silver herself or was just in charge. Katherine must have been very proud of this box. It is stamped seven times with her special maker’s mark, ‘KM’. Edward Mangie took over the Hull workshop of goldsmith Robert Robinson who died in 1660. In 1661 Edward travelled back to York and married Katherine Spalding. Katherine must have been a strong and sad woman. During her marriage to Edward they had many children that died in infancy, including triplets in 1658. A son did survive, also called Edward but he was only 12 when his father died in 1685. When Edward Mangie died his wife Katherine carried on the business and had her own maker’s mark of ‘K.M.’ The Mangies remained in business in Church Lane until the 1730s but after 1697 very few pieces by them are known. Katherine Mangie died in 1725 at the age of 88. Her son Edward continued to trade as a goldsmith at the Church Lane. He probably retired then and in 1739 he died. He wasrecorded as being a ‘gentleman’. This meant he lived in financial security and no longer had to work for a living.


Coconut cup by James Birkby, Hull, c.1651

Coconut cups were exotic items in the 1600s and were popular with rich people. Coconut shells have been valued by many different cultures. Coconuts are an important part of Hindu religious ceremonies such as weddings. They symbolise usefulness, prosperity and generosity. This cup is made from a coconut shell and silver. It was made by Hull silversmith, James Birkby. Birkby’s workshop was in Church Lane, near Holy Trinity Church. This was an area used by many silversmiths before him. This cup has a silver shield on the front engraved with the arms of the Weever family of Cheshire. The earliest recorded silversmiths in Hull were working in the 1400s. During the 1500s gold and silver smiths formed ‘The Guild of Goldsmiths of Hull’. Hull silversmiths, being away from London, were able to work without the interference of official regulations. There is no record of an assay office in Hull. Silver pieces were normally sent to an assay office to ensure they were of the correct standard. The marks used on Hull silver never had any official recognition. From the 1500s the letter ‘H’ was used. Later, Hull’s town badge of three coronets was adopted for the stamped mark on silver. Many of Hull’s silversmiths were based in the same location on Church Lane (now demolished). This was close to Market Place, near Holy Trinity Church. Eleven silversmiths are known to have worked at the Church Lane premises including James Birkby. In 1645, silversmith Robert Robinson took on James Birkby as an apprentice. After serving his apprenticeship, Birkby bought his freedom in 1651 and established his own business in premises very close by.


Porringer by Thomas Hebden, Hull, c.1675-1695

A porringer is a type of bowl originally used for porridge. They can be made of wood but this is solid silver and finely decorated. On both handles there is small face. Thomas Hebden was a silversmith in Hull. He originally worked as an apprentice to Edward Mangie. Hebden’s workshop was also in Church Lane, off Market Place. Thomas died quite young at 35 but left fine examples of his work like this porringer behind. Thomas Hebden (1660-1695) was originally an apprentice to Edward Mangie at Mangie’s workshop in Church Lane, Hull. After his apprenticeship, Hebden set up his own business on the south side of Church Lane. He became strong competition for Katherine Mangie, Edward’s widow. Hebden traded there from 1681 until his death in 1695 and made both church and domestic plate. Another Hull silversmith called Abraham Barachin worked with Thomas Hebden. After Hebden’s death in 1695, Barachin married his widow. This porringer was presented to the Corporation under the will of Alderman. Col. Rupert Alec-Smith.


Tankard by Thomas Hebden, Hull, c.1680

This silver tankard has a curious inscription on its base: “26 ½ A bitt for yo’ mouse From DA 1684” The meaning of this is unclear but it may have been a special present to somebody from “D.A” in 1684. But who was the mouse? A silver tankard like this would mostly have been for show rather than for practical use. Before there were banks, many people stored their wealth and money by buying pieces of silver like this. Thomas Hebden (1660-1695) was originally an apprentice to Edward Mangie at Mangie’s workshop in Church Lane, Hull. After his apprenticeship, Hebden set up his own business on the south side of Church Lane. He became strong competition for Katherine Mangie, Edward’s widow. Hebden traded at Church Lane from 1681 until his death in 1695 and made both church and domestic plate. Another Hull silversmith called Abraham Barachin worked with Thomas Hebden. After Hebden’s death in 1695, Barachin married his widow. This tankard was presented to the Corporation under the will of Alderman. Col. Rupert Alec-Smith.


Sheriff's Mace by Edward Mangie, Hull, c.1660

This mace was ordered from Edward Mangie, a local silversmith around 1660. It is likely it was always a Sheriff’s mace, a symbolic badge of the Sheriff’s duties. Hull doesn’t have a Sheriff any more. This was abolished in 1974 and we now share one with the East Riding of Yorkshire. Edward Mangie was a silversmith who moved from York to Hull. His workshop was in Church Lane, off Market Place in a building used by many silversmiths before him. This mace was a symbolic badge of rank for the Sheriff. Maces were also used in this way by Sergeants-at-Mace. Some were even used as weapons. On 10th May 1440, a charter by King Henry VI created Hull as a county of itself. By this charter the Burgesses were empowered annually to elect a Sheriff, an officer with special duties in a county. The role of Sheriff of Hull was abolished in 1974 when the County of Humberside was created. The role of High Sheriff of Humberside was created but this was abolished itself in 1996. For ceremonial purposes Hull is considered part of the county of East Yorkshire and now shares the same Sheriff. Edward Mangie was lucky with his timing when he moved to Hull in 1660. With the Restoration of Charles II the same year, many people started ordering new silver and spending money again. The years before this had been difficult times for silversmiths and craftsmen.


Sampler by Shipnarh Cotton Green, Hull, 1884

Alphabets like the one on this sampler appeared on children’s samplers from the 1600s to the 1900s. Teachers hoped that girls would improve their sewing whilst learning the alphabet. The girl who made this sampler has been very careful to fit the entire alphabet in. Others weren’t so skilful. Some girls ran out of room so the last few letters were left out. Others continued the alphabet so it overflowed into the decorative border. This sampler was made by an eleven year old pupil at Miss Fawcett’s School at 25 Grimsby Lane, Hull. Needlework was an important part of the curriculum for girls in the 1800s. In most schools needlework exercise books were kept with examples of children’s work stitched or pinned to the pages. The first page of the book nearly always contained a cross stitch sampler with numbers and alphabets. The number of surviving samplers embroidered with a school’s name shows how popular they were as a teaching method. Samplers showing maps were made to teach Geography. Darning samplers were used to teach the different stitches needed to mend clothes. Children were expected to sign their work as a testament to their needlework skills. Household linen was often marked with embroidered initials and a number. Another reason for teaching girls to sew numbers and letters on samplers was so they could help with this task. By the early 1800s girls were taught marking at school as a separate needlework class. Teaching marking seems to have become the main purpose of making samplers. In John Walter’s ‘English and Welsh Dictionary’ (1828) a sampler is defined as ‘a marking alphabet wrought by girls at school’. By the late 1800s hardly any samplers were made by adults. Most samplers were made in schools and orphanages. Unlike this decorative pattern, many had just alphabets and numbers inside a simple border pattern. Teaching needlework by making samplers died out in the 1920s.


Sampler by Elizabeth Pashley, Hull, 1854

This sampler illustrates a verse from the Bible about Adam and Eve being expelled from the Garden of Eden. The Tree of Life mentioned in the Bible passage at the top of the sampler is embroidered in the centre. Animals, birds and plants from the Garden of Eden surround it. The two figures on the right are Adam and Eve. They are being kept out of the garden by a cherub with a sword, also mentioned in the verse. This sampler was made by Elizabeth Pashley, aged 14 in Hull. Samplers have been made for at least 1000 years. Sampler making probably originated in Asia and travelled across Europe. Samplers were made in England from the late 1400s. Samplers were originally cloths on which assorted stitches and patterns were embroidered. These cloths were used as a reference for future work. From the 1700s printed pattern books were available with detailed instructions for embroidering patterns and motifs. These books could be used as a reference instead of samplers. Samplers were no longer of practical use and became a fashionable form of decoration displayed in a frame. Pattern books began to be produced to help people make samplers too. Miniature pattern books became popular from the mid-1800s. They were probably printed for children. For example, ‘The Embroidery and Alphabet Sampler Book’ measured 5.7cm by 7cm. Its cardboard cover enclosed a strip of paper 1.4 meters long folded into 15 sections. Each of these sections contained small patterns, including animals, houses, flowers and girls’ names. The most popular patterns for decorating samplers were flowers in pots, birds, animals and verses. All of these are included in this sampler. Almost every sampler had a border. Borders were usually made of flowers, like this one, or strawberry patterns. Inscriptions on samplers covered many subjects, but verses from the Bible were most popular. This reflected the dominance of Christianity in Victorian society.


Heart Amulet from Ancient Egypt, c.1500BC

This amulet was designed to protect the heart. It was used during the mummification process of a dead body in Ancient Egypt. The heart was a special organ and had to be left in the body. They believed it would be weighed against the feather of truth to see if they could enter the Afterlife.

The brain was not thought as important and was removed with a hook. Other organs like the liver were removed and preserved in jars.

This carnelian bead was included in the mummy wrappings if the heart was damaged during mummification. The Egyptians thought the heart was the centre of intelligence and emotion. It was left in the body during mummification. If it was removed by mistake it was sewn back into place.

Four chapters of the Egyptian Book of the Dead discuss why the heart should not be separated from the body. The weighing of the heart against the feather of truth would decide whether the deceased could enter the Afterlife.

Heart amulets became some of the most important type of amulet in this process. One or more were placed on the bodies of nearly all mummies. Some examples are shaped like a heart. Others have a scarab shape as the beetle was associated with rebirth.

Red carnelian was often used for heart scarabs but green and blue stones were also used.

Stone canopic jars were made to store the liver, lungs, stomach and intestines of a mummified body. In later years the removed organs were separately preserved and placed back in the body.


Glass vase, 1857

The full inscription on this glass vase is: "For My dear Parents Mr and Mrs Gawtry, From their son, Master of the Secret, Farewell Father & Mother for the present 1857". On the other side is an engraving of the Secret and the inscription "Secret of Hull". This is a farewell gift from a sailor to his parents, Mr and Mrs Gawtry. The Secret was a Hull ship which can be seen on the glass vase. Going to sea was a dangerous job, especially in the days of sail. Stormy seas could easily overwhelm sailing ships and ship wrecks were common. Master Gawtry obviously wanted to reassure his parents that he would be coming home again.


Bowl, possibly made in Liverpool, c.1797

The Lisbon Packet was a ship that belonged to a Hull family called Haire. It was built in 1783 and stayed in the family until it went missing in 1806. Its first Captain was Samuel Haire, followed by B.L. Haire, who is named on this bowl. A packet was a ship that sailed a lot between the same two places. In the 1700s they were used to carry post around Europe and beyond. They were also used for goods and passengers.


Bowl made in Elsinore, Denmark, c.1908

This is a Danish porcelain bowl. It is inscribed 'May Prosperity Attend Capt. W. Newman and Success to the Rinaldo of Hull". The ship the Rinaldo was made in Hull at Earle's shipyard in 1872. It was owned by the Wilson Shipping Line in Hull but later sold to Danish owners. Unfortunately, this bowl didn't bring the luck it was meant to. In 1908 the Rinaldo ran aground on passage from Riga to Hull.


Ship's figurehead, made in Scotland, c.1837

The Sirius was a Transatlantic paddle steamer. In 1838 it became the first ship to complete an east-west Atlantic crossing under steam power. The Sirius' crossing took 19 days. It was only four hours ahead of the Great Western steamer designed by the famous engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. This would have greatly annoyed Brunel. His Great Western covered the journey four days quicker, but set out too late to catch the Sirius. The Sirius was shipwrecked in 1847, on a journey from Glasgow to Cork. It was shipwrecked off Ballycotton Head near Dublin, with 19 crew and passengers lost. In 1904, the wreckage was salvaged by divers. This figurehead was one of the items saved. It was donated to Hull Museums by Alderman Thompson.


Decorated stem chock from a Humber keel, 1900s

This is a decorated stem chock from a Humber keel. The stem was on the front, or bow, of the boat. Humber keels were distinctive vessels with square sails. They could be seen shipping goods inland until the 1920s and followed the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire waterways. The Humber keel is known as the classic Humber sailing barge, with a tradition stretching back to the medieval period. They were the last working vessels using sails in the region but after the 1920s most became motorised.


Shop sign, possibly made in Hull, c.1848-1889

This sign used to be outside a shop in Hull. The shop sold charts and equipment for use on ships. Signs like this would have been useful at a time when many people couldn't read. They would have also helped foreign sailors visiting the docks. This sign was probably made in Hull as it was displayed outside a shop in the city. The shop was Harrison's, which sold nautical instruments, charts and ships' stores. They were based at 7 Dock Street (near Queen's Gardens, which used to be a dock). As Dock Street was narrow, this sign was displayed high so it could be seen.


Wheelbarrow by Richardson & Sons, Hull, 1862

This rhino helped people in Hull go to the seaside. The rhinoceros shaped wheelbarrow was used to start a railway line from Hull to Hornsea, on the coast.

The man who officially started the railway was Joseph Wade. His family badge had a rhino on it so this wheelbarrow was made especially for him. Joseph was allowed to keep the wheelbarrow as a souvenir. It was made by a firm in Hull called Richardson & Sons.

This wheelbarrow is made from high quality walnut. The rhino’s body has been carved or stamped to create a rough texture. This represents the rhino’s coarse hide.

The rhino design has been adapted to the function of the wheelbarrow. The rhino’s forelegs are raised to hold the pinion of the carved wooden wheel. The rhino’s hind legs act as the legs of the barrow.

The Hull to Hornsea Railway opened on 28 March 1864. It allowed business people who worked in Hull to live in Hornsea and travel to work. The railway also attracted holidaymakers to Hornsea.

The wheelbarrow was specially made by Richardson & Sons. Richardson & Sons was Hull’s largest furniture maker in the 1800s. The founder Thomas Richardson first appears in trade directories (the old fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages) in 1822. He was listed as working in Castle Street, where he remained until 1840.


Puzzle Jug, c.1600-1750

This jug is a puzzle. The challenge is to drink the contents without spilling them. It sounds simple enough, but the jug’s neck is full of holes. Surely it’s impossible to drink without liquid spilling out?

The solution is that the jug has a hidden tube running round the rim and down the handle. The drinker must suck from one of the three spouts on the rim. The other two spouts have to be closed off first.

Puzzle jugs were a popular source of entertainment in homes and taverns, especially in the 1700s and 1800s. They were developed from earlier drinking puzzles, such as the fuddling cup.

Fuddling cups were made up of three or more cups linked together with tubes. The challenge was to drink from one of the cups by tilting it, without spilling the contents of the other cups. The solution was to drink from the cups in a particular order.

The challenge of drinking from a puzzle jug was often set out in a rhyme on the side of the jug. In comparison, the phrase painted on the side of this jug is simpler: ‘Remember thy end’. This phrase has associations with death and the Christian belief in a day of judgement by God. We don’t know why such a serious phrase was painted onto the jug; it’s a puzzle within a puzzle.


Evening Dress by Madame Clapham, Hull, c.1930-1932

This dress looks simple, but the velvet fabric is specially cut to give a flattering fit. The skirt and bodice are gathered towards a diamond-shaped piece of fabric on the dress front.

The full skirt is bias cut. This means the fabric has been cut diagonally across the grain. Cutting fabric like this makes it more flexible, so it clings to the person wearing it. The skirt measures over three and a half metres around the hem.

This dress was made by Madame Clapham, Hull’s most famous dressmaker.

Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was regarded as Hull’s finest dressmaker. All of Madame Clapham’s clothes were handmade to order. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies during its heyday in the 1890s and early 1900s. Madame Clapham ran the salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967.

Madame Clapham’s skill was to select aspects of the latest fashions to create her own designs. Each season she bought a selection of sample gowns from the leading fashion houses of London and Paris. She designed her own creations using bodices, skirts and sleeves from different dresses. She had a talent for selecting the right colour, cut and trimmings to suit her client.

Madame Clapham’s workers did all the sewing. Their fine needlework gained her an international reputation as a dressmaker. In contrast to the luxurious salon and fitting rooms, the workrooms were cold and bare. Madame Clapham was a strict employer with high standards, and the pay for workroom girls was low. However, they took pride in their work and received good training.

There were lots of superstitions in the workrooms. Scissors falling to the ground pointing downwards foretold a funeral. A garment dropping to the ground was a sign that it would receive approval from the client.


Model of Wilberforce House by Waterfall Heraldic China, c.1906-1927

This ornament was made as a souvenir of Wilberforce House Museum in Hull. Wilberforce House was the first British museum to explore the history of slavery and its abolition. It opened to the public in 1906.

The house at 25 High Street is special because the anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was born there in 1759. He spent part of his childhood at Wilberforce House.

Wilberforce House is one of the oldest buildings in Hull. It was built around 1660 by William Catlyn for Hugh Lister. The Listers were a powerful family in Hull. The house was extended in the 1730s and 1760s to make the building that exists today.

Hull merchant John Thornton lived at 25 High Street in the early 1700s. William Wilberforce’s grandfather came to Hull to work as an apprentice for him. Wilberforce’s grandfather married John Thornton’s daughter Sarah in 1711. He eventually bought 25 High Street in 1732.

William Wilberforce was born in one of the upstairs rooms on 24th August 1759. To celebrate his birth, his family decorated the ceiling of the main stairway with the family crest, the eagle.

William Wilberforce was forced to sell the house in the early 1830s to pay off his son’s business debts. Before Wilberforce House became a museum, it was rented out to merchants as offices.

The house was bought by Hull City Council in 1903, after a campaign by Councillor John Brown to save it. When Wilberforce House opened as a museum on 24th August 1906 it displayed objects relating to Wilberforce, slavery and local history.

During the Second World War Wilberforce House escaped bombing raids that destroyed the houses opposite and the warehouse behind. The museum was completely redeveloped to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade in 2007.


Donkey Cart, Sicily, c.1925

Brightly painted pictures are on every surface of this cart. There are pictures of people at festivals, fruits, flowers and angels.

A donkey would have pulled this cart on a fruit farm in Sicily, an island near Italy. The Sicilian name for this type of cart is a ‘caretta’. Carettas were passed down through families. Each generation added more decoration. That is why the caretta is covered with so many pictures.

Carettas were mainly used for transporting fruit from the orchards to the markets. They also carried passengers at festivals. Families took great pride in decorating their carts for festivals.

Even the spokes of the wheels of this caretta have been painted with flowers, fruit, animals and butterflies. A tiny carved and painted cherub has been added to each spoke.

The rear panel of this cart shows a caretta being used at a festival. The caretta in the picture is being pulled by a horse wearing an ornate harness and plumes. Several people are riding in the caretta, including a man playing a guitar. This scene shows how carettas were a focus for festivities and fun in Sicilian life.


'Dave Bowie' boob tube made in Hull, 1973

A devoted David Bowie fan has stitched every sequin of this boob tube by hand to make an original creation. It makes a bold statement about her taste in music. Perhaps it was made specially to wear to a concert.

It’s strange that the sequins say ‘Dave’ rather than ‘David’. Maybe this was deliberate. It’s more likely that the person making it ran out of room and had to shorten the name!

David Bowie was born David Jones in 1947. He is a singer, songwriter, instrumentalist, producer, arranger and sound engineer. He has been writing and performing music for five decades. David Bowie is known for frequently re-inventing his music and image. He is widely regarded as an influential innovator, particularly for his 1970s work. He has sold an estimated 136 million albums, and is one of the top ten best-selling acts in UK pop history.

David Bowie has also been successful in other areas of the arts. He is an actor, music video director and visual artist. In the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, David Bowie ranked 29th.

Mick Ronson, a major collaborator with David Bowie from 1970 to 1973, was born on Beverley Road, Hull in 1946. He played lead guitar in Bowie’s Spiders from Mars band. Mick Ronson played many other instruments, as well as being a composer, arranger and producer.

Mick Ronson released three solo albums after leaving David Bowie’s entourage in 1973. He also guested on various artists’ releases. Mick died in 1993 at the age of 46. The Mick Ronson Memorial Stage was built in Queens Gardens, Hull in his memory.

David Bowie played twice in Hull. His first performance was at the ABC Cinema in 1964, when he was known as Davie Jones. His second performance was with his band ‘The Hype’ at Hull University in 1970. The Hype included Mick Ronson on lead guitar.


Footman's uniform, Wilkinson & Son, London, late 1800s - early 1900s

Footmen were expensive servants at grand houses. Employing footmen was a way of showing your wealth. Their uniform, or livery, was very showy. Their employers liked them to be seen and to look decorative.

This uniform was probably made in the early 1900s, but its style is very old-fashioned. Footmen’s livery was usually in the style of a gentleman’s costume from the previous century. This was so they would look smart but not be mistaken for guests in the house.

This uniform, with its fancy silver braid decoration, would have been a footman’s very best clothes. Footmen had two other grades of outfit, depending on what job they were doing. This outfit would have been worn when the footman was on show to house guests.

Footmen were status symbols because they were expensive to employ. Male servants had to be paid more than female servants. Maintaining footmen’s smart appearance was also expensive. For example, in the 1700s they wore wigs covered with hair powder. A special tax had to be paid on the hair powder.

From the late 1700s onwards, footmen were employed to do physical tasks like carrying visitors’ bags. They had varied duties, including cleaning lamps or even pulling their drunken master from under the table.

In earlier years footmen were employed as runners. They would run alongside their masters’ carriages and run with messages. They often covered huge distances in a day. Traditionally they carried a large staff, both as an aid and as protection. They would sometimes carry a boiled egg and some wine in the head of the staff for sustenance.

Many traditions were associated with footmen. Even when their job was no longer as a runner, they were often selected for the quality of their calf muscles. Some London footmen even wore false calf muscles inside their stockings. Footmen were usually called John or John Thomas, despite what their real names were.

Today only a few households still have footmen, including the Royal Family.


Wall tile, H&R Johnson, Cobridge, Staffordshire, c.1904

The style of this tile is called ‘Art Nouveau’. This is French for ‘New Art’. Art Nouveau was a new art for a new century. It featured on buildings and decorative objects around the start of the 1900s.

Art Nouveau was inspired by nature. It used twisting lines and usually included flowers and leaves. This tile shows floating lilies and a leaf. In the early 1900s tiles with lilies and tulips were made to decorate house porches.

Art Nouveau style was developed in Belgium, Vienna and Glasgow and then spread throughout Europe. In England, the style was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and the Aesthetic movement. These two stylistic movements flourished in the late 1800s.

This tile has been made in a mould so that the lilies, stems and leaf are raised above the background. Moulding was an effective way of showing off the rhythmic lines of Art Nouveau designs.

The tile is covered with a brilliant turquoise translucent glaze. Translucent glazes were the most fashionable finish for tiles in the early 1900s. The translucency of the glaze allows the raised areas of the tile to appear lighter as the glaze is thinner. Where the glaze is thicker on the flatter surface, the colour appears deeper. This gives a two tone effect and makes the picture stand out from the background.

Many tiles were made using techniques that produced designs with a raised surface from 1890 to around 1910. Flat tiles with printed decoration became less popular. Printed decoration of any kind was less frequently used from around 1895.


Pair of tiles by Menasque Rodriguez, Seville, Spain, c.1900

These matching tiles make a pattern like a sunburst when they’re put together. The tiles were inspired by ‘Moorish’ style. The Moors were people from North Africa who ruled Spain from the 700s to the 1400s. They were Muslims so their style was influenced by Islamic art.

These tiles look quite like Moorish tiles made over 300 years earlier. Similar tiles decorated the Alhambra Palace in Spain where Moorish kings lived.

These tiles imitate a method used to make Spanish tiles in the 1500s. The method allowed colours to be painted on a single tile without them mingling together. This was known as ‘cuenca’ and was an early form of moulding.

First, a mould was made for the tile which had lines cut into it. The soft clay tile was pressed against this mould. The clay would seep into the cut lines of the mould. This made a raised pattern outline on the clay, with hollows in between that could be filled in with colour. The raised outline stopped the colours from spreading into one another.

This tile imitates the traditional cuenca method, but was actually made using the more modern ‘dust-pressed’ method. This method was introduced in 1840 in Britain. A tile was made by combining clay dust with a small amount of moisture in a mould. The clay and moisture were forced together in a tile press so they stuck together. The tile was then dried and fired.

The design over this two tile panel has a complete ‘sunburst’ motif in the centre. There is a quarter sunburst motif at each corner. These four corners become whole motifs when joined with other tiles. These tiles could be used to make a continuous all-over wall pattern.


Anglo-Saxon Brooch, AD 500-599

The Anglo-Saxons loved to put faces and animals into their decoration. This may have been for religious reasons. If you look carefully at this brooch you will see a face with a moustache. There is also a bird’s head on each tip. This brooch may have been used to hold clothing together but it was also for decoration.

The Anglo-Saxons were master craftsmen. They were very skilled at metalwork and other crafts such as pottery, glass and decorative books.

This brooch was found at Hornsea on the East Yorkshire coast. Another very similar one was found at Driffield a few miles inland. These are displayed side by side at the Hull & East Riding Museum.

The Anglo-Saxons were immigrants to Britain and many people have speculated about why they came here. They may have been refugees from barbarian tribes in the East or forced by climatic change and rising sea levels. Many people think they came as mercenaries, paid to keep out other invaders after the Romans had left.

Germanic tribes had provided soldiers for Rome before and British rulers turned to these tribes for help. They were the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. These came from modern day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Britain became divided into separate kingdoms. Yorkshire’s Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were Bernicia, Deira and Elmet. The end of Roman rule had left a power vacuum which the Anglo-Saxons filled. Their influence on culture and language is still around today. Our country is called England because it was the land of the Angles.

Two of the best know examples of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship are the Sutton Hoo burial treasures and the Lindisfarne Gospels. The Sutton Hoo treasures were discovered in a burial in Suffolk. They are now a highlight of the British Museum’s collection. The Lindisfarne Gospels are originally from Northumberland and are now in the British Library.


The Humber Street Madonna, c.1401-1450

This silver figure of Mary with the baby Jesus was found in Humber Street in Hull. Archaeologists were digging there to learn more about the past. It is only 5.7cm high and was probably part of a larger shrine to the Virgin Mary.

During the Middle Ages many people worshipped Mary and thought of her a kind of Goddess. Many churches and monasteries were dedicated to her. This is still the case in many Catholic countries.

This silver figure was discovered during an excavation in 1964, near the site of the medieval walls of Hull. It was found in the 16th century rubbish levels, along with many pottery sherds. The Humber Street Madonna is a fragment separated from a larger object such as a shrine. It has been identified as English work from the first half of the 15th century (1400s).

At the time this figurine was left in the city’s rubbish England was undergoing the great religious changes of the Reformation. In 1533 Henry VIII passed legislation making him Head of the Church of England and removing the Catholic Pope's influence. All the monasteries in England were closed and their gold and riches were claimed by the King.

After the Reformation decorated crosses and crucifixes were forbidden and many shrines to Mary were removed or destroyed. English Reformers returned to a simpler form of worship. Crown commissioners confiscated or destroyed much of the gold and silversmiths' work in the medieval churches.

Before the Reformation there were shrines to Mary throughout the British Isles and some still survive today.

Before the Reformation, the twelfth and thirteenth centuries had seen a huge growth of the cult of the Virgin Mary. This movement found its largest expression in French cathedrals which are often dedicated to "Our Lady”. Many cities also placed themselves under her protection.


Chafing Dish, Saintonge, France, c.1501-1600

This is a kind of medieval barbeque called a chafing dish.   It held burning charcoal and could be used for heating food in the kitchen or dining room.

This is  a pottery chafing dish made in Saintonge in south west France.  In later years chafing dishes were made from silver and copper.  This one was found in Hull.  Lots of Saintonge pottery was imported into Britain and northern Europe.

This is 16th century chafing dish made from Saintonge ware pottery.  It was excavated on Grimsby Lane, Hull.

During the Middle Ages many areas of France exported pottery to Britain.  Some of this pottery came from the Saintonge area of south-west France.

Pottery from Saintonge was made from a fine clay.  The clay also had a low iron content which meant that it produced pots with a cream colour. The trade in pottery from the Saintonge area to Britain began in the 13th century (1200s) and lasted for 500 years. At the start of this period the English ruled neighbouring Gascony.

Saintonge ware has a hard, smooth, cream coloured fabric with a bright green speckled glaze on the exterior.


Anglo-Saxon Pendant, AD 600-700

This gold pendant must have been a special piece of jewellery. It was buried with a rich woman over 1300 years ago. She was buried at Garton in East Yorkshire with many other fancy items. The red stone in the middle of this brooch is a garnet. The fine gold work is called filigree.

The Anglo-Saxons were master craftsmen. They were very skilled at metalwork and other crafts such as pottery, glass and decorative books.

This pendant was found in the grave of an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman at Green Lane Crossing at Garton, East Yorkshire. The fine gold filigree work on this brooch is a great example of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship and detail.

The Anglo-Saxons were immigrants to Britain and many people have speculated about why they came here. They may have been refugees from barbarian tribes in the East or forced by climatic change and rising sea levels. Many people think they came as mercenaries paid to keep out other invaders after the Romans had left.

Germanic tribes had provided soldiers for Rome before. British rulers turned to these tribes for help. They were the Saxons, Angles and Jutes. These came from modern day Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.

Britain became divided into separate kingdoms. Yorkshire’s Anglo-Saxon kingdoms were Bernicia, Deira and Elmet. The end of Roman rule had left a power vacuum which the Anglo-Saxons filled. Their influence on culture and language is still around today. Our country is called England, because it was the land of the Angles.

Two of the best known examples of Anglo-Saxon craftsmanship are the Sutton Hoo burial treasures and the Lindisfarne Gospels. The Sutton Hoo treasures were discovered in a burial in Suffolk. They are now a highlight of the British Museum’s collection. The Lindisfarne Gospels are originally from Northumberland and are now in the British Library.


Alabaster carving of Christ, made in Nottingham or York, c.1450

This carving tells the dramatic story of Christ’s Resurrection. It was made for a church and helped to tell the story to people who couldn’t read.

Christ had been killed on the cross but later came back from the dead. He strides out of his tomb, dazzling the sleeping soldiers guarding the tomb. The soldiers’ faces and dramatic poses and gestures make the scene emotional. It is rare to see faces so full of character in a carving like this.

The subject for this carving is taken from St Matthew’s account of the Resurrection of Christ in the Bible. Because Christ had been predicted to rise from the dead, Pilate asked soldiers to guard the tomb. He was afraid that Christ’s followers would try to remove the body and falsely claim a Resurrection. According to St Matthew, Jesus opened his own tomb:

‘His countenance was like lightning and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake and become as dead men.’

This plaque was made as a retable, a decorated panel at the back of an altar. Religious images conveyed Christian messages at a time when few people could read.

Alabaster is a soft material derived from gypsum that is easy to carve and polish. It was used for religious carvings partly because it is associated with Christian themes. In the Bible, the vessels that held Christ’s mourners’ tears were made of alabaster.

Alabaster for sculptures came from quarries in Nottinghamshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Most medieval alabaster carving is found in Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire churches.

English alabaster was famous throughout Europe and was traded all over the continent. Many pieces passed through the bustling medieval port of Hull. This piece eventually found its way to France. It was included as part of an altarpiece in the chapel of the chateau at Breuil-Benoit.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the National Art Collections Fund and Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery.


Decorated whale's tooth (scrimshaw) by Frederick Myrick, USA, 1829

This whale tooth displays a curious poem that sums up the whaler’s approach to life:

“Death to the Living, Long Life to the killers,
Success to Sailors' Wives & Greasy Luck to the Whalers”.

This tooth is one of a famous series. They are by Frederick Myrick and show the Nantucket whale ship the Susan. There are at least seven known Susan teeth. Five of these are in Nantucket in the US.

The Susan was built in 1826 and was lost in the Arctic in 1853. This tooth depicts the Susan off the coast of Japan. Frederick Swain was the Master of the Susan.

One side of the tooth depicts a whaling ship hoisting blubber, with two whaleboats on the horizon. On other side of the tooth is a profile of a whaling ship with smoke. Three whaleboats are on horizon, whale profile, spouts and tail.

Scrimshaw is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone or teeth. A lot of scrimshaw is from the US, especially pieces made from the teeth of Sperm Whales.

This tooth is part of a collection that formerly belonged to Kathleen Eleanor Tizard. The collection was donated to Hull Museums by K.E.Tizard’s son in November 1999.

There are several inscriptions on this tooth. They are:

“Susan on the coast of Japan”.
“Death to the Living, Long Life to the killers, Success to Sailors' Wives & Greasy Luck to the Whalers”.
“E PLURIBUS UNUM”.
“Engraved by Frederick Myrick on board the ship Susan Ja.27 1829.”
“The Susan boiling and killing sperm whales”.
“The Ship Susan of Nantucket Frederick Swain Master”.


Hull's Great Mace, made in London, 1776

The Great Mace is a symbol of the Lord Mayor’s power. It is carried in front of Hull's Lord Mayor on important occasions. The Mace is also placed across the front of the Lord Mayor during council meetings.

The Great Mace is silver gilt which means it is gold-plated silver. The civic mace in England was originally a war mace. Smaller examples were once used as weapons and to show who was in charge.

The mace is carried as a symbol of deputed royal authority. This is why many carry the Royal Arms. The Royal Arms on this mace are those of the House of Hanover, 1714-1801. These Royal Arms were often placed at the handle of the mace. Through time, as maces have grown in size and decoration, these Royal Arms have become more elaborate. Because of this the mace can often look like it is being carried upside down.

This is not the first mace that Hull has had and many existed at much earlier dates. For example, the Chamberlian’s Roll for 1427-28 mentions four sergeants-at-mace.

This Great Mace of Hull originates from an order of the Bench of 10th September, 1776. This stated that a “large new mace” be bought under the direction of ‘Mr Mayor’. The bill shows that it was bought through silversmith Stephen Bramston of Kingston upon Hull, at a cost of £76 14s.0d. Payment was received by Bramston on 9th April 1777.

Stephen Bramston (1720-1783) was both Chamberlain (1758) and Sheriff (1770). He was made free in 1753 by patrimony to silversmith Hawse Bramston.


Anti-slavery needlework panel, c.1836

The dramatic picture of an African in chains dominates this piece of needlework. The poem on the panel describes the slave ships that carried kidnapped Africans across the Atlantic in terrible conditions. It calls them ‘dark floating dungeons’.

The panel would have been made by a lady who wanted to end slavery. Many people fought to abolish slavery worldwide in the 1700s and 1800s.

The transatlantic slave trade was abolished by the British Parliament in 1807. Slavery itself was officially abolished throughout the British colonies in 1833, but it continued to be legal in other countries. The USA didn’t abolish slavery until 1865. This was why Abolitionists continued to fight for the freedom of slaves well into the 1800s.

The image of the kneeling slave in chains shown on this panel has a long history. It was used by the Quakers and the early Abolitionist movement as its emblem in the 1700s. The kneeling slave emblem showed the enslaved African as passive to provoke sympathy from white Europeans. This was not a true reflection of all enslaved Africans. Many actively fought against their own enslavement.

The kneeling slave design was reproduced on a variety of goods, including snuff boxes, bracelets and hairpins. People bought these goods to show their support for the Abolitionist cause.

Thomas Clarkson, a leading slavery Abolitionist, wrote about the kneeling slave emblem:

‘Some had them inlaid in gold on the lid of their snuff-boxes. Of the ladies, several wore them in bracelets, and others had them fitted up in an ornamental manner as pins for their hair.’

This needlework panel was originally used as the cushion of a chair. It shows that the kneeling slave continued to be a well known emblem for the anti-slavery movement in the 1800s.

Purchased by Hull Museums with the assistance of the MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Anti-slavery medallion by Wedgwood, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1790-1799

Over 200,000 medallions like this were made to campaign against the slave trade in the 1700s. The medallion shows a kneeling African in chains. He is asking, ‘Am I not a man and a brother’?

Europeans who supported the slave trade treated Africans as goods to be bought and sold. ‘Am I not a man and a brother?’ reminded British people that Africans should be treated as human beings. The logo was an early and very successful brand for a political campaign.

Slavery abolitionists used the image of a kneeling slave as their emblem in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is based on an anti-slavery design created at Josiah Wedgwood’s pottery factory in 1787. William Hackwood, a worker at the factory, modelled the design.

The kneeling slave image was first used on medallions like this one. The design also appeared on ceramics, hairpins and jewellery. Fob signets with the kneeling slave design were used to seal letters in wax. Clay pipes and tobacco boxes were made to remind people that the tobacco they smoked was grown by slaves. The public showed their support for the campaign to abolish the slave trade by buying these items.

This slave design has been criticised because it shows Africans as passive people pleading for their freedom. In reality, many Africans fought against their own enslavement.

The design is more revealing about how white European anti-slavery campaigners saw themselves. However, the logo was extremely successful and provoked sympathy from those it was aimed at; the British public and Parliament. It became a very important brand for the anti-slavery campaign.

People across the country also supported the campaign by signing anti-slavery petitions. These were handed to Parliament. 100 petitions were produced in 1788, increasing to 519 in 1792. Some contained over 20 000 signatures. The British slave trade was abolished in 1807.


Evening dress, c.1805-1810

This dress is a beautiful example of late Georgian fashion. Its luxurious fabric and heavily embroidered bodice and sleeves are typical of fashions from 1805-1810.

The Late Georgian period lasted from 1760-1811, when George III ruled Britain. After the heavy fabrics and tight-waisted dresses of the earlier Georgian period, fashions changed. Dresses from the late 1700s and early 1800s used light, soft fabrics. Waistlines rose from a tightly corseted waistline to this high waisted style, called ‘Empire Line’.

No information remains about the owner of this dress, but it would have been worn for a special occasion. Perhaps it was made for a dance, an elegant dinner, or a high society social event.

If the dress was worn locally, it may have graced one of the fine buildings that survives in Hull today. The home of one of Hull’s rich merchants would have been an appropriate venue. Merchant houses surviving in Hull’s High Street include Maister House and Blaydes House.

The dress is of such high quality that it was probably professionally made. There were no makers’ labels attached to dresses at this time, so it is impossible to say who made it. For those making a dress in Hull, there were many shops and warehouses selling fabrics. These included Rudston and Amery, who advertised themselves as ‘linen drapers, haberdashers and importers of Irish linen’.


Glass goblet, 1800

The horses on this goblet are galloping towards a roadside inn, pulling a coach full of passengers. The coachman is whipping the horses, making them go faster.

The words cut into the glass tell us that it shows the coaching route between York and Hull. Before railways were built in the mid-1800s horse drawn coaches carried passengers all over Britain. They were the quickest way to get around.

Before railways were built, a national network of horse drawn coaches linked towns and cities. Hull’s only direct coach service was to York – the service shown on this goblet. Coaches from York travelled towards Newcastle, Sunderland, Whitby, Scarborough and London.

A shorter way of getting from Hull to London was to take the ferry across the River Humber to Barton. Coaches for London were timetabled to meet passengers arriving from Hull by ferry.

There were two main coach networks: stage coaches and mail coaches. Stage coaches were introduced to meet the travel needs of the middle classes. They were aimed at people who couldn’t afford their own coaches.

Stage coaches travelled between roadside inns which functioned 24 hours a day. The inns were often owned by coach proprietors. Mail coaches carried post between inns and also took passengers. They offered the fastest and safest means of transport.

Coaches may have been the most efficient means of transport before railways but they certainly weren’t the most comfortable. Vibrations from the road made coach travel a painful experience. As the engraving on this goblet shows, drivers put speed before the comfort of the passengers.

Passengers were carried inside and outside the coach with outside being cheaper. Outsiders usually travelled on the coach roof. There were no seats at first so passengers were given handles to hold on to. These weren’t much use and passengers were sometimes thrown off the coach as it lurched along the road.


William Wilberforce's coat, c.1780-1800

This jacket is made of gold and mauve woven silk. It belonged to Hull’s William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was a Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. He was the leader of the campaign against the slave trade in Parliament.

The jacket is part of Wilberforce’s court dress, the costume he would have worn to visit the King’s court. Court dress was more luxurious than everyday wear. The jacket would have been worn with knee length trousers, white stockings, buckled shoes and a waistcoat.

William Wilberforce was born at 25 High Street, Hull, in 1759. 25 High Street is now Wilberforce House Museum, part of Hull Museums. Wilberforce’s family came from Wilberfoss near York, which was the original spelling of the family name.

In 1776 Wilberforce left Hull to study Classics at St John’s College, Cambridge. He wasn’t a model student, as he preferred entertaining and playing cards. All this changed after he left University and became interested in politics and religion.

At the age of just 21, Wilberforce was elected as MP for Hull. At the next election in 1784 he was elected as an MP for Yorkshire, one of England’s most powerful counties.

Soon after 1784 Wilberforce became an Evangelical Christian. He became convinced that religion should be carried into every area of life. Through his religious beliefs Wilberforce became involved in the growing movement to abolish the slave trade. After Parliament passed the Abolition of the Slave Trade Bill in 1807, he campaigned against slavery itself.

Wilberforce had many other interests apart from slavery. He wanted to improve morals and tackle the causes of poverty. He worked for prison reform and was interested in charity schools and improving the lives of poor children. He tried to end the sport of bull baiting and wanted to introduce compulsory smallpox vaccinations. He was involved with founding the National Gallery in London, and the RSPCA.


Flint blade, East Yorkshire, c.3000BC

This stone blade was never meant to be used. It was made over 5000 years ago to be special and look impressive. It is so finely crafted and thin that it would have broken if used normally.

This may have been a special object used in ceremonies. It was buried with someone in East Yorkshire to show how important they were. This blade shows how people have always wanted to make special objects.

This is a ceremonial flint, also known as a ‘plano convex knife’.

5000-4500 years ago there were changes in the way people treated some of their dead. People of Yorkshire began burying their dead with objects which showed the status of the person in the community. This reflected the power of individuals to control communities and establish traditions.

The ‘important’ dead were mostly buried individually in shafts and pits. The grass was then covered by round barrows.

In 1890 a barrow known as Duggelby Hove was excavated by J.R.Mortimer. It contained three adults with rich objects, buried in a deep pit cut into the hard chalk. This blade is one of these objects.

John Robert Mortimer (1825-1911) was a East Yorkshire corn merchant. He became one of the most successful and highly-regarded archaeologists in England. Mortimer collected a broad range of prehistoric artefacts found on the Yorkshire Wolds. These were mainly discovered by farm workers. He taught them to recognise ancient artefacts and rewarded them for their discoveries.

From the 1860s Mortimer became involved in the excavation of ancient burial mounds. He excavated 360 of them with the assistance of his brother, Robert. The finds from these barrows formed the basis of a private museum opened by him in Driffield.

Following his death, the collection was purchased by Hull Corporation. Many of its treasures can today be seen in the galleries of the Hull & East Riding Museum.


Bronze Age beaker, East Yorkshire, c.2000BC

Some of the decoration on this pot was made with fingernail marks. If you look carefully you can see the marks someone made over 4000 years ago. It shows us that people have always liked to decorate special objects.

This pottery beaker would have been filled with a drink called mead. It was buried with an important person’s body. The drink was to help them in the after-life, the place they went to when they died.

This beaker is from an excavation by J.R.Mortimer at Garton Slack, in East Yorkshire.

In North West Europe the custom of placing pots in graves became popular in the Neolithic period. 4500 years ago you might have been buried with a beaker of mead like this. These beakers are from a period between the stone age and the bronze age. The people of this period are sometimes nicknamed the “beaker people” as we know little else about them.

However, 4000 years ago you might have been buried with a food vessel with porridge or ale. Around 3500 years ago you would have been cremated and put in the pot yourself.

Some graves were deliberately dug in older barrows, linking them to their past and ancestors. The process was to say ‘farewell’ and to prepare the body for the afterlife. Death was seen as a stage in a journey, not the end.

John Robert Mortimer (1825-1911) was a East Yorkshire corn merchant. He became one of the most highly-regarded archaeologists in England. Following his death, the collection was purchased by Hull Corporation. Many of its treasures can today be seen in the galleries of the Hull & East Riding Museum.


Jet necklace and button, East Yorkshire, c.2500-500BC

This necklace and button are made out of jet. Jet was thought to contain magic. If you rub jet it can pick up fluff and sawdust. We now know this is because of static electricity but it must have seemed pretty weird 3000 years ago.

Jet was thought to attract good fortune because of its magic. It was highly valued. This necklace must have belonged to a well-off lady. The button was found in a man’s grave, placed under the skull.

Jet items were traded all over North Western Europe. East Yorkshire was the centre for jet working. This was due to the major supply at geological outcrops near Whitby.

Jet buttons were skilfully shaped and drilled with a V-shaped hole. They were worn as decoration and to fasten clothing. They are usually found in men’s graves. The jet discs are sometimes placed ritually behind the skull.

The jet necklace is from Middleton-on-the-Wolds in East Yorkshire. It is restrung with modern wooden spacer beads and dates from the Bronze Age, 2500-600 BC.

Jet is a semi-precious stone which when polished becomes a deep opaque black. This rich black colour never fades. It comes from a rare and hard from of fossilised wood. The wood came from a type of monkey puzzle tree.


Celtic sword scabbard plate

A sword would have been a treasured item to a Celtic man. This decorative plate shows how highly they were thought of as it would have been very expensive. It covered the scabbard which held the sword when it wasn’t being used.

The fine detail on this shows the level of skill native Britains had in iron working. This decoration is similar to Celtic art discovered in Switzerland. This scabbard plate was excavated in Sutton on Trent in Nottinghamshire.

This sword scabbard is an example of high Iron Age craftsmanship. The scabbard plate has panels of incised ‘laddering’, which is similar to examples found in Switzerland. It may date from the 2nd century BC.

The Iron Age dates from 600 BC - 50 AD. This was a time when native Britons began working in iron. Celtic society was made up of warring tribes who didn’t see themselves as one distinct people. The term ‘Celtic’ would have been meaningless to people at the time.

The Druids were very important to the native Britons and may have had more power than kings. They were a kind of elite-class of priests, political advisors, teachers and healers.

Iron Age warriors would cut off the heads of their enemies in battle and display them as trophies. They mounted heads in doorposts and hung them from their belts. To them, the seat of spiritual power was the head. By taking the head of an enemy warrior they took that power for themselves.

The Humber is a Celtic river name meaning 'good- well'.


Egyptian amphora, c.2500BC

This amphora was once used for storing liquids. There are straw marks on its outside from when it was made. They were made with pointed bases and stored by standing them in sand.

The first pots were made by smoothing layers of clay together. Potters learned to make this process easier by using a wheel. This Egyptian amphora was made on a potter’s wheel. This involves throwing clay onto a spinning wheel and shaping it with your hands.

This amphora is a reddish colour that is very common on Egyptian pottery. This is because of the reddish clay found near the River Nile. Many Egyptian pots that have survived were placed in graves, containing foods as offerings for the after-life.

When a coil pot is made up by hand it is impossible to make it perfectly round. The solution to this problem was the potter's wheel. It is a crucial invention in the history of ceramics. The potter’s wheel probably developed gradually from a platform on which the potter turns the pot before shaping another side.

The potter’s wheel is thought to have been invented at the same time as the normal wheel. This was 5000 years ago in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Egyptians then used this technique for thousands of years.

The technique was at first just a faster method of coiling. Village potters still use this method in some parts of the world. The earliest turntables were probably not very free-turning. Improvements increased the speed and power of the wheel. Eventually it become possible for a potter's wheel to be used for "throwing" a pot.


Penannular ring, East Yorkshire, c.1150-750BC

This is a ring from Thwing in East Yorkshire. It is about 2500 years old. Archaeologists call it a penannular ring. It may have been used as an ear-ring, a nose-ring or as a hair ornament.

If you look closely you can see two types of gold on it. This shows how much skill and effort went into decorating items, even as long ago as this. Somebody must have been quite annoyed when they lost it.

This gold penannular ring from East Yorkshire was discovered by a metal detector and declared Treasure in 2003.

The ring appears to be made from striped yellow and pale gold. Analysis has revealed that this gold was applied over a base metal core with great skill. This dates from the late Bronze Age, 1150-750 BC. It is 1.8cm wide.

The purchase of this by Hull Museums was made possible with contributions from the National Art Collections Fund in 2003.


Egyptian votive textile, c.1500BC

This textile was painted by an Egyptian around 3500 years ago. It shows the goddess Hathor as a sacred cow with a sun disc. She is being worshipped by a priest. Hathor could also appear as a woman with cow horns.

Hathor was also known as "the Great One of Many Names". She had power over anything to do with women. This piece of material was probably placed on an altar as an offering by a woman.

This painted textile entered Hull's museums from the collections of Mr. Robert de Rustafjaell in 1911. He was a British-American collector and author. Robert was born in Birmingham and later lived in Egypt as a geologist and mining engineer. He emigrated to America after World War I and changed his name to Colonel Prince Roman Orbeliani.

This textile is from a temple of Montuhotep II, at Deir el-Bahari, on the west bank of Thebes. Rustafiaell probably bought it with similar votive linens in Luxor in 1906 from locals who had found them at Deir el-Bahari.

This Egyptian textile shows the sacred cow of Hathor. Hathor mostly appears as a cow with beautifully painted eyes. Her sacred colour is turquoise. When she appears as a woman she often has a pair of elegant cow horns. Hathor has many titles and was important in every area of life for the ancient Egyptians.

She was known as "Lady of Stars" and "Sovereign of Stars". As "the Mother of Mothers" she was the goddess of women, fertility, children and childbirth. She had power over anything having to do with women. This included problems with childbirth through to health and beauty matters. She was worshipped by both male and female priests. More festivals were dedicated to her and more children named after her than any other Egyptian god or goddess.


The Grimston Sword, c.600BC - 50AD

Over 2000 years ago an important man died and was buried at North Grimston in East Yorkshire. He was buried with two swords, a shield and a joint of pork. The pork was to feed him in the after life.

The grave was discovered accidentally by a labourer called Binge in 1902. This sword is important because it shows how skilled Iron Age craftsmen were. It also gives us an idea of what an Iron Age man looked like.

This sword is an example of Iron Age craftsmanship. The hilt of the sword is in the shape of a human head. It is one of few objects in the East Riding that reveal what Iron Age man looked like. Judging by his grave goods, the dead man was highly regarded.

The swords suggest the grave was for a man of importance. The second sword is longer but unfortunately the decorative handle has not survived. Similar swords to this have been discovered in Ireland and France.

The North Grimston grave was discovered on land belong to Lord Middleton. One of his labourers called Binge found it while planting posts. He initially came upon human bones and portions of a jet ring.

The Iron Age dates from 600 BC - 50 AD. This was a time when native Britons began working in iron. Celtic society was made up of warring tribes who didn’t see themselves as one distinct people. The term ‘Celtic’ would have been meaningless to people at the time.

Iron Age warriors would cut off the heads of their enemies in battle and display them as trophies. They mounted heads in doorposts and hung them from their belts. To them the seat of spiritual power was the head. By taking the head of an enemy warrior, they took that power for themselves. 


Brooch, made in Roman Britain

This salmon shaped brooch was found near Hull at South Ferriby. Roman women wore a lot of jewellery. Their clothes changed very little so they relied on jewellery and hairstyles to look different from other women. The richer you were, the more fancy jewellery you wore.

The most common kind of Roman jewellery was the brooch. They were popular because their clothes weren’t sewn and had to be pinned together with decorative clothes pins.

Other brooches like this have been found in the Humber and Lincolnshire region. Costume in Roman Britain showed a mixture of Roman and Celtic tastes. Woman of all social classes wore jewellery and brightly coloured items were especially popular.

The famous Roman writer Livy wrote in 195 BC that, “elegance, finery, and beautiful clothes are women's badges, in these they find joy and take pride”.

He was referring to arguments against the Oppian Law. The Oppian Law was a wartime measure which restricted the finery that Roman women could wear. It caused the first recorded demonstration by women. Aristocratic Roman women took to the streets in 195 BC to call for an end to the law. They were successful and the law was repealed.

Fashionable upper-class women wore large amounts of jewellery. Necklaces and bracelets were made out of brightly coloured glass, polished stones and precious metals. Gold bracelets in the form of coiling snakes were popular. Roman women also wore ear-rings and friendship rings.

Functional clothes pins were also worn as jewellery, such as this brooch. Decorated hair-pins were also popular. Roman women had mirrors made of highly polished metal so they could check that all of these additions looked good.


Roman 'leech' brooch, made in Italy

This is called a leech brooch because its shape is like a bloodsucking leech. Roman women wore a lot of jewellery. Their clothes changed very little so they relied on jewellery and hairstyles to look different from other women. The richer you were the more fancy jewellery you wore.

The most common kind of Roman jewellery was the brooch. They were popular because their clothes weren’t sewn and had to be pinned together with decorative clothes pins.

The famous Roman writer Livy wrote in 195 BC that, “elegance, finery, and beautiful clothes are women's badges, in these they find joy and take pride”.

He was referring to arguments against the Oppian Law. The Oppian Law was a wartime measure which restricted the finery that Roman women could wear. It caused the first recorded demonstration by women. Aristocratic Roman women took to the streets in 195 BC to call for an end to the law. They were successful and the law was repealed.

Fashionable upper-class women wore large amounts of jewellery. Necklaces and bracelets were made out of brightly coloured glass, polished stones and precious metals. Gold bracelets in the form of coiling snakes were popular. Roman women also wore ear-rings and friendship rings.

Functional clothes pins were also worn as jewellery, such as this brooch. Decorated hair-pins were also popular. Roman women had mirrors made of highly polished metal so they could check that all of these additions looked good.


Roman mosaic, Rudston, East Yorkshire, c.300-400 AD

The figure in the middle of this mosaic is the winner of a chariot race. He can be seen in his chariot pulled by four horses. We can tell he won because he is holding his winner’s crown.

Wealthy Romans decora6ted their floors with mosaics. These were made of cubes of stone called tesserae. This mosaic shows people and animals but some were just patterns. This mosaic is from a house in Rudston, East Yorkshire.

The central panel of this mosaic depicts a victorious charioteer. He is standing in his quadriga (four horse chariot) holding his symbols of victory. These are a palm tree frond and a wreath, the winner’s crown. There is a grey hat on his head which was a crude type of crash helmet. The red colour of his tunic shows him as a charioteer of the russata factio, the ‘red team’.

The charioteer is surrounded by four circles and four rectangles. In each circle was a portrait of a woman’s head. These represented the four seasons. The portrait representing Spring is to the top right of the charioteer. This image of ‘Spring’ is known as a particularly high quality piece of mosaic work. The image of ‘Winter’ is missing and would probably have worn a hooded cloak.

The Roman displays at Hull contain mosaics from villas to the north and south of the Humber. These mosaics are of a high quality and illustrate what a wealthy villa owner might aspire to. They are reckoned to form the best single collection of Roman mosaics in northern Britain.


Roman gold earrings, c.100-400 AD

Roman women wore a lot of jewellery. Their clothes changed very little so they relied on jewellery and hairstyles to look different from other women. The richer you were the more fancy jewellery you wore. Brooches, necklaces and bracelets were all popular as well as ear-rings like these.

These solid gold ear rings were all found to the east of York. The Romans started the city of York making it a major settlement. They called it Eboracum.

These gold ear-rings were found at Sutton-on-Derwent and Barmby Moor, near Pocklington to the east of York. They date from between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. One has a green glass stone and another fine, granular decoration. The third is a simple hoop style. They were bought by Hull Museums with money from the donation boxes.

Roman woman of all social classes wore jewellery and brightly coloured items were especially popular.

The famous Roman writer Livy wrote in 195 BC that: “[…] elegance, finery, and beautiful clothes are women's badges, in these they find joy and take pride”.

He was referring to arguments against the Oppian Law. The Oppian Law was a wartime measure which restricted the finery that Roman women could wear. It caused the first recorded demonstration by women. Aristocratic Roman women took to the streets in 195 BC to call for an end to the law. They were successful and the law was repealed.

Fashionable upper-class women wore large amounts of jewellery, including ear-rings and friendship rings. Gold bracelets in the form of coiling snakes were popular.


Roman wall plaster, Brantingham, Yorkshire, c.300-400 AD

This wall decoration has been reconstructed from many pieces of broken plaster. It is a rare example of Roman painted wall plaster. The picture of the woman is probably meant to be a goddess or a member of the Roman Imperial family.

This wall plaster would have decorated a Roman villa and had to be painted straight onto the wall. As well as looking nice, it showed off how rich the owners were.

This Roman wall plaster is from a Roman villa at Brantingham, Yorkshire. It was found in two large pieces and two further groups of smaller pieces. As part of reconstruction missing areas have been repainted.

Despite looking quite modern, the style of the woman and painting dates from the fourth century AD. The figure is also set within a medallion or circle. This was commonly used by Roman craftsmen in paintings, mosaics and sculpture. Plainer architectural motifs without people were more common in plaster paintings. This shows how the owners of this villa aspired to be upper class. Along with the mosaic in their villa, it must have been quite imposing.

The production of plaster in Roman Britain included the use of lime and a fine aggregate like sand. Artists painting plaster mostly used the fresco technique. This involves painting onto the plaster while it is still damp which helps the image to survive better. Another technique called tempera was also used sometimes. This involves using pigment with an organic binding medium, which helps the paint to stick to the plaster.

Pigments could come from a variety of sources. Black could come from charcoal or lamp black. White came from white lime and red from oxides of iron. The woad plant provided blue. Purple was one of the most expensive colours, coming from the Murex species of shellfish. As purple was so expensive and special, only the Roman Emperor was allowed to wear it.


Suede shoe, c.1640-1650

The shape of this shoe’s heel is unusual. The flat leather sole underneath the high heel was probably designed to raise the shoe further off the ground. This served a useful purpose, protecting the delicate suede from the mud and dirt of the streets.

Shoes with high heels were first worn by rich nobles in France in the 1500s. The fashion gradually spread among royalty and rich people throughout Europe. High heels were worn by both men and women.

No one knows exactly who invented high heels or why. Shoes that were raised above the ground were worn in ancient times, but they were probably a kind of platform. Early platform shoes were very difficult to get around on. Eventually someone discovered that by making the heel higher than the toe you gained height while still being able to walk.

For many centuries only the nobility wore high heeled shoes. High heels were completely unsuitable for farm work and manual labour. They were also very expensive as they were made of richly decorated leather, satin or velvet. It wasn’t until the 1700s that high heeled shoes were widely worn by the middle classes. Even then, they had lower heels than the shoes worn by the nobility.

Poorer people continued to wear plain, flat shoes. The design of these shoes had changed very little since the early Middle Ages. The shoes covered the whole foot up to the ankle. They slipped easily on and off, and fastened with a flap at one side secured by ties or a toggle. Working people also wore slip-on wooden clogs. Clogs were cheap, hardwearing, and kept the feet warm and dry when working on wet or frozen ground.


Statuette of King Charles II, c.1660

Charles II was king during the Great Fire of London, the Great Plague and the Restoration period. This period saw an increase in craftsmanship and displays of wealth.

Before the English Civil War Charles II’s father was turned away from Hull’s city walls. This was King Charles I who was executed after the civil war. His son Charles II eventually became king in 1660. This statuette might have been a reminder that the royal family was back in charge.

This is a painted terracotta sculpture of King Charles II. Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 following the period of the Commonwealth and Oliver Cromwell. This statuette may have been a model for a much larger statue. It is contemporary with the Restoration period but how it came to Hull is unclear.

The statuette may have been a reminder to Hull about where its future loyalties should lie. However, it may also have been bought by a local Royalist keen to disassociate himself from his city’s recent past.

In 1642 Charles I had tried to enter Hull and was refused entry by Sir John Hotham, acting on Parliament’s orders. Charles I was trying to get at a large munitions store which would help in the looming Civil War. After a day of negotiations he denounced Hotham as a traitor and left. Following this public defiance to the King, the next reigning monarch to visit Hull was Queen Victoria in 1854.


Sergeant's silver mace, 1651

This mace holds an important secret. On its end are the Royal Arms of King Charles I. This end comes off and on the other side are the Commonwealth Arms representing Oliver Cromwell. These were opposite sides in the English Civil War.

The mace was made when Cromwell was in charge of England. When King Charles’ son, Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 the end was turned over. This was re-engraved with the King’s Arms to avoid any trouble.

In 1642 Charles I tried to enter Hull a6nd was refused entry. He was trying to get at a large munitions store which would help in the looming Civil War. When Charles II was restored to the throne in 1660 it would be important for Hull’s welfare to show its support. Especially having previously defied his father.

To have an official mace bearing the arms of the Commonwealth would have been a serious mistake. Rather than replacing it on this mace, the expensive silver was simply turned over and engraved with the Stuart Arms. Perhaps this hid someone’s true feelings as well?

This mace was a badge of rank for Sergeants-at-Mace. Some were used as weapons as well. There were Sergeants-at-Mace in Hull as early as 1440. The duties of the Sergeant-at-Mace may have changed from time to time. Elizabeth I in one charter in 1598 includes a provision for Sergeant’s-at-Mace. This is repeated in later charters, that the Mayor and Burgesses “shall and may” appoint Sergeants-at-Mace as they find necessary.


Snuff box, 1665

This is a snuff box made of wood and horn. An inscription reads, 'EITHER LOVE MEE OR LUV MEE NOT'.

This has changed from its original inscription which would have been, “If you love mee lend mee not”. Perhaps the person who restored it had other things on his mind than just losing his snuff box.

Snuff is powdered tobacco. People kept it in small boxes and sniffed it in pinches or off their thumbs.

This item was purchased in 1915 with a V&A Purchase grant.

Nasal snuff is finely ground, flavored tobacco. On his second voyage to America Christopher Columbus saw native Taino-Indians sniffing tobacco. In later years an Italian monk is believed to have introduced this to Europe.

In the 16th century taking snuff tobacco became very popular in the French royal court. This was mostly for medicinal qualities but it soon became a simple and pleasurable habit. It became fashionable amongst royalty and aristocracy throughout Europe.

During the 17th century snuff taking became more popular in Europe. Snuff became increasingly popular in England after Charles II introduced it in 1660.

Despite its popularity with some, others were strongly against snuff and tobacco. In the 17th century Tsar Michael I of Russia ordered that snuff takers should have their noses cut off. Smokers were to have their lips slit and be whipped for the first offence and executed for the second. During this period Pope Urban XIII ordered that anyone found guilty of taking snuff in church should be excommunicated.


Wine bottle, 1670-1680

This bottle once held wine. Glass containers only began to be used for wine at the start of the 1600s. Before that wine was stored in wooden barrels and customers collected wine to take away in leather or pottery jugs.

This is a ‘sealed bottle’ because it has a circular seal on its side containing its owner’s initials, WH. Wealthy men liked to collect wines in specially made bottles marked with their name or initials.

This bottle’s seal was made by applying a small globule of molten glass during manufacture. The globule was then stamped with a metal seal. Seals might bear the owner’s name, initials or crest, the name of a town or village, or the date.

Seals were first used on bottles by wealthy men in the mid-1600s. They had their wine bottles refilled at local taverns, so seals allowed them to keep their own bottles. Eventually inns, wine merchants, distillers and shipping agents had their own seals for bottles too.

The shape of wine bottles has evolved over time, from the ‘shaft and globe’ type to the straight-sided cylindrical bottles we use. This is a very early example of an ‘onion type’ bottle. It is called an onion type because of its onion-shaped body. The first onion bottles appeared around 1670.

The ‘shaft and globe’ bottle first appeared around 1630. It had a very long neck, which made it unstable. Over time the neck became shorter and the body widened to an onion shape, like this one. Onion bottles reached their widest around 1715. From the onion type, bottles developed into a ‘mallet shape’ with a squarer body. From then on, wine bottles became taller and thinner with each decade.

The glass that onion bottles are made from is often called ‘black glass’ because it is so dark. In fact, onion bottles are made from dark greenish-brown glass. This bottle’s true colour can be seen when it’s held up to the light.


Wedding dress by Madame Clapham, Hull, 1892

The wife of Sir Arthur Atkinson of Hull wore this dress at the couple’s wedding in 1892. It is decorated with bunches of fake orange blossom made from wax at the neck and hem.

Madame Clapham made this dress. She was Hull’s most famous dressmaker. Madame Clapham’s workers were superstitious. When they made a skirt for a wedding dress they would sew a strand of their hair into the hem. They believed this would bring good luck to the bride.

Rich and fashionable ladies had dresses for special occasions made at Madame Clapham’s salon. Madame Clapham received many wedding orders. She often created dresses for the bride and bridesmaids, as well as some of the guests.

Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was regarded as Hull’s finest dressmaker. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies. Madame Clapham ran the salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967.

Madame Clapham was an imposing figure, always dressed immaculately in black or navy. Her floor length dresses with trains, which she wore long after they were fashionable, rustled as she moved around the salon. She left behind the perfume of lavender that she wore.

Emily Clapham had piercing blue eyes, rosy cheeks and long blonde hair piled elaborately on top of her head. She was polite but firm with her clients, and ran a very strict regime in her workrooms. Her highly trained staff produced the fine needlework that earned Madame Clapham her reputation as a dressmaker.


Bust of an enslaved African by W.T. Copeland, Staffordshire, after 1847

This sculpture of an enslaved African was made at least 14 years after slavery was abolished in Britain and its colonies. It was probably made for the American market during their Civil War.

The American Civil War was partly based on the issue of slavery. At the end of the American Civil War in 1865, slavery was finally abolished in the US. This bust shows how English businesses made the most of foreign customers and political issues.

This sculpture is made from Parian. Parian is a white, unglazed pottery that looks similar to marble. Pottery manufacturers Copeland & Garrett introduced Parian at their Staffordshire factory in the early 1840s. Figures made from Parian soon became very popular.

Copeland and Garrett’s partnership ended in 1847, and production was continued by W.T. Copeland. The name Copeland soon became synonymous with Parian pottery.

Hundreds of thousands of Parian pottery figures and groups were made by Copeland and other manufacturers. They wanted to share the success that Parian had brought Copeland. Genuine Copeland Parian figures like this one can be identified by the name ‘COPELAND’ stamped on them.

Slavery was officially abolished in Britain and the British colonies in 1833, but it remained legal elsewhere. The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society was set up in 1839 to encourage other countries to abolish slavery. The society asked for a ban on slave-made products and held the first world Anti-Slavery Convention in London in 1840.

Many British people showed their support for the abolition of slavery by buying decorative objects with an anti-slavery message. Displaying objects like this sculpture would have been a visible way to show how you felt about slavery.

The American President made an Emancipation Proclamation against slavery in 1863. In 1865 slavery was abolished in the United States. In many other parts of the world slavery continued and still does today in many forms.


Tile by Minton Hollins & Co, Staffordshire, c.1880

This symmetrical tile showing a pair of white doves was made when Queen Victoria was Queen of England. Many Victorian designers adapted decoration they found in old medieval buildings, especially religious buildings like churches. This Victorian style is called ‘Gothic Revival’.

Pictures of doves were popular in Christian places of worship as they stood for peace and God’s Holy Spirit. Some medieval tiles were made with doves on them. Perhaps a medieval tile inspired this one?

A medieval tile decorated with two symmetrical doves was found at Meaux Abbey, near Hull. Other tiles with doves have been found in other areas of the country. In the Victorian period, designers working for tile companies looked at medieval designs and made new tiles based on them. The tiles they made were mostly for floors and were known as ‘encaustic’ tiles. This tile was made for a wall.

The tile has been moulded so the picture is slightly raised or ‘in relief’. This makes it stand out more from the green background. This tile is unusual because it is coated with a type of ‘celadon’ glaze. Celadon is a translucent pale green glaze. It was originally used to coat Chinese porcelain. European makers used celadon glaze to imitate Chinese pottery.


Horse brass, c.1860-1870

Alice the elephant at London Zoo inspired this horse brass showing an elephant. Alice and her partner Jumbo were the zoo’s most famous inhabitants in the 1860s.

Jumbo was especially famous. Articles about him were printed in popular newspapers. He was modelled in pottery and appears on several horse brass designs. Alice only appears on this design.

Alice and Jumbo’s story had a sad end when Jumbo was sold to an American circus, splitting the couple up.

Jumbo being sold to the circus captured the public’s imagination. Popular songs were written, like this one:

Jumbo said to Alice ‘I love you’.
Alice said to Jumbo ‘I don’t believe you do,
If you really loved me as you say you do,
You would not go to Yankeeland and leave me in the Zoo’.

Horse brasses are ornaments for decorating the harness of a heavy horse. They were most popular from the 1850s until the 1930s.

Heavy horses were a vital part of the economy in the 1800s. They were used in agriculture, forestry, industry and transport. They pulled ploughs in the fields, and carts for brewers, coalmen and corn merchants.

Horse brasses were mainly associated with farming and the countryside. One of the highlights of the ploughman’s year was the ploughing match. His horses appeared with their harnesses glittering with polished horse brasses. Brasses are still seen on horses at agricultural shows.

The earliest brasses were hand made by hammering sheets of brass. They had simple designs. The development of brass casting around 1825 allowed complex designs to be used. The town of Walsall in the West Midlands was famous for its brass foundries. Many brasses were made there.

To make cast brasses like this one, a pattern was carved in wood. A sand mould was prepared from this pattern and molten metal was poured into it. Any rough edges were removed with a file. The brass was given a final polish before being sent to the harness maker.


Foot warmer, c.1700-1850

This pottery foot warmer is an old-fashioned hot water bottle. It would have been used to warm the feet of someone travelling in a horse drawn coach. Hot water was poured into the top and the bottle sealed up. Other foot warmers used hot coals, or were heated in a stove before use.

Travelling in a horse drawn coach was cold, draughty and uncomfortable. Warm clothing, rugs and a foot warmer were essential, especially at night or in the winter.

Horse drawn coaches were the best way to get around Britain before railways were built in the mid-1800s. A national coach network linked towns and cities. Hull had a direct coach service to York. From York there were coaches travelling towards Newcastle, Sunderland, Whitby, Scarborough and London.

A shorter way of getting from Hull to London was to take the ferry across the River Humber to Barton. Coaches for London were timetabled to meet passengers arriving from Hull by ferry.

Coaches may have been the most efficient means of transport before railways, but they certainly weren’t the most comfortable! Vibrations from the road made coach travel a painful experience. Passengers were carried inside and outside the coach, with outside being cheaper.

Outsiders usually travelled on the coach roof. There were no seats at first, so passengers were given handles to hold on to. These weren’t much use, and passengers were sometimes thrown off the coach as it lurched along the road.

Travelling by coach in the winter could be dangerous. In 1806, a very cold winter, a guard on the Bristol mail coach was frozen to death. Heavy snow could leave coaches stranded or even buried. In these conditions a foot warmer would have provided little protection against the cold.

The worst coaching winter was 1836-37. A snowstorm that continued for a week after Christmas left only two mail coach routes open. The snow was higher than the roofs of the coaches. In places there were snow drifts over seven metres high.


Painted coach panel, c.1700-1850

This painted wooden panel was once part of the door of a horse drawn coach. Coaches were a popular way to travel around Britain before railways were built in the mid-1800s.

The shield has been hand painted with great skill. It shows a lion and three herons. The word ‘Cave’ below the shield tells us that the coach passed through South Cave or North Cave on its journey. South and North Cave are villages to the west of Hull.

Before the railways were built, a national network of horse drawn coaches linked towns and cities. Hull had a direct coach service to York. Coaches from York travelled towards Newcastle, Sunderland, Whitby, Scarborough and London.

A shorter way of getting from Hull to London was to take the ferry across the River Humber to Barton. Coaches for London were timetabled to meet passengers arriving from Hull by ferry.

There were two main coach networks: stage coaches and mail coaches. Stage coaches were introduced to meet the travel needs of the middle classes. They were aimed at people who couldn’t afford their own coaches.

Stage coaches travelled between roadside inns, which functioned 24 hours a day. The inns were often owned by coach proprietors. The inns were where horses were changed and passengers ate and rested. Mail coaches carried post between inns, and also took passengers. They offered the fastest and safest means of transport.

Stage coaches were operated by many different companies. Competition between companies encouraged the development of beautifully built and decorated coaches. Their magnificent exteriors were painted gold, blue, white and crimson. The name of the proprietor and coach and the towns and inns where it called were painted on the panelling. The decoration on this panel was probably just a small part of a richly decorated coach.


Tile, possibly made in East Yorkshire, c.1201-1400

This medieval tile is from Hull’s Holy Trinity Church. It shows the alphabet and is a clue to part of the church’s past. The first schools in England were run by the church. This was at a time when most people couldn’t read.

The tile was probably made locally but not in the centre of Hull. Potteries were usually based on the edge of towns or in the countryside. This was because of the risk of fire and pollution.

Schools in towns were first run by the Church. Formal education for everyone is only a very recent event. In history, education has been for the lucky few and rarely for girls.

As aristocracy, medieval knights were expected to be educated and were looked down on if they were illiterate. Girls were almost exclusively ignored apart from the daughters of the rich and powerful.

There were many different kinds of schools in medieval England. This included small, informal schools held in the local parish church. This may be the kind of schooling held at Holy Trinity Church.

There were also song schools at cathedrals, almonry schools attached to monasteries, chantry schools, guild schools and grammar schools. The subjects studied were limited to basics such as learning the alphabet, and religious rites. There were also lessons such as the Ten Commandments and the Seven Deadly Sins. The grammar schools also studied Latin grammar.

Bricks, tiles and pots of clay were fired in kilns. Tile-works and potteries were in suburbs or rural places because of the risk of fire and pollution. There were known potteries in Beverley. New colours and forms were created as potters met a demand for affordable beauty that was decorative and functional.

Hull’s Holy Trinity Church is over 700 years old and is England’s largest parish church. Inside its historical interior is a marble font from 1380. William Wilberforce, the 18th century anti-slavery campaigner, was baptised here.


Terracotta candlestick, probably made in Holland, c.1401-1500

This candlestick is a symbol of Hull’s links to other countries. The candlestick was made in an area known as the Low Countries. This includes Holland and Belgium.

With good links to the sea, Hull has always imported lots of goods from other countries. This candlestick may have been shipped to London first and then up the coast. Goods shipped into Hull at this time included wood, fish and wine. There were also luxury items like amber, tapestries and candlesticks.

This type of pottery is known as Low Countries redware. The Low Countries is an area of Europe that includes Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

During the medieval period rural areas inland were often more remote than coastal towns and ports. It was easier to travel by water and contact with other countries was nothing new. Hull’s direct international trade was mainly with its nearest neighbours across the sea. These were Scandinavia, Germany, the Low Countries and France.

In the early 14th century Hull had connections with the Low Countries more than with any other part of Europe. This was due to the major wool exports from Yorkshire. In the late 14th century wool became less important but the Low Countries were still an important trade link. Trade was now mostly through Calais with Flemish ships rarely coming direct to Hull.

Imports to Hull were always more varied than exports. They included foods, wine, raw materials and consumer goods. Fish was among the major imports from Scandinavia and Iceland. Wine and timber were also major imports.

Imports into Hull also included foreign manufactured goods for the wealthier people in society. There were cloth and linens from Holland and Germany and wooden and metal goods from Germany and France. Low Country pottery and stoneware industries provided pots, jars, dishes, tiles and candlesticks. Luxury goods were also imported such as amber, rosary beads, silk and tapestries as well as glass.


Tankards by Marmaduke Best, York, 1671

The money to pay for these tankards was left to Hull by William Dobson in 1666. His family arms are engraved on their sides, alongside Hull’s town arms. Both tankards are inscribed:
“The gift of William Dobson Alderman twice Mayor of this Towne Anno 1666.”

A silver tankard like this would mostly have been for show rather than for practical use. Before there were banks, many people stored their wealth and money by buying pieces of silver like this.

Flagons were originally made for ritual use in church. They were later adapted for more general use, especially for holding beer, and were then called a ‘tankard’. Beer was often drunk instead of water as it was far safer.

These two tankards were made for show and it is unlikely they were ever used. They would have been extremely expensive to make. It was a notable gesture by Alderman Dobson when he left the money for the tankards to the city.

These tankards were bought as the result of a specific bequest to the Corporation of Hull in the will of William Dobson in 1666. They have been in uninterrupted possession of the Corporation since.

William Dobson (died 22nd October 1666) was an Alderman and a Merchant Adventurer of Kingston upon Hull. He was Chamberlain in 1633, Sheriff in 1638 and Mayor of Hull in 1647 and 1658. He was also a Royalist.


Wine cup, London, 1607

Robert Berier gave this cup to Hull’s Merchants' Company in 1649. The Merchants' Company later became extinct. Its silver went to the Town Hall for safe keeping in 1707. Six of these silver cups are still owned by the council and are on display in the Guildhall.

The Merchants' Company was a group of traders who had great powers in Hull from 1577. They had a special Merchants' Hall and no one could trade from Hull without their permission.

This wine cup is engraved: ‘The gift of Mr Robert Berier to the Marchats Hall 1649’. Robert Berrier was a leading figure in Hull. He was Chamberlain in 1629, Sheriff in 1640 and twice Mayor of the city, in 1656 and 1671.

The Kingston upon Hull Merchants' Company was incorporated by Letters Patent dated 11th May 1577. This was under the title of ‘The Governor, Assistants, and Fellowship of Merchants inhabiting the Town of Kingston upon Hull’. This charter gave the merchants great powers and privileges, including the power to make bye-laws.

Meetings of the merchants were held in the Merchants Hall for 120 years. The Hall doesn’t exist any more. The seal, or badge, of the Hull Merchants was a ship with three crowns above it.

After more than a century’s existence the Merchants' Company gradually became extinct. On 13th February 1707 Aldermen Hydes, Trippett and Mould were ordered by the bench ‘to take care that the Plate and Books in the Merchants' Hall to be removed to the Town’s Hall for their better security in regard to the Governor’s absence and that Courts there are very seldom kept.’ (B.B. 8 f.567)

This silver wine cup is one of six pieces of silver from the Merchants' Company that are on display at the Guildhall.


Silver tankard by Edward Mangie, Hull, 1660

This is one of only four known tankards made by Edward Mangie. Edward was a silversmith who moved from York to Hull in 1660. His workshop was in Church Lane, just off Market Place, in a building used by many silversmiths before him.

A silver tankard like this would mostly have been for show rather than for practical use. Before there were banks, many people stored their wealth and money by buying pieces of silver like this.

Edward Mangie was lucky with his timing when he moved to Hull in 1660. This was the same year King Charles II was restored to the throne. Before this, elaborate pieces of silver were frowned upon during the Commonwealth and the rule of Oliver Cromwell. This led to hard times for silversmiths and similar craftsmen. This all changed with the Restoration and many people started ordering new silver and spending money again.

Edward Mangie had taken over the workshop of goldsmith Robert Robinson who died in 1660. In 1661 Edward travelled back to York and married Katherine Spalding. Katherine must have been a strong and sad woman. During her marriage to Edward they had many children that died in infancy, including triplets in 1658. A son did survive, also called Edward, but he was only 12 when his father died in 1685.

When Edward Mangie died, his wife Katherine carried on the business and had her own maker’s mark of ‘K.M.’ However, it is not known whether she actually made the silver herself or was simply the owner of the business.

The Mangies remained in business in Church Lane until the 1730s, but after 1697 very few pieces by them are known. Katherine Mangie died in 1725 at the great age of 88. Her son Edward continued to trade as a goldsmith at the Church Lane premises for the next nine years. He probably retired then and in 1739 he died, recorded as being a ‘gentleman’.


Pair of tiles by Minton, Hollins & Co., Stoke on Trent, 1871

These tiles are part of the first range of tiles with Turkish-style decoration made in England.

People travelling to Turkey in the mid-1800s collected beautifully patterned objects like vases and carpets. Some British museums also admired and displayed these kinds of objects. Many designers saw these objects in museums and used the styles and colours in their own work.

These tiles have a symmetrical design of flowers in a vase. The style and colours were inspired by pottery designs made at Isnik (now Nicaea) in Turkey in the 1500s. The flowers are carnations and tulips, traditional Turkish flowers.

Colin Minton Campbell, one of the owners of Minton Hollins & Co, bought some Isnik tiles from Paris in 1858. He bought more Turkish tiles from Constantinople (now Istanbul) around the same time. He took them back to his factory, where they eventually influenced the factory’s tile designs.

The motif of flowers in a vase is found in decorative designs produced in many countries west of India. It occurs frequently in Islamic tiles from countries like Turkey, and on Dutch and English blue and white pottery.

Minton, Hollins & Company began making tiles like these in 1871. Other factories had made individual tiles influenced by Turkish designs before this. However, Minton Hollins was the first to produce a whole range of Turkish-inspired tiles. After this, more tile makers began making tiles loosely based on designs from Turkey or Persia (modern day Iran).

The decoration on these tiles has been made by printing a black outline of the design. The outline has been filled in with blue, green, turquoise and orange paints and covered with a clear glaze.


Pair of tiles, Spain, c.1501-1600

The patterns on these tiles have raised outlines made using a method called ‘cuenca’. Cuenca was used in Spain, especially in Seville, in the 1500s.

Making tiles with raised outlines using the cuenca technique left spaces that could be filled with colour. ‘Cuenca’ means ‘hollows’ or ‘bowls’ in Spanish and refers to these spaces. The raised outlines on these tiles have stopped the different colours running into each other.

The cuenca technique involved making a mould with the outline for the tile pattern cut into it. When the soft clay tile was pressed against the mould, the clay squeezed into the cut lines. This made a raised outline on the tile that could be filled with colours after the tile was fired.

These two rectangular tiles form a repeating pattern. The design includes a long ‘four-lobed’ shape known as a quatrefoil. There are green scrolls in the corners of the tiles. These scrolls become stems with leaves for a blue flower motif when the tiles are joined up.


Decorated walrus tusk (scrimshaw) c.1801-1900

This scrimshaw shows HMS Acorn chasing a slave ship. In 1807 Britain officially stopped its own role in the slave trade. Britain then used its powerful navy to stop others from trading in slaves as well. Between 1807 and 1866 the Royal Navy captured more than 500 slave ships.

This tusk also depicts an Innuit man in his kayak. Whalers working in the Arctic often had contact with native people. This inspired subject matter and also provided walrus tusks to work on.

This tusk is inscribed “HMS ACORN IN CHASE” and “Esquimaux in his boat.” It is also inscribed “Walruses” and shows three of the creatures.

This walrus tusk is one of a pair, both depicting HMS Acorn. HMS Acorn also appears on another item of scrimshaw in the collection.

HMS Acorn was a 12 gun vessel launched on 15th November 1838. Between 1839 and 1843 she was commanded by Commander John Adams off the west coast of Africa. HMS Acorn was hulked in 1861.

Scrimshaw is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone, teeth or baleen. It can also be made out of walrus tusks like this piece.

The origin of the term “scrimshaw” is not clear and is discussed a lot. In parts of England it was used early on to describe past-times and recreations. When a captain ordered his crew to be “scrimshandering”, he wanted them to be pre-occupied with a creative past-time.

Scrimshaw was at its height in the early 19th century. A lot of scrimshaw is from the US, especially pieces made from the teeth of Sperm Whales.

Other countries, including Britain, also produced scrimshaw. Especially “busks” and items from baleen, mostly originating from the whales in Arctic fisheries.

Items identified with the Hull whaling trade are extremely rare, and occasionally fake. The British trade in whale oil and bone centred around Hull in the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Most surviving scrimshaw is from after these periods.


Decorated whale's tooth (scrimshaw), USA, c.1801-1900

Scrimshaw is the art of the whale hunter and is made with whalebone. A lot of scrimshaw is from America, especially pieces made from sperm whale teeth like this.

Scrimshaw was a way for whalers to express their world, their loneliness and general interests. This tooth shows a ship and a lady. In the past people had to hunt whales for a living. Not many countries hunt whales today. It makes them rare and is thought cruel.

Sperm whales were hunted in the South Seas and America. These were much more dangerous than Arctic whales and often tried to fight back and defend themselves. Many whaleboats were crushed in their jaws or overturned.

Great sperm whales hold many records. They are the deepest diving mammal, reaching depths of more than 1000m. They are also the largest toothed whale and have the biggest brain in the animal world.

One side of this tooth shows a fashionable lady holding a parasol. On the other side of the tooth is a fully rigged ship with a Stars and Stripes streamer.

The main reason for making scrimshaw was to kill time and to keep men occupied and out of trouble. To understand scrimshaw it is important to understand the life of whalers.

Sailing, and especially whaling, involved long periods of waiting and doing nothing. Anything that took time and helped to express the world you lived in would have been a welcome hobby.

Women naturally appear a lot on scrimshaw but these are usually very respectable images. As most scrimshaw was meant to be seen once back on shore, few erotic images survive. Images from fashion catalogues were often copied, and ladies in long dresses were the acceptable pin-ups of the day.

This tooth is part of a collection that formerly belonged to Kathleen Eleanor Tizard. The collection was donated to Hull Museums by K.E.Tizard’s son in November 1999.


Fijian tabua

This tabua is a Sperm whale’s tooth. It is regarded very highly in Fijian tradition. They are worn as ornaments and are given in ceremonies between two groups. This can be for weddings, tribal meetings or state occasions.

Once given, the tabua is regarded as a sacred bond. It is a symbol of peace and quarrels can be solved with its presentation.

Fiji is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, halfway between the Equator and the South Pole.

This Fijian Tabua is made with two Sperm whale teeth. They are perforated at the base and tied with vegetable fibre cord. There is no record of what ceremonies they were once linked to.

Fiji is a group of approximately 330 islands, with about one third being inhabited. There are two major islands - Viti Levui and Vanua Levu.

People first settled at Fiji about three and a half thousand years ago. According to Fijian legend, the great chief Lutunasobasoba led his people to the new land of Fiji. Many historians agree that people came into the Pacific from Southeast Asia. Here the Melanesians and the Polynesians mixed and created a highly developed society.

The European discoveries of the Fiji group were accidental. The first of these discoveries was made in 1643 by Abel Tasman, a Dutch explorer. It was later discovered by English navigators, including Captain James Cook.

Captain William Bligh also sailed through Fiji in 1789 and recorded the islands in detail.

The first Europeans to live among the Fijians were shipwrecked sailors and runaway convicts from the Australian penal settlements. Sandalwood traders and missionaries came to Fiji by the mid 19th century.

Cannibalism was practiced in Fiji at that time but it disappeared as missionaries gained influence. A chief Ratu Seru Cakobau accepted Christianity in 1854. The rest of the country soon followed and tribal warfare came to an end. However, much of Fijian culture has survived.

Fiji has been independent from Britain since 1970.


Decorated whalebone plaque, c.1848-1900

This plaque shows a Greenland whale being caught by some whalers. This was one of several different types of whale known as the ‘Right Whale’. They were slow, non-aggressive and floated when killed. This made them the ‘right’ whale to hunt.

Following hunting, Greenland whales are still endangered. They can live for 200 years, making them one of the longest living animals on earth. A new threat for this whale is global warming, which threatens its food supply.

This whale jaw bone plaque has a distinct criss-cross framing, with parts filled with red and blue pigment. There are also mermaids with mirrors on each corner.

The main picture is a whaling scene with a Greenland whale rising from the water. It is being attacked by a whaleboat with five men, and another whale in the foreground is also being attacked. In the background is a whaling ship with icebergs.

Whaleboats with five men were used by Tasmanians who hunted whales in the North Pacific after 1848. This would indicate that this plaque is from this kind of whaler.

The Greenland whale is also known as the Bowhead whale. It is one of three species that were known as the ‘Right Whale’ to whalers. The three species include Balaena mysticetus (Greenland Whale, Arctic Right Whale and the smaller Black Right Whale). The second species is Eubalaena glacialis (Northern Atlantic Right Whale, Biscayan Whale or Nordcaper). The third species is Eubalaena australis (Southern Right or Black Whale).

The Greenland, or Bowhead, whale can have a life span of up to 200 years. This makes them among the largest and longest lived animals on Earth. They remain endangered today. A new threat is from their food supplies of amphipods and other tiny creatures being affected by global warming. It is possible that an old Greenland whale today has lived to see both threats to its existence.


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Getting the most from searching the collections. #SUBHEADING#Quick Search#SUBHEADINGEND# Simply enter a keyword using the search box on every page to discover hundreds of stories and more than 50,000 objects currently in the database some searches can produce a large number of hits. #SUBHEADING#Advanced Search#SUBHEADINGEND# The advanced search options allow you to be more specific in your enquiry - for example you can search .. for limit the search to one of more of the museums or to a named collection using the drop down lists. #SUBHEADING#Displaying the results#SUBHEADINGEND# Search results are displayed using the gallery view and you can chose how many thumbnails are displayed on the page at one time using the 'Display' dropdown box. If you prefer you can simply change from this view to a simple list view by clicking on the Change View: List View link #SUBHEADING#Search Summary Results#SUBHEADINGEND# To try and make the search more useful we have introduced a number of features: - You can choose how many items you wish to display on the page by using the display drop down menu. - Simply click on any thumbnail image to take you to a detailed record page where more information is given about that particular artwork. The detailed record page gives more information about the artwork you have chosen. If you click on the enlarge image option, a larger version will appear on a new page. #SUBHEADING#Search Tips#SUBHEADINGEND# - The system is not case sensitive (i.e. Matisse and matisse will both be recognised). - Where you see the symbol '&' it does not mean 'and,' but is used for data separation. - Check the spelling of the word that you are using. Try to limit your search to one word if you are unsure of the spelling of a particular object or person. - If you put the symbol '@' in front of your search, the results will include all the phonetic results similar to that word (e.g. maddox brown, madox brown). - The best way to search on a phrase is to use " " quotation marks around part of the phrase (e.g. entering "Friends" will retrieve information about The Friends of Ferens Art Gallery). - Try to give as much accurate information as you can. Using the drop down menus in detailed search may help you to focus your query.


Detail from painting (image/jpeg) A Zeeland States yacht firing a salute off the Oude Hoofdpoort, Rotterdam

This painting by Jacobus Storck entitled 'A Zeeland States yacht firing a salute off the Oude Hoofdpoort, Rotterdam' painted around the 1670s is a lively picture of a bustling port. It captures the movement of the sea and wind well and the colours are still fresh and vibrant. All the Dutch flags flying from masts and the general liveliness of it speak of self-confidence and national pride. #SUBHEADING#Painting ships#SUBHEADINGEND# Marine painting was a difficult genre for painters to master. Not only did they have to be a good painter, they had to have a detailed knowledge of the structure of ships, of seamanship and of the sea. The behaviour of ships in the wind and certain conditions had to be depicted just right, as you could guarantee there would always be someone who would point out all the mistakes, just as the last paint stroke was drying. With that said, this painting is interestingly less detailed than other 17th century, Dutch specialists and later painters. Storck seems a bit more relaxed in his paint strokes and approach, which would be this paintings success, depicted a real port. He seems to have captured the invisible wind remarkably well, with the sails, flags, clouds and leaning ships all suggesting a brisk wind from the left of the picture. #SUBHEADING#Jacobus Storck#SUBHEADINGEND# Jacobus Storck (1641-c.1688) was born in Amsterdam and is known to have been working there in 1684. He is considered to be the older brother of the more prolific and longer-lived Abraham Storck. A relatively small number of pictures have been attributed to Jacobus and these suggest that he visited various places in the Netherlands, including Antwerp and Rotterdam, such as this picture. Jacobus Storck's entire career has been reconstructed from signed and dated paintings, rather than documentary evidence. #SUBHEADING#Dutch Golden Age#SUBHEADINGEND# 17th century provides works of art that became very popular in English collections in the 18th century, especially landscapes and marine paintings. It wasn't just the quality of work that was produced in the Dutch Republic that left a lasting influence, it was the quantity too. The average Dutch man in the 17th century was wealthier than his counterpart in any other country, including England. And like any maritime state that made money in this period, slavery formed part of that wealth, along with spices such as nutmeg and cloves. #SUBHEADING#The Yacht's of Rotterdam#SUBHEADINGEND# All this wealth and self-confidence naturally led to the flourishing of art, with more money for commissions and general purchasing. This Zeeland states yacht on the right of the painting is a pleasure boat. 'Yacht' is a Dutch term that came into the English language at the time of Charles II. Traditionally a yacht is a 'vessel of state, usually employed to convey princes, ambassadors or other great personages, from one kingdom to another'. With cannons firing a salute in a statement of self-confidence and prowess, is this painting the record of an important visit or a celebration of a merchant's wealth, depicted just off one of the busiest ports in Holland? All the other boats in the picture are commercial vessels and the Oude Hoofdpoort is itself, a major gateway to business. Hull has strong links with Rotterdam, and many goods are shipped across the world to Rotterdam and then across to Hull docks. With these strong links across the water, it is no surprise that here at the Ferens we have a particularly good collection of Dutch works.


compass detail (image/jpeg) Detecting Direction

One of the most important aspects of navigation was knowing which direction the ship was travelling in. However, this was not simply a case of pointing the vessel in the right direction and hoping for the best. Forces such as sea winds and swell could always combine to push a ship off course. Sailors therefore needed an instrument which allowed them to keep detecting their direction. #SUBHEADING# Compass craze! #SUBHEADINGEND# The compass has for centuries been one of the most widely used and enduring of all navigation instruments. It is believed that Europeans began using compasses from about the 12th century, but people in other places were using them well before. Compasses are normally used to show direction, but variations on the model have been used for other purposes. For example, a Chinese geomantic compass in the Hull Maritime Museum collection was used for divination. The compass was one of the first instruments which allowed sailors to begin leaving sight of the land. If they knew which direction their destination was and they had a compass to keep on track, they had at least some chance of getting there! The compass collection at Hull Maritime Museum ranges from the very simply crafted to the very decorative and precisely-made, and from tiny pocket-sized pieces to those which not even the largest pocket could carry! Some are in wooden circular drums, some in leather cases and others in square hinged boxes. #SUBHEADING# All directions #SUBHEADINGEND# A compass recorded whether a ship was travelling North, South, East, West or somewhere in-between! The directions were labelled on a 'compass rose' - a piece of card which a wire needle spun either below or above. Sometimes, the compass was mounted on 'gimbals' which allowed the compass to tilt so that it was not affected by the movement of the ship. The compass needle, being magnetic, was attracted to the Earth's magnetic north pole so always pointed in that direction. By looking at it sailors could always tell where north was and therefore which direction they were travelling in. However, from the 19th century ships' hulls began to be made of iron, and this metal interfered with the compass' ability to work. This could be fatal if a deviation in the compass reading caused a vessel to go off course. A device called a binnacle was invented to correct this error. This was a tall tower which housed the compass in the top and contained various iron components which corrected the magnetic deviation. Over time, a compass could lose its magnetism and would therefore stop working. A lodestone was stroked over the needle to help it re-magnetise. This was a natural magnetic stone which was bound in a metal such as copper. Lodestones were popular in the seventeenth century until they were replaced by man-made magnets during the eighteenth century.


navigation aid detail (image/jpeg) Locating Location

Once sailors began to venture beyond sight of familiar coastal landmarks, they needed to know exactly where they were located in order to ensure they kept on course. Hull Maritime Museum holds a number of different types of instrument used to find and chart location. #SUBHEADING# Optical Options #SUBHEADINGEND# Telescopes were invented in the early 17th century and soon became widely used. Sailors found them useful for looking into the distance to see the far-off coast, other ships or events at sea. By doing this, they could not only find out where they were but also avoid danger. Telescopes are made of a number of curved glass lenses inside a tube which magnify what the eye can see. A number of telescopes are in the Hull Maritime Museum collection, some of which were used at sea and others which may simply have been fashionable collectables used by high-society gentlemen. #SUBHEADING# Sighting the Skies #SUBHEADINGEND# The Earth moves in a known pattern, so we can predict its position in relation to the Sun and stars. A sailor could therefore measure the height (or altitude) of the Sun or a star from the horizon to find out his own latitude (that is how far North or South he was on the Earth). From the 17th century the quadrant was used for this purpose. A sailor would look through the pinhole sights at the Sun or star and measure its angle on a scale. He then transferred this reading into a latitude measurement. In the late 18th century octants and sextants became a common means of measuring latitude. The sailor looked through a hole towards a 'horizon' glass which was half covered with a mirror. Through this he could see the horizon. He then moved the 'index' arm until the Sun or star shone into the 'index' mirror and its image was reflected into the horizon glass mirror. When this happened, he read a measurement off a scale to find the altitude. He then used mathematics to change this measurement into latitude. Octants were popular because they were cheap and reasonably accurate. They were usually wooden and contained a series of mirrors and scales which the sailor used to obtain a reading from which he could calculate latitude. Sextants worked on a similar concept but on a different scale and were usually made of metal. Later instruments for recording position, some of which in the collection date to the 20th century, have included azimuth mirrors which were used to take bearings. Once measured, seafarers recorded their position at sea on a chart using various scientific instruments. Hull Maritime Museum holds dividers and parallel rulers which were used for this purpose.


Detail of a telescope (image/jpeg) Navigating the World's Waters

People have been travelling across the world's waters for thousands of years. After leaving port, sailors can journey hundreds of miles before they see land again. Today they use electrical equipment to find their position at sea. Before this was invented they had to use simple instruments to find and record their location. Hull Maritime Museum contains a range of navigation aids used to travel around the world, some of them being used as early as the 17th century. Some bear the names of highly acclaimed instrument makers, as well as those of local dignitaries who owned them. #SUBHEADING#Navigation aids#SUBHEADINGEND# When sailors started to venture away from the coast they needed to know how to navigate around the world safely, and for this they used very simple aids. These included the compass (to discover direction), the sandglass (to tell the time) and the sounding lead (to find the depth of the sea). Sailors had to wait for developments in subjects like science, mathematics and astronomy in the 15th and 16th centuries before they could make reasonable headway across the vast oceans. Then they could begin to rely on the sun and stars to guide their way. Navigation aids often required great skill to use, especially in bad weather, and many ships had full-time navigators onboard. They would make readings with various instruments and then plot the ship's position on a chart to check that the ship was on course to its destination. #SUBHEADING# Maps and charts #SUBHEADINGEND# From at least medieval times, when sailors began to produce nautical charts, we know that they had some idea of what the world looked like. Although their knowledge was very limited at first, globes and charts were periodically produced which showed a growing understanding of the Earth's geography. Hull Maritime Museum contains a miniature globe from the early 18th century, made by Charles Price who worked in London. It is in a shark-skin and wooden case which depicts a celestial view of the stars. A more detailed and accurate view of the world was being reached during the 19th century, which is reflected in George Pocock's inflatable globe. As scientific and mathematical breakthroughs were made, navigation aids became more and more complex in design. Old ideas were updated and new types of instruments were brought in. Even when electrical equipment such as radar was introduced in the 20th century, sailors still often kept an old trusty manual aid onboard in case of emergency! Today, systems such as GPS (Global Positioning System) enable sailors to pinpoint exactly where they are on the earth within the space of a few metres using satellites.


Detail from shop sign (image/jpeg) Signs that brightened up the town!

Before the ability to read became widespread, symbolic trade signs were often placed above shop doorways and served as a visual aid to inform would-be customers about the types of wares sold inside. These signs were often brightly coloured and must have been a sight to behold dotted about the town. One of the few survivors still in use today is the barber's red and white striped pole. This advertising technique was important in a port like Hull, where people were arriving from all over the world speaking many different languages and might not be able to read English. #SUBHEADING# Instrument Maker's Shop Sign #SUBHEADINGEND# The sign shown here was placed above the shop of Mr. Harrison of Dock Street, Hull, close to the premises of Hull Maritime Museum. The shop opened in the mid 1800s and sold nautical instruments, charts and ship stores. The sign remained there until about World War I. The figure would have been placed high up so it could be seen by crews on ships coming into Queens Dock as well as people walking along the quays. Similar signs were fixed outside shops down streets such as Lowgate and High Street. This example is made of carved wood which is painted with the typical uniform of a naval officer between 1825 and 1850 - a black bicorn hat with gold braid, a blue coat with gold epaulets and braid, and white trousers with a sword. He holds an octant, which was a type of instrument used to navigate a ship. It could find a ship's latitude position by measuring the height of the Sun or a star. Charles Dickens mentioned a similar figure in his book Dombey and Son and called it the 'little timber midshipman'. #SUBHEADING# A Piece of Art #SUBHEADINGEND# The wooden figure is interesting for its artistic merit as a symbol of craftsmanship, and is a piece of what might be called folk art. It was visually appealing whilst also being durable enough to withstand the outdoor weather. Unfortunately we do not know who the maker is. The sign is also interesting for what it represents - a time when British consumerism was growing and retail outlets becoming widespread. The early nineteenth century brought an increase in both the number of shops and recognisable retail districts in towns and cities, and in the range of goods available. Only those who could promise utmost quality in goods were given the right to show such figures above their doors. It was a period which saw the linking up of mass production and craftsmanship.


Walter Castelow (image/jpeg) Mr Walter Thomas Castelow

Walter Thomas Castelow was born, 16th January, 1876 in Kirkgate, near Leeds. Castelow was locally educated at Middle Class School, Vernon Road, Leeds, before attending the Yorkshire College, now Leeds University. Working life began in 1894, when at the age of 16 he signed indentures as an apprentice for Messrs. Abbot and Anning, of Fenton Street, Leeds. #IMAGE# Three years later the young Mr Castelow qualified as a dispensing chemist from the University of Edinburgh, and soon after went into partnership with Johann Reinhardt of Victoria Street, Leeds. In 1907 Mr Castelow began business on his own and moved into the premises at 159 Woodhouse Lane. #SUBHEADING#Retire? Why Should I?#SUBHEADINGEND# Mr Castelow was a well respected and admired chemist; not only by his contemporaries but also by the community he served so tirelessly. As England's oldest practising chemist Mr Castelow featured in numerous local and national newspaper articles and even on the television. Despite such attention and acclaim, Mr Castelow never had any thoughts of retirement, simply remarking 'Why should I?' He was truly committed to his job; he never took a holiday away from work and was determined to maintain his long business hours even in his advanced years, opening 9pm weekdays, 11pm Saturdays and even opening on Sunday's. He served with such dedication that many customers were to become firm friends, even referring to the old man as 'Dad'. Walter Thomas Castelow died on May 30th, 1974 at the age of 98. As his obituary read 'Almost up to the last, he remained the most charming, interesting and industrious chemist... the help, encouragement, and assurance that he gave must have gone out to many thousands of people during his long career.


Rank's monogram (image/jpeg) J. Arthur Rank - 'The Man Behind the Gong'

J. Arthur Rank was born in Hull in 1888 into a devoutly Methodist family. His father, Joseph, had founded a flour milling business in 1875, which had started with a rented windmill on Holderness Road, Hull. The company prospered and was a substantial business by the time of his death in 1943, leaving his three sons and four daughters as millionaires. J. Arthur himself was always declared a 'dunce' by his father, who claimed he would never succeed in life beyond working his way up in the family flour mill. He attempted to establish his own business, 'Peterkins Self-Raising Flour', but this venture failed and he returned to his father's company. Joseph Rank's Flour Mill can still be seen today on the banks of the River Hull next to Drypool Bridge, a testament to a prominent local business. The Rank flour business eventually acquired the Hovis McDougall Company in 1962 to become Ranks Hovis McDougall Ltd. #SUBHEADING# The Methodist Cause #SUBHEADINGEND# J. Arthur inherited his father's Methodism, and he was a life long Sunday School teacher and President of the National Sunday School Union. By the time he was middle aged, he had wealth, a family and social standing, but lacked a crowning glory of personal achievement, and rather harshly had been criticised as having no great aesthetic or cultural interests. A concern expressed by the Methodist community of the detrimental influence of the film industry on Britain and family life gave him the idea of producing films for religious and moral instruction. He established his own film company with the intention of doing just that, but quickly realised that this subject was unlikely to prove very profitable. #SUBHEADING# Brief Encounter to Success #SUBHEADINGEND# The subjects and appeal therefore had to be widened, and J. Arthur went on to produce many films at his purpose built Pinewood Studios which have become legendary in film history. Famous early Rank and Pinewood creations include Brief Encounter, Red Shoes, Oliver Twist, Great Expectations and Henry V. J. Arthur did more than make a couple of films, with the Rank Organisation he established dominating the British Film Industry from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Rank Organisation not only made the films, but owned the studios, was responsible for film distribution at home and abroad, and owned a large chain of cinemas. Ranks' main cinema circuit, Gaumont was combined with Oscar Deutsch's ODEON chain in 1942 after his death (ODEON stands for Oscar Deutsch Entertains Our Nation). #SUBHEADING# What a Carry On...#SUBHEADINGEND# By the 1960s the Rank Organisation had fallen on bad times. American investment declined as television became increasing popular drawing audiences away from cinemas. The studios remained afloat through the production of the Doctor and Carry on series and it was also home to Britain's most iconic spy - James Bond. The company lost its dominance in the British Film Industry, but Pinewood studios is still going strong, and the Rank Organisation diversified into Xerox photocopying. J Arthur himself had also fulfilled a great personal achievement as the 'man behind the gong', the Rank Organisation film trademark, and had personally given away 100 million pounds to Methodist causes within his lifetime.


detail from a navigation aid (image/jpeg) Telling the Time

Early oceanic travellers used a sandglass to tell the time. They had to keep a very close eye on this because if the sand filtered through and they didn't turn it back over immediately, they would automatically lose track of time. A sailor had to watch it all of the time! With scientific improvements in the 15th and 16th centuries, reasonably accurate time-telling aids began to be produced. These could often only be used in the specific latitude for which they were made, which often gives us an idea of where they were produced and where they were used. During the day, instruments could work with the Sun's rays to produce readings, much like a sundial. Instruments such as the diptych dial, the Augsburg dial (so-called because it originated in Augsburg, Southern Germany) and the equinoctial dial relied on this concept. Many became fashionable accessories of the wealthy classes as well as practical maritime aids. #SUBHEADING# Reading the Sun and Stars #SUBHEADINGEND# Diptych and Augsburg dials were small pocket-sized instruments. The former were often decorated with hand painted paper pictures of flowers and garlands, and the latter engraved with various patterns. Both types were mainly produced in southern Germany, often by renowned craftsmen who signed their name to their works. They relied on the sun shining on a 'gnomon'(or type of rod). This cast a shadow onto an hour dial so the reader could tell the time. The Augsburg dial shown here lists various cities in Germany, as well as Paris, Rome and London, on the underside of the dial. This shows that the dial was intended for the German market but could be used at various latitudes across Europe. The equinoctial dial could be used anywhere in the world so was very useful at sea. This example was made in London by Richard Glynne who worked as a mathematical instrument maker from the early 18th century. Its shape represents the Earth. A sailor would suspend the dial and turn it until the Sun shone through the hole in the cursor. This cast a ray of light onto the hour ring and showed him the time. At night there was no Sun available to aid readings. The 'nocturnal' enabled sailors to overcome this problem. This instrument could instead be used by viewing the Great Bear and Little Bear star constellations through its centre and adjusting a number of dials to the appropriate positions. #SUBHEADING# Mechanical Inventions #SUBHEADINGEND# From the 18th century, the invention of mechanical clocks began to take over from more manual aids. These gave much more accurate readings and required less skill to read. A local joiner from Barton-upon-Humber, John Harrison, was the first person to make a clock which could cope with the movement, bad weather conditions and changing time zones at sea. He did this in the early 18th century and it was a breakthrough for sailors. For the first time ever they could calculate their longitude (their position East or West on the Earth).


Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple

#SUBHEADING#William Roberts the artist#SUBHEADINGEND# William Roberts was an interesting, talented and reclusive artist; a shy retiring man who was at the centre of major art movements of his time and a friendly associate of Lawrence of Arabia. An eccentric figure obsessed with routine, yet forthcoming in defending himself from criticism. As William Roberts developed as an artist he retreated from society and always seemed to be an observer, never a participant. The cartoonish nature of his images and characters can sometimes contradict the seriousness of the subject matter and the artist himself. He led a quiet life with his wife and son; his working life lasted almost 70 years from c.1910 - 1980. He was still working when he was over 80 years old. His work celebrated life of ordinary human beings, home, work, play and war. Also portraits, satires, and works inspired by religion and mythology. He was a highly original artist. William Roberts was born shortly before the start of the Boer War, 5th June 1895, in Hackney in London. His father, Edward, was a carpenter. William showed a great talent at an early age. During the war he continued to draw, as and when he could, sending pictures back to friends and colleagues to sell, including (brother-in-law) Jacob Kramer and (poet) Ezra Pound. In later years Robert's artistic approach was a more figurative one, and in the 1920s when this painting was done, he evolved his own distinctive style of tubular shaped people arrayed in rhythmic patterns. #SUBHEADING#The Painting#SUBHEADINGEND# Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple within 7 Deadly Sins exhibition thought-provoking subject matter. It depicts the beardless Christ confronting Avarice yet at the same time displaying anger himself. Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple is typical plain with a simple back-drop for solid sculptural figures. In Christ Driving the Moneychangers from the Temple, William Roberts arranged the elements in the picture in strict vertical lines. Figures echoed in columns, Christ central without a beard. However, WR was to finally be accepted and his recognition by the Royal Academy meant a lot to him. In 1958 he became an Associate of the Royal Academy, getting accepted through the casting vote of the President. In 1966 he became a full member of the Royal Academy, finally accepted within the artistic establishment. #SUBHEADING#Laurence of Arabia#SUBHEADINGEND# Lawrence of Arabia was a big fan of William Roberts portraiture. His patronage provided a much needed financial boost to William Roberts during this period. Lawrence allowed the Roberts family to holiday at his cottage at Clouds Hill, in Devon. There were annual visits up until Laurence's death in 1935. Sometimes Laurence would visit them there, including his last year when he arrived on his motorbike (to be fatal) and leant books to John Roberts. #SUBHEADING#End of his Life#SUBHEADINGEND# William Robert's died quite suddenly on 20th January 1980, the year the Ferens Art Gallery purchased the painting. The artist worked until the end, the last day of his life he left on his drawing board a sketch of the donkey rides at a fair on Hampstead Heath, London.


Detail of heart-shaped pin cushion (image/jpeg) Decorated with Love

#SUBHEADING#Love Tokens#SUBHEADINGEND# Love tokens were a way of letting someone know your intentions without saying the words out loud. Love tokens were usually hand made and simple in design but highly decorative. During the 18th and 19th century coins were used as love tokens. They were handmade by suitors who gave them to their sweethearts. Poorer working class young men made their tokens from copper coins; wealthy young men used silver or even a gold coin. #IMAGE# Love tokens sometimes consisted of a coin which had been worn away on both sides by a young man. The blank discs were then engraved with the man's name or his sweethearts name with decoration such as hearts and bows and arrows. These love tokens were made by often illiterate unskilled men so it's remarkable how decorative they were. They are found often by metal detectors but whether they were lost of thrown away by the lady it is uncertain. #SUBHEADING#Pin Cushion#SUBHEADINGEND##IMAGE# This heart shaped decorative pin cushion, marked 'East Yorkshire Regiment XV, battle honours in surrounding wreath at Wilberforce museum. The cushion had been sent by a soldier in the First World War to his sweetheart. The cushion consists of a copper coloured border, blue pins, and pink ribbons with printed sayings, pink rose border and blue back. #SUBHEADING#Romance and Scrimshaw#SUBHEADINGEND# Scrimshaw is the creation of handiwork by whalers made from the by products of harvesting marine mammals. It is generally made out of bone and teeth of sperm whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses. It takes the form of elaborate carving in the form of pictures and lettering on the surface of the bone or tooth, with the engravings highlighted using a pigment of lamp black or India ink.The making of scrimshaw began on whaling ships around 1817 to 1824 and survived until the ban on commercial whaling. Hull seamen used Baleen and walrus tusks. They were lovingly carved with suitable pictures and words of endearments for their wives or sweethearts. The museum collections include two snuff boxes made from horn and cedar wood with romantic inscriptions including 'either love mee or love mee not'. whilst a second bearing the date of 1712 says 'Lend mee not if you love mee'. #SUBHEADING#Knitting Sheaths and love#SUBHEADINGEND# Knitting sheaths were given as love tokens in the same way as welsh spoons. Some were elaborately carved by a suitor and given to his sweetheart. The knitting sheaths did serve a practical purpose and would be worn on the right side of the body at an angle. In the sheath would be placed the end of the knitting needle, leaving the left hand to work the yarn on the other needle.#IMAGE#The sheath was supposed to hold the weight of the wool, thus preventing the hooks from falling of the end of the knitting needles.The collections include two knitting sheaths featuring hearts in-laid in the wooden handle. One of the sheaths even has a scroll curled end in the shape of a heart with a small 'window' in which a love message could be written on paper and inserted.


Eileen

Redpath graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1919. She spent fifteen years living in France where she painted very little. Her reputation as an artist developed much later in life. Following her return to Scotland in 1934 she quickly became a prominent figure within the Scottish, and later the British art scene, exhibiting regularly and being elected to an increasing number of distinguished art societies. She was the first woman painter to become a full member of the Royal Scottish Academy. Redpath was renowned for her loose handling of paint as demonstrated in this portrait. Her interests as a colourist were also significant and were reflected in the many bright and vivid landscapes and still-lifes she produced. Eileen is, by contrast, a more subdued work. The picture is dominated by the curves of the chair and table coupled with the bold pattern of the dress. The usually important parts of a portrait, like the hands and face, are blurred to create an air of calm that surrounds the young woman. The sitter is Mrs Mitchie, who was Redpath's daughter-in-law.


The Deposition

Ribot was a painter of genre and history scenes, portraits and still lifes and an accomplished watercolourist. Following the death of his father he moved to Paris, and later spent three years in England. He then returned to Paris where he made copies from the work of Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), one of the most important pre-Revolutionary French painters. He won several medals for his work and was admired by a wide public, particularly for his religious paintings. The Deposition shows the Virgin Mary grieving for Christ after his removal from the cross. In its sombre tones and the earthy realism of the figures it reflects Ribot's admiration for the work of Gustave Courbet (1819-77) and the influential Spaniard Diego Velazquez (1599-1660). The strong triangular composition is an artistic convention for the depiction of the Virgin and Christ after his death. The title given to such representation is 'the Pieta'. At his death Christ becomes 'The Body of Christ', and it is the physical nature of his passing that Ribot's figures emphasise, whilst the lighted faces of the Virgin and Christ allude to the spiritual.


Priest Carrying the Blessed Sacrament

Nicknamed the Scottish Canaletto, Roberts was a prolific painter and inveterate traveller, visiting Spain, Tangier and the Holy Land. His early beginnings as a theatrical scenery painter helped him render the dramatic nature of the ancient monuments and religious sites he visited abroad. His pictures reflect a growing religiosity in England : anything with Biblical or religious associations was received favourably in mid-19th century Britain, as were oriental themes. This painting was originally catalogued as 'Eastern Scene' but has since been renamed Priest Carrying the Blessed Sacrament, as it is thought to represent the ceremonial procession prior to the celebration of the Eucharist.


La Belle Jaune Giroflée

Emma was the daughter of Norwich artist, Anthony Sandys (pronounced 'Sands') and the sister of the better known Pre-Raphaelite related artist, Frederick Sandys (1829-1904). Her father was responsible for her early training as an artist but it is the work of her brother who influenced her most in terms of style, subject matter and a highly finished technique. In also sharing Frederick's props and frames, much of Emma's work has often been mistaken for her brother's. It is only recently that her work has started gaining more recognition. La Belle Jaune Giroflée is typical of Sandys' work. She painted mostly half-length decorative portraits of women in oil or chalk. Like so many aesthetic paintings of the time, this work has colour as a central theme. The warm yellows and oranges of the background flowers lead the eye to the rich amber of the necklace. It was common for Frederick to add flowers as a decorative scheme in the background of his portraits, a practice which Emma would have been inspired by. For most of this century, La Belle Jaune Giroflée was presumed to be by Frederick rather than Emma Sandys, partly due to the frame, which was originally designed for her brother. Giroflée is the French name for stock, or gilly flower, but these are not the flowers depicted in this picture. Girofle (without the accent), however, is the clove plant, which may be an allusion to clove-scented plants that the flowers and foliage in the picture do resemble. It is more likely that the reading of the title takes the old French meaning of the word, carnation, used by artists to symbolise of loss or sorrow and therefore befitting the wistful gaze of Sandys' subject. Frederick Sandys' drawing, The Tangled Skein, is in the collection of the Ferens Art Gallery.


Kate Reclining

De Sausmarez was best known as a portrait painter, who exhibited at the Royal Academy, and elsewhere. He was Head of the Fine Art department at Leeds University in the 1950s, and was a friend and teacher of Bridget Riley (b.1931) in the 1960s. In a letter to the Ferens of 1953 De Sausmarez refers to this work as 'certainly the best example of my work during the 1950-52 period'. The sitter is the artist's wife, shown in a formal, almost classical pose. Although the handling of the paint is rather broad, it also has a certain formality, as the brush-strokes are applied quite deliberately, each one helping to define the structure of the form. The painting shows traces of Sickert's (1860-1942) long-lasting influence.


The Diana stuck in the ice (image/jpeg) The Diana

#SUBHEADING#Hull's last whaler and its Arctic adversity#SUBHEADINGEND# By the late nineteenth century there were few Hull whaling ships left. The Crimean War had driven oil and bone prices sky high it was seen as a good (and last) opportunity to resurrect the whaling trade. The Diana was one such whaling ship. She was a 350 ton German-built vessel captained by John Graville. #SUBHEADING#Diana heads North#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# In May 1866 despite a recent fruitless voyage the Diana, re-provisioned, left again in the hope of finding bountiful waters. The ship headed north and although they caught a small number of whales, the dense ice and whale shortage led Captain Graville and his crew to begin their homeward journey. Gales and thick ice hampered their journey throughout and preparations were often made for abandoning the ship. In August they came across the whale ship Intrepid and its Captain explained that the homeward journey was proving difficult and that they were changing their course. Though the Captains agreed to journey together the Intrepid pulled away into clear waters leaving Diana to cope with harsh winds and dangerous ice floes. The crew's hopes were continually raised and dashed with conditions improving only to worsen soon after. Food was rationed as the seriousness of their situation became increasingly obvious. Fuel was also in short supply and so parts of barrels, upper masts and seal clubs and any other sources of wood were used. #SUBHEADING#Into the Ice pack#SUBHEADINGEND# In September the decision was made to take the ship into the ice pack and trust that the Atlantic drift would take them southwards. By the end of October they passed land known to have a settlement but their efforts to hoist flares went un-noticed. In December the crew removed everything that could be moved from the badly damaged ship and laid it out on the ice. Spare materials were used to erect tents and make the unbearable conditions as comfortable as possible. However, the exhausting process of moving everything was to be repeated whenever ice broke around the ship. #IMAGE# Despite their circumstances the crew celebrated Christmas with small portions of plum duff, meat and biscuits which had been saved for the festivities. Unfortunately, the raised spirits were short lived as on Boxing Day Captain Graville died at the age of sixty four. Sadly there were more deaths to follow that of the captain's. #SUBHEADING#Drifting Southwards#SUBHEADINGEND# Gradually the ship drifted southwards, as the crew had hoped. The waters cleared of ice and by early March sails could be set. This was not to say that it was plain sailing by any means. The ship was regularly battered by loose lumps of ice and the crew were deteriorating quickly. Finally, on the evening of the 1st April 1867 the crew had their first sighting of the west coast of Shetland and the next day arrived into Ronas Voe. In total thirteen of the Diana's crew died, eight (including the Captain) passed away on deck and the others died soon after their arrival. The Diana's disastrous voyage signalled the end of Hull's whaling industry.


The First Born, 1913

This immensely popular painting attracts numerous enquiries from people all over Britain. The 'first born' of the picture was one week old Muriel Thompson (now Holtby), the daughter of a Beverley police constable. The mother was a Mrs Utteridge and the figure of the father a Mr Constable, who tragically died before Elwell had painted the father's loving gaze. He frequently used local people as models to suggest an ideal or type; here, in a romanticised picture of married life, the 'ideal' mother, doting father and 'perfect' baby. Elwell studied art in Antwerp and Paris. Amongst his contemporaries were the many British artists who were at that time exploring their own reactions to French art, such as those of the Newlyn School. The warm, dappled light that illuminates 'The First Born' reveals Elwell's own brand of English Impressionism. Overall, however, his realistic, technically skilled style remained constant throughout his career, during which he exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy. In many ways his works continue the kind of realism combined with idealisation that is typical of late Victorian narrative genre painting.


Hull Museums - events

Hull Museums has a comprehensive programme of events and activities through-out the year ....

Click on the name of the museum to see a list of events there:

- Ferens Art Gallery

- Guildhall

- Hull and East Riding Museum

- Hands on History

- Maritime Museum

- Streetlife Museum

- Wilberforce House Museum

- Learning Centre

 

Whilst every effort is made to keep this information correct - Hull City Council cannot accept responsibility for any errors, omissions, alterations or cancellations, which occur.As details of all events can change at short notice, it is advisable to check with the organisers that the event is going ahead before attending. Telephone numbers are given where possible on the event details page.


badge detail (image/jpeg) The East Yorkshire Regiment: From the West Indies to the Western Front

#SUBHEADING# Raising a Regiment #SUBHEADINGEND# The East Yorkshire Regiment was formed on the 22 June 1685 and took part in the battles of Blenheim, Ramillies, Malpaquet, and Oudenarde before fighting in the American War of Independence from 1776 to 1778. #IMAGE#It was at the Battle of Brandywine in 1777 that they gained their nickname 'The Snappers' - men snapped small powder charges to confuse the enemy into thinking they had more ammunition than they actually had, helping them win the battle. Over the next 100 years the Regiment served in the West Indies; holding off the French from Martinique and Guadeloupe, saw action in the Afghan War and suffered many casualties in the Boer War. With the outbreak of the First World War the Regiment grew to 19 battalions including four 'Pals Battalions'. The Regiment won four VC's and many other decorations. At the end of war in 1918 some of the battalions served in Iraq, India and North China and in 1935 the Regiment was granted the title of 'The Duke of Yorks Own'. With the outbreak of the Second World War battalions served in France, the Middle East and Sicily. The 2nd and 5th battalions took part in the initial assault on the Normandy beaches where they made up a third of the total British Force in the first assault wave. 65 men were killed and 141 men were wounded on that first day. The Regiment were also involved in the final advance to Burma prior to the Japanese surrender in August 1945. The Regiment was combined with the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1958. #IMAGE##SUBHEADING# Pals battalions #SUBHEADINGEND# At the outbreak of the First World War Lord Kitchener was faced with the task of encouraging men to join the British Army. Sir Henry Rawlinson suggested that more men would enlist if they knew that would be serving with someone that they knew. With the promise that men could serve with their friends and work colleagues a battalion was formed in London with over 1,500 men. The success of this led to battalions forming in Liverpool and Derby. It was in Derby that the term a 'battalion of pals' was first used. Towns and cities all over Britain were then encouraged to organise recruitment campaigns that promised men that they could serve with people they knew and during the next month over fifty towns in Britain formed pals battalions. #IMAGE##SUBHEADING# Hull Pals #SUBHEADINGEND# The first Hull Pals battalion was formed on the 29th August 1914 at Wenlock Barracks and formed part of the East Yorkshire Regiment. Within three months Hull had four 'pals' battalions. All 'pals' battalions had their own nickname. The 10th (Service) battalion called themselves the Hull Commercials. The three battalions that followed were called the Hull Tradesmen (11th (Service) battalion), the Hull Sportsmen (12th (Service) battalion) and the T'Others (13th (Service) battalion). The Hull Pals also won two Victoria Crosses in the First World War. They were awarded to Pte John Cunningham of the Hull Sportsmen battalion on the 13th November 1916 for his heroic actions in the Battle of the Somme and 2nd Lt. John Harrison of the Hull Tradesmen in Oppy, France on the 3 May 1917. 2nd Lt. John Harrison was tragically killed in the assault that led to his award. His wife Lillian was presented with his Victoria Cross at Buckingham Palace by King George V in 1918. Further reading http://www.yorkshirevolunteers.org.uk/pwo.htm


Roman oil lamp, Eastern Mediterranean

This unusual looking item is a Roman oil lamp. They were decorated in many different ways. They were filled with olive oil. A wick was then put into the hole at the front and lit. A small flame created the light and slowly burned the oil in the lamp. Oil lamps weren't used as much in Britain as elsewhere. Olive oil was very expensive because it wasn't made here. Being so far from Rome sometimes left us in the dark. This lamp was found in the Eastern Mediterranean area. Oil lamps have a long history in the Mediterranean region. Ceramic lamps were used around the Mediterranean from 2000 B.C through to the Middle Ages. Olive oil was the usual fuel for oil lamps and this was imported in amphoras by boat. The imported oil was expensive and burning it was a luxury. Fewer lamps are found in Britain because oil was so expensive and difficult to get hold of. In the 3rd century disorder in Spain cut the supply of olive oil to Britain. Oil lamps were one of the most common household items in the Roman empire. Lamps could be made out of stone, shell or other materials. Lamps could be decorated with almost any scene, including gods, animals and patterns. The lamp used a wick made from linen or papyrus. This was inserted into the body of the lamp. The end of the wick rested in the nozzle. The oil was then poured into the lamp. The wick was lit and a small flame burnt at the end it with the oil constantly refuelling it. Lamps were also buried in tombs and graves along with other items. They could also be used as offerings to the gods.


Roman Oil Lamp from the Eastern Mediterranean

This unusual looking item is a Roman oil lamp. They were decorated in many different ways but we can only imagine why this was made like a foot.

Oil lamps were filled with olive oil. A wick was then put into the hole at the front and lit. A small flame created the light and slowly burned the oil in the lamp. Oil lamps weren't used as much in Britain as elsewhere as olive oil was very expensive.

This lamp was found in the Eastern Mediterranean area. Oil lamps have a long history in the Mediterranean region. Ceramic lamps were used around the Mediterranean from 2000 B.C. through to the Middle Ages.

Olive oil was the usual fuel for oil lamps and this was imported in amphoras by boat. The imported oil was expensive and burning it was a luxury. Fewer lamps are found in Britain because oil was so expensive and difficult to get hold of. In the 3rd century disorder in Spain cut the supply of olive oil to Britain.

Oil lamps were one of the most common household items in the Roman empire. Lamps could be made out of stone and other materials. Lamps could be decorated with almost any scene, including gods, animals and patterns.

The lamp used a wick made from linen or papyrus. This was inserted into the body of the lamp. The end of the wick rested in the nozzle. The oil was then poured into the lamp. The wick was lit and a small flame burnt at the end it with the oil constantly refuelling it.

Lamps were also buried in tombs and graves along with other items. They could also be used as offerings to the gods.


Cup and saucer, probably made in Hull, 1857

In 1857 Martin Samuelson set up a shipyard at the mouth of the river Hull. This cup may have been made to celebrate this. The SS Lord Cardigan was made by Samuelson’s and launched in their first year.

Hull has a long tradition of ship building. One of the major shipbuilders in Victorian times was Samuelson’s. They were based at ‘Sammy’s Point’ which is where the Deep is today.

The saucer is inscribed, 'Martin Samuelson, February, 1857'.

In 1857 Martin Samuelson set up a shipyard at the mouth of the river Hull. This was on the east bank, the former site of the Hull Citadel. On one memorable day, 29th October 1863, four vessels were launched by Samuelson’s. These were the Countess of Ripon, her sister ship Lighting, the Earl de Grey and Ripon and steam tug, Solferino.

As a result of financial problems, Samuelson’s shipyard closed but reopened in 1864 as Humber Ironworks. However, Humber Ironworks failed two years later.

On 21st April 1865, Isabella Simpson, stewardess of the SS Lord Cardigan, was fined £100 and 27s 6d costs. This was for smuggling 20 lbs of tobacco, 14 oz of cigars and a pound of tea. In default of payment, she was sent to Lincoln Castle during Her Majesty´s pleasure.

The SS in SS Lord Cardigan stands for ‘steam ship’.

Lord Cardigan, who this ship was named after, commanded the charge of the Light Brigade in the Crimean War, 1854.


detail from Swastika mosaic (image/jpeg) The Rudston Swastika Mosaic

This remarkably complete mosaic is known as the Swastika or Geometric Mosaic and was found in 1933 at the Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. It came from the central room of the same house as the Venus and Aquatic Mosaics which are also displayed at the Hull and East Riding Museum. The mosaic measures 2.75m square and dates to the later 3rd century AD, the same date as the Venus Mosaic. #SUBHEADING#Swastikas and Endless Knots#SUBHEADINGEND# The central motif consists of four 'swastika-peltae', each made up of four peltae arranged in the form of a swastika around a central endless knot. The swastika theme is continued in the meander around the edge, executed in blue and white tesserae. The swastika is an ancient symbol, long pre-dating its use in Nazi Germany. #SUBHEADING#Oops!#SUBHEADINGEND# Look closely at the red triangles that border the inner edge of the central square. The top and the right-hand side are bigger than the other sides. This suggests that the fringe was composed by two craftsmen starting together at the bottom right and working round to the top left corner. The probably weren't too happy when they realised that the two halves didn't match! #SUBHEADING#And Again!#SUBHEADINGEND# At first glance the meander pattern around the edge looks symmetrical but take another look... It's not quite right! But don't be too scathing, this sort of pattern must have been incredibly difficult to pull off!


Portrait of TR Ferens (image/jpeg) T. R. Ferens (part 1)

The name of Ferens is well-known throughout Hull. The city's Art Gallery bears his name, as does one of the main roads through the city, 'Ferensway'. It is quite surprising then that although he was a generous benefactor, successful businessman and M.P. in the city, he was not actually born in Hull, but in County Durham. Thomas Robinson Ferens was born on 4th May, 1847 and was the son of a Miller. He moved to Hull in 1868 at the age of 19 when he began working as a clerk to Mr James Reckitt. He progressed through the company of Reckitt and Sons, taking on the roles of Secretary, then General Manager and eventually Chairman. He became a wealthy industrialist, with an old Hull saying that 'Reckitt's Blue made Ferens' gold'. #SUBHEADING#Benefactor#SUBHEADINGEND# Although Ferens became very wealthy, his Methodist up-bringing meant that he had no desire for luxurious living. He regarded the possession of wealth as a stewardship for him to use to benefit others. Accordingly, he made gifts to the city totalling more than one million pounds. It is for these generous gifts that he is best remembered. Ferens helped to fund a variety of causes and contributed to the formation of Hull University, the hospital and the city's art gallery. #SUBHEADING#Art Gallery#SUBHEADINGEND# Ferens had a great love of art and he also believed that works could have both a moral and spiritual effect on the viewer. In view of this he gave 5000 pounds in 1905 for the purchase of new works for the city. He also started to campaign for a dedicated art gallery as he was dissatisfied with the display space for art in the Albion Street Museum. In 1917 he offered 35,000 pounds and the site of St John's Church, Queen Victoria Square for the construction of a new art gallery. The Ferens Art Gallery was opened in November 1927 and the following year Ferens provided a 20,000 pounds covenant for the purchase of new works of art. During his life, Ferens acquired almost forty paintings which he either presented to the gallery or gave by bequest. These tended to be High Victorian works by well established artists that were purchased from the annual Royal Academy exhibitions. Paintings include Herbert Draper's 'Ulysses and the Sirens', Edgar Bundy's, 'The Night School' and Edward Atkinson Hornel's 'Lace Makers'. Two marble busts by Canart and Foggini were also bought which are earlier, being eighteenth century in date. #SUBHEADING#Other donations#SUBHEADINGEND# Ferens generously gave 250,000 pounds towards the founding of Hull's new University College. He also supplied the original 18 acre site on Cottingham Road. The foundation stone for the new University College was laid in 1928, by the Prince of Wales. Once the College was built, Ferens endowed a further 240,000 pounds. He also gave some land for the East Park in East Hull and paid for the building of the Ferens Boating Lake in 1913 within the Park, which was further extended in 1923. Ferens thought of both young and old and gave 14 acres of land for a recreation ground for the Young People's Institute, as well as providing funding for twelve almshouses, known as the 'Ferens Rest Homes' for elderly people.


tile detail (image/jpeg) Dutch Tin Glazed Tiles

The museum collections include many tin-glazed tiles made in Holland in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries. The tin glaze made the tile's surface opaque white, very hard, shiny and waterproof. The process was first used on ceramics in the Middle East from around 1000 BC. Knowledge of it spread from North Africa and into Europe via Spain and reached Holland by the fifteenth century. #SUBHEADING#Decorating the Tile#SUBHEADINGEND# The decoration was painted into the powdery glaze on the tile surface before it was fired. This sank into the glaze in the kiln and so is termed 'in-glaze' decoration. Dutch tiles and other ceramics that were made in this way were often hand painted with blue designs and are often known as 'blue and white'. Blue and white ceramics were first made to imitate costly Chinese blue and white porcelain that were being shipped to Europe by the East India Company in the seventeenth century. It was most successfully imitated in the Dutch town of Delft and so it became known as 'Dutch Delft'. #SUBHEADING#Subjects#SUBHEADINGEND# Landscapes were a popular subject for tiles with the simple sketch scenes providing a glimpse of the rural landscape of Holland of the time. Many tiles have stylised corner patterns that are called 'ox-head' motifs. Boats or ships on water were also popular designs whilst others featured natural images such as flowers, animals and birds including some mythical creatures. Simple, sketchy motifs were often used but sometimes more complex images with more detail were produced. The workers who painted the tiles were not accomplished artists. They often copied or based their paintings on works that had been produced by well-known artists. They often used a method called 'pouncing' to make an outline of the design on the tile which could be used as a guide. This involved using a piece of paper that had the outline of the design pricked into it. This paper was laid on the tile and struck with a bag containing powdered charcoal, which transferred the outline to the tile. #SUBHEADING#Colours that were used#SUBHEADINGEND# Many tin-glazed tiles were painted with colours other than blue, tiles featuring multiple colours are usually referred to as 'polychrome' tiles. During the eighteenth century, some tiles were painted using a manganese oxide which produced a purple-coloured design. This tile depicts the Biblical scene of Christ being tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. Biblical scenes from both Old and New Testaments were popular subjects. #SUBHEADING#Tile Production #SUBHEADINGEND# Rotterdam was one of the main centres for tile production, making millions of tiles. Dutch tiles were imported in great numbers through English ports including Hull. As well as these imports, tiles influenced by the Dutch style were also produced in England in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, especially in Bristol, London, Liverpool and Glasgow often as result of Dutch potters moving to England. The tiles and other ceramics that were made are known as 'delftware', spelt with a lowercase letter 'd'.


Portrait of Andrew Marvell (image/jpeg) Andrew Marvell (part 1)

Andrew Marvell is known as a great poet and politician of his time. Locally he is viewed as a prominent historical figure and his most famous poem, 'To His Coy Mistress' has been hailed as one of the most searching seductive poems in the English language. Andrew Marvell himself still remains something of a mystery with surviving letters and contemporary references reveal little of his personality. He was friends with Royalists yet held Puritan views. His political affiliations also appeared to be contradictory as he served as MP for Hull under both Thomas Crowell and King Charles II. #SUBHEADING#Early Days#SUBHEADINGEND# Andrew Marvell was born in Winestead, near Hull in March 1621 with his father, also named Andrew, was a curate. The family including Marvell's three sisters, Anne, Mary and Elizabeth moved to Hull when Andrew Marvell Snr was appointed Master of the Charterhouse and Lecturer at Holy Trinity Church in Hull. Although there is no documentary evidence, Marvell would most certainly have attended Hull Grammar school, where he would have learnt Latin. School days in the 17th Century were much longer than today. Lessons normally began around 6am, with a two hour break from 11-1, and finishing around 5 or 6 in the evening. #SUBHEADING#Church career abandoned#SUBHEADINGEND# At the age of 12 Marvell went to Trinity College Cambridge and was awarded a BA at the age of eighteen. It is thought that he intended to follow in his father's footsteps with a career in the church. However, in 1641 Marvell left Cambridge following the death of his father in a boating accident whilst crossing the River Humber to Barton. The death of his father forced Marvell to make his own living and he did so by becoming a tutor to young gentleman taking the Grand Tour in Europe and learnt four languages. The position of a tutor was not a prestigious one, (comparable with the position of governess in Victorian times) and he remained a tutor well into his thirties. #SUBHEADING#Civil War#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell's time abroad coincided with the un-rest during the Civil War especially after King Charles I was denied entry in to the city of Hull in 1642. When he returned to Hull in the late 1640s he became tutor to Mary Fairfax, the sole daughter and heir of Lord Fairfax, who was Commander of Cromwell's New Model Army until 1650. After a few years he left to become tutor to William Dutton, protégé and ward of Oliver Cromwell. In 1657 he was appointed to assist Milton in the post of Latin Secretary of State. #SUBHEADING#Poetry#SUBHEADINGEND# Although Marvell had begun writing poetry whilst at Cambridge, it was during his time as tutor that he wrote some of his most famous poetry, including To his Coy Mistress. He also wrote a poem to celebrate the first anniversary of the government under Oliver Cromwell in 1654. He used Lord Fairfax's house as inspiration to write Upon Appleton house, The Garden and the Mower Poems.


Portrait of Andrew Marvell (image/jpeg) Andrew Marvell (part 2)

#SUBHEADING#A conscientious MP#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell was a very professional MP for Hull and was continually corresponding with constituents and local businesses and campaigned on behalf of Hull Corporation in matters of wine licenses, excise and the discouragement of foreign shipping. #SUBHEADING#Parliamentarian or Royalist?#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell's political loyalties are difficult to assess. After Cromwell's death in 1658 and the collapse of the Protectorate, Marvell was re-elected as MP for Hull under the restoration government and remained MP until his death in 1678. With both Parliamentarian and Royalist friends he wrote from both perspectives including his sensitive treatment of King Charles' Execution in 'Horatio Ode' and verses against the corruption of the monarchy. #SUBHEADING#Metaphysical poet#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell is often referred to as a metaphysical poet, meaning he used wit and unusual metaphors to make his point. His anonymous prose satires criticizing the Monarchy and Catholicism show that he was clearly adept at political manoeuvring and working with the current system, and he was instrumental in saving Milton from an extended jail sentence and possible execution after the restoration. #SUBHEADING#Controversial to the end#SUBHEADINGEND# Despite his poetry and his adept political life, we actually know very little about Marvell's personality or appearance. The only contemporary account describes him as "of middling stature, pretty strong set, roundish faced, cherry cheeked, [with] hazel eye[s]". Surprisingly for a poet, he was claimed to be a man of few words, but on the rare occasions he spoke out in Parliament he often spoke with violent emotion. He also had a fondness for wine, although preferred not to drink in company, but alone to "refresh his spirits and exalt his muse". #SUBHEADING#Mysterious death and financial controversy#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell died suddenly in August 1678 of tertiary ague, an erratic fever that would attack on alternate days. The suddenness of his death sparked suspicions that he had been poisoned by the Jesuits (one of the groups Marvell satirised in his prose), but as his work was published anonymously, this seems unlikely. A book of his poetry was published in 1681 by a Mary Palmer, who claimed to be his wife by secret marriage in 1667. She was actually his landlady attempting to prevent the small estate left by Marvell going to his business associates creditors. #SUBHEADING#Legacy#SUBHEADINGEND# Marvell's political career overshadowed his poetry for nearly 200 years. Apart from "The First Anniversary" (1655) to mark Cromwell's first year of rule, Marvell didn't publish any named works in his life time; and no poetry in his own hand survives. After his death, his poetic and literary style was going out of fashion, and it wasn't until the mid Victorian period that his work began to be read more widely, and not until the early 20th century that he was recognised as a great lyrical poet. In 1921 Hull celebrated the tercentenary of his birth with city wide celebrations, and Hull University published a book of essays on tercentenary of his death in 1979. A statue of Andrew Marvell can be found in Trinity Square, outside the Old Grammar School that he attended as a child.


detail from clothing ration book (image/jpeg) 1940s Fashion - Rationing and Making do

Rationing wasn't just for food. Many commodities, including clothes, petrol and household goods were rationed to ensure fair distribution of valuable and scarce resources. As with many items, cloth and raw materials couldn't be imported, so the amount of clothes people could buy had to be controlled by a rationing system, introduced in 1941. Each person was allowed 66 coupons per year (later reduced to 48), which added up to a complete outfit. However some essential items didn't require coupons, such as boiler suits, workers overalls and baby's clothes under four months old, and the sale of second hand clothes was permitted. Sewing thread and mending wool were also un-rationed, and women were urged to take their old clothes or recently bought second hand ones, and alter them to fashion new ones. Clothes rationing continued until well after the war had ended in 1952. #SUBHEADING# "Make do and mend" #SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Mrs Sew and Sew, a handy seamstress character created by the government, encouraged women to "Make do and mend" the items they already owned. Everything needed to be made to last as long as possible, and there was no excuse for being wasteful. It also encouraged women to be creative with their dressmaking for the family. Old bedspreads could be made into coats, two worn dresses could be pieced together to make a new one, and men's old suits and trousers could be made into a woman or child's outfit. Some women were very creative, and used unconventional materials such as making hats from newspapers. Others, who were fortunate enough to get their hands on the remains of a silk parachute, could make underwear, nightwear and even wedding dresses from the material. Handy leaflets gave advice on how to take care of woollens, how to get the best wear from your shoes and how to cover unsightly holes with decorative patches. The principle of minimising waste was a campaign that was extended into other areas of government campaigns as well. With everything in shortage, it was important to ensure everything was used to its full potential in support of the population's morale and collective war effort.


Sir James Reckitt

#SUBHEADING#The Paternalist Philanthropist#SUBHEADINGEND# James Reckitt, the youngest son of Isaac is best known in Hull through his legacy of charitable causes and gifts to the people of the city. He had a very strong social conscience, and devoted much of his time, energy and if necessary personal capital to improving quality of life for the residents of Hull. He headed the campaign for free provision of public libraries in Hull, and when the local authorities failed to provide one he financed the purchase of one himself on Holderness Road in Hull. He assisted in setting up Hull's Royal Infirmary and was a chairman from 1900 until his death in 1924. In 1894, he was offered, and reluctantly accepted a Baronetcy. #SUBHEADING#A village for his workers#SUBHEADINGEND# James Reckitt's most substantial gift to his workers was the creation of Garden Village. He provided £100,000 for the provision of 600 purpose built houses with gardens located close to the factories. The idea was to provide healthy and comfortable domestic arrangements in a village like community. The provision of space, a village hall for religious services and public events, and garden areas were considered to provide health and happiness for his workers, which would naturally make them more content and therefore productive. They were also provided at much lower cost then less adequate housing without garden space in the rest if the city. #SUBHEADING#Special provision for the elderly#SUBHEADINGEND# Within the village were three lots of almshouses donated at various times by different members of the Reckitts family. The James Reckitt Village Haven, the last to be created in 1924 and donated on his 90th birthday, consisted of 12 houses which were specially designed to provide ultimate comfort and minimum housework possible. Priority was given to elderly Quakers and ex-employees of the company, who were charged no rent, and were given small weekly allowances supplemented by extra gifts such as bags of coal. #SUBHEADING#Garden Village today#SUBHEADINGEND# Garden Village still exists today, although the share holders sold the village to the Bradford Property Trust in 1950, who then sold-off the houses to tenants as the years progressed. As transport became cheaper and the use of the motor car more widely available, it became less important to live conveniently close to work. The Garden Village is a conservation area, and in 1994 all the James Reckitts Almshouses were given listed building status.


detail of boneshaker bicycle (image/jpeg) The Boneshaker Bicycle

It was two French brothers, Ernest and Pierre Micheaux in 1861 who first thought of fixing cranks and pedals to the front of an old hobby horse bicycle. This made it faster and less strenuous to ride. The earliest Velocipedes as they were called had horizontal frames, like the hobby horse, but later machines used downwards curving frames joined to the rear axle. On both types the seat was mounted on a separate wooden or metal spring. This made the seat more comfortable but the wooden wheels and iron rims still caused the handlebars to shake, hence the name 'boneshaker'. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Weights#SUBHEADINGEND# Boneshaker's had an average weight of just 60 pounds and was capable of eight miles per hour but riding them was not easy. Mounting was a problem, early manuals advised running alongside and vaulting into the saddle. The size of the front wheel made the pedal action unpleasantly fast; to keep them on a straight course the rider had to resist the sideways movement of the front wheel as he pressed down on the pedals. They were around $100 to buy so unaffordable for the working classes. #SUBHEADING#Improvements#SUBHEADINGEND# Some improvements were made during the years 1868-1870, fitting a step to the frame made mounting and dismounting easier, it also made the machine faster by allowing riders to use models with larger front wheels. Machines like the Phantom brought advances in lighter frame design, the use of rubber on the wheel rims and wheel suspension with wire spokes. This invention was the key to the next stage of cycle development. #IMAGE#


The Hull Tapestry, Made by the Hull Tapestry Group, 1991-2007

This is one panel from a tapestry that took 16 years to make. The complete tapestry has 19 panels and shows the history of Hull. The Hull Tapestry Group is a group of volunteers who made the Hull Tapestry. Their ages range from 25 to 80 years old. Over twenty different types of stitch have been used on the panels, some with unusual names. These include the tent stitch, the cross stitch, the diagonal Parisian and the encroaching Gobelin. The designer of the Hull Tapestry is Pat Mackrill. In 1953, as a young artist called Patricia Field, she also completed two murals for the Guildhall which can still be seen near the silver cases. The subjects for the nineteen panels are as follows: The Monks of Meaux, Charles I at the Beverley Gate, Hull Fair and Markets, Education, Art, Music and Literature, Fishing Fleet, Shipping, Whaling, Trinity House, Dock Development, William Wilberforce, Amy Johnson, Andrew Marvell, Industry, Public Health, The Blitz, Transport, New Buildings, The City Insignia,


whaling weapon detail (image/jpeg) Whaling Weapons

Catching whales was difficult and dangerous work. Getting close enough to the whale to get a line attached and then kill it was continually hampered by rough weather and fighting whales that would often dive below the ice to escape. As a result the whalers came to rely on the effectiveness and efficiency of their weapons. These weapons varied from hand held weapons to explosive devices. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Hand harpoons#SUBHEADINGEND# The function of the harpoon is simply to fasten a line to the whale. The British 'iron' had two barbs each with a small reverse barb or 'stop wither'. The withers catch hold of the muscle fibres and tendons of the whale and prevent the harpoon from dragging out. Experiments with new types of gun common place but projecting a gun harpoon so that it entered the whale as nearly vertically as possible was problematic as a result the hand harpoon remained a popular weapon and was in use throughout the entire era of commercial open boat whaling. The Temple Iron became a popular harpoon with whalers. It was adapted by Lewis Temple, an American, in 1848. It was a simple design whereby a small wooden pin fastened a hinged barb to the harpoon, when the harpoon is drawn out of the whale the pin breaks and then the hinged barb swings outwards to hold fast. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Harpoon gun#SUBHEADINGEND# The harpoon gun was first invented in 1731 but was not widely used until the nineteenth century. A gun harpoon was inserted into the barrel of the gun and once fired into the whale would serve the same purpose as the hand harpoon. Harpoons were often 'tagged' so that the identity of any particular harpoon could be verified in case the ownership of any whale was disputed. Usually harpoons were stamped with the name of the ship to which it belonged and often marked with the date. #SUBHEADING#Lances#SUBHEADINGEND# The lances were thrust into the whale's vital organs; a spout of blood form the blow hole would usually indicate the impending death of the animal. #SUBHEADING#Whaling crossbow#SUBHEADINGEND# The whaling crossbow was an enlarged version of the medieval weapon and has a swivel so that it could be mounted in a whaleboat. The crossbow was used as an alternative method to the early harpoon gun and from 1768-1788 the Society of Arts offered rewards for an improved crossbow. One of these crossbows survived and is currently on display in the Hull Maritime Museum. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Bomb lance#SUBHEADINGEND# From the 1850's onwards shoulder guns were used to shoot bomb lances at the whales. The bomb lances were filled with explosives and would explode soon after entering the body of the whale. The Balchin bomb lance was fired from a swivel harpoon gun and was in use throughout the 1860's. It was made to be smaller in diameter to prevent it from sticking in the gun barrel. A cylinder containing a fuse match was inserted at the back of the lance and this was ignited when the main charge of the gun was fired. The match was designed to burn a certain length of time so that the lance explodes once it had hit the whale.


Roman glass bottle, Jerusalem, Israel, c.300-500 AD

Glass blowing is a process that involves blowing air into red hot glass. The Roman empire used glass blowing skills to make delicate luxury items such as this flask. The colourless body and green glass decoration mark it out as something special.

Glass is naturally a blue-green colour and has to have an extra process done to it to make it clear. This type of glass was reserved for special pieces like this.

This Roman glass flask was excavated in Jerusalem, Israel. It was collected by Arthur E. Hastings Crofts of Bradford. Crofts sold his collection of Roman glassware and pottery to Hull Museums in 1925.

Romans used glass flasks to drink from and to serve drinks at the table. Fine glass vessels were also given as grave goods. Most Roman glass vessels that have survived intact have been preserved in graves.

We will never know if this particular flask is from a grave. When an incendiary bomb hit the Municipal Museum during the Second World War, all the collection records were destroyed.

Glass was plentiful in the Roman era and a revolutionary method of making it was developed. In the first century BC people discovered that molten glass could be inflated into a huge variety of shapes.

Previously glass had been restricted to small luxury items made by a casting process. This was expensive and time consuming. Suddenly glass vessels were a cheap, practical and attractive alternative to pottery and metal containers. Mass-produced glass was born.

Glassblowing probably began in Syria and spread quickly throughout the Mediterranean region. Gradually it reached northern Europe. Many areas of the Roman Empire like Britain lacked the raw materials to make glass. To solve this problem broken glass was shipped all over the Empire to be re-melted and made in vessels. The system for collecting broken glass was similar to modern bottle banks.


Sailing Vessels Off the Coast

Having lived abroad for 27 years, Somerscales returned to England in 1892. At that time he was a totally unknown artist in this country but he was quick to attract lots of attention with his paintings. From 1893 until a few years prior to his death in 1927, Somerscales exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy. Sailing Vessels Off the Coast shows the artist's skill in depicting the masts and rigging of ships using a broad, painterly style ideal for capturing the movement of waves. The use of energetic and well defined brushmarks for painting the sky also creates a gusty atmosphere to the scene.


H.M.S. Clio, 1923

The wooden steam corvette H.M.S. Clio was built for the Royal Navy in 1858 at the Sheerness dockyard. She measured 200 x 40 feet at a total of 2,306 tons. She did not see much action, although she sailed around the world. In 1876, having already seen eighteen years of service, she was sold to the Border Country Training Ship Company of Bangor, Wales. Young trainee sailors would often take the Clio along the north coast of Wales down to the south Devon coast. In this painting, Somerscales skilfully captures the sense of a vessel being supported by a vast ocean with dark, translucent waves used to create depth. This sense of weight and volume is characteristic of much of Somerscale's work.


Off the Canaries (British Cruiser Auxiliary Steam)

Off the Canaries was probably painted on Somerscales' return journey back to England. He had been living abroad for almost thirty years having settled at Valparaiso in Chile. In 1890, just two years prior to the date of this painting, the death of his daughter Alice had seriously disturbed the family and in particular his other daughter, Sophia. This, coupled with the fact that his sons were reaching university age, led to the decision that they should return to his native country.


Deux Plans Virtuels, 1965

Text needs editing Soto is a Venezuelan artist who, in the 1950s, began a series of personal experiments to explore the relationships between shape, colour and sound. He took inspiration from the carefully planned, hard-edged abstraction of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). His early relief's comprised of highly organised bands of black and white, or another colour, which acquired visual 'life' through extremely simple but dazzling means. In 1955 he 'invented' his own type of kinetic sculpture, adding true movement to the equation. He developed this throughout the 1960s incorporating the thin, vibrating wands seen in the Ferens' piece, to give a subtle third dimension to his work. Soto played a prominent role in the Kinetic Art movement of the 1960s. Deux Plans Virtuels typifies much of Soto's work of this decade with its use of wiring and suspended forms, set against a striped background. In this piece he uses the striped background's special optical effects, in appearing to attack and partly dissolve the rods suspended in front of it. This 'visually jarring' effect is enhanced by both the movement of the rods and the viewer's own body. Venezuelan artist, Soto, played a prominent role in the Kinetic Art movement of the 1960s. His work at this time often used wires and other metallic elements as well as striped backgrounds. As with Deux Plans Virtuels, the effect of the striped background is strange in appearing to attack, and partly dissolve, the forms, placed in front of it. This 'visual jarring' effect is enhanced by any movement of the spectator's body or head. Influenced by the Russian Constructivists and the work of Piet Mondrian (1872-1944) in particular, Soto shared their desire for a pure abstract art form. His work during the 1960s sought to be wholly independent of the natural world, and any references to it.


Cleopatra

Weekes started out as an assistant to the great early 19th century sculptor, Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841). He took over Chantrey's studio after his death and went on to become an established portrait and monumental sculptor, regularly exhibiting at the Royal Academy and at the British Institution. For many centuries Egypt has been a constant source of inspiration to British artists. The study of Egyptology increased during the 18th century as the result of important archaeological discoveries. In an age of expanding Empire the Victorians were fascinated by 'exotic' oriental cultures. The subject of Cleopatra - the Queen of Egypt, renowned for her beauty and intelligence - was a particular favourite.


Reclining Figure

Having served in the First World War for two years, Smith returned to London in 1919 wounded and shell-shocked. He led a reclusive existence in a Fitzroy Street attic before moving to Cornwall where he remained for two years in a state of nervous unease. From 1921 through to the early 1930s Smith divided his time between London and Paris. During this period he painted many nudes and is one of the few English painters to excel in this genre. Smith painted thickly and fluently, sometimes using his fingers. The combination of sensual form and colour, particularly in his nudes, has been compared with those of the French artist, Delacroix (1798-1863).


r38 postcard (image/jpeg) R.38 Airship: Disaster Over the Humber

#SUBHEADING# The Largest Airship in the World #SUBHEADINGEND# During the latter stages of the First World War a number of airships had been commissioned by the Government. The order for the R.38 was taken up by Short Brothers at Cardington in February 1919 and work started on what promised to be the largest airship in the world. However, with the end of the First World War England's economy slumped and the Treasury had to re-evaluate its spending. Naturally this led to problems with the construction of the R.38. (Other airship orders were cancelled and most of the existing airships were either sold off or broken up). Consequently, the order for the R.38 was cancelled and Short Brothers were compensated for the loss of the contract. #SUBHEADING# Construction Begins #SUBHEADINGEND# At the end of the war German airships were divided between the European allies as laid out in the Treaty of Versailles. The Americans decided that they wanted a large rigid airship and so the R.38 contract was offered to them in October 1919. For 2.5 million pounds the British agreed to build the R.38 and train its crew and officers. #IMAGE# The Americans agreed and a delivery date of 'late 1920' was arranged. Progress was slow on the construction of the ship and she was finally completed on the 7th June 1921. Because of this delay and the pressure to get her flying there was no chance to change her registration from R.38 to the American ZR2. Therefore, she flew with the US insignia markings on the outer cover and also her British registration R.38 on her first flight, the plan being to convert her to ZR2 when she reached Howden. #SUBHEADING# Disaster strikes #SUBHEADINGEND# Doubts about the airships strength arose after she sustained damage during the flight between Cardington and Howden but after her fourth trial flight the R.38/ZR2 was ready the fly to Pulham, Norfolk. On arrival at Pulham the R.38/ZR2 was unable to land as the airfield was obscured by fog and when the fog had not cleared by the next morning it was decided that they should return to Howden and carry out some more trials en route. #IMAGE# It was whilst carrying out this test flight over the Humber on the 24th August that disaster struck. The airship broke into two after the ship seemed to crumple in the middle. There were two explosions in the front section which caused the deaths of forty-four crew. Five members who had been in the tail section survived. Original reports suggested that the airship had structural weaknesses which caused the crash but the Board of Inquiry offered no technical opinions on the crash. The Americans were offered the R.36 as compensation but it was estimated that they lost almost two million dollars as a result of the disaster. There is a memorial in the Western cemetery on Spring Bank West, Hull, to commemorate all those who lost their lives. Further reading http://www.aht.ndirect.co.uk/airships/r38/


Dining chairs by Robert Wright, Bond Street, Hull, c.1810-1830

The decoratively carved back of this chair is called a ‘rope-twist back’. This is because the central piece of wood has been carved to look like a thick length of woven rope. At the time this chair was made, there were no machines to carve wood. Every part of the carving would have been done carefully by hand. This chair is part of a set of four matching dining chairs, which are all part of Hull Museums’ collection. There are probably many surviving pieces of Hull furniture that will never be identified. This is because most pieces were not marked with their maker’s name. This chair has the name ‘R. Wright’ punched underneath the seat frame. Robert Wright was one of many Hull furniture makers in the 1800s. It is difficult to find information about these makers because so few written records survive. Most of what we know comes from local trade directories. Trade directories were the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages. Robert Wright is first mentioned in the 1791 Hull directory, when he was a joiner in Blanket Row. From around 1810 he was a cabinet maker at 20 Bond Street. From 1823-1831 he is listed in local directories at 38-39 Bond Street. This chair was made at one of Robert Wright’s Bond Street workshops. After 1831 Wright disappears from trade directories, which probably means that he had died. Like most other furniture workshops in the 1800s, Robert Wright’s workshop was probably a small family business. Small workshops had little capital and couldn’t afford to make much furniture for stock. Throughout the 1700s and into the 1800s every piece of furniture was made to order. Later in the 1800s more confident furniture makers made display pieces for their shop windows. Like many small furniture makers at the time, Robert Wright also practised other trades to make a living. Trade directory entries show that he was also an upholsterer and undertaker. Many furniture makers used their carpentry skills to make coffins. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Chairs by Robert Wright, Bond Street, Hull, c.1810-1830

Most furniture made in Hull in the 1800s will never be identified. This is because pieces were not marked with their maker’s name. This chair is unusual because it has the maker’s name and address punched on its frame. The chair was made by Robert Wright, whose workshop was in Bond Street, Hull. The rich, dark wood used to make this chair is mahogany. Mahogany was brought to Hull by boat from South and Central America. Robert Wright was one of many Hull furniture makers in the 1800s. Most of what we know about these makers comes from local trade directories. Trade directories were the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages. Robert Wright is first mentioned in the 1791 Hull directory when he was a joiner in Blanket Row. From around 1810 he was a cabinet maker at 20 Bond Street. From 1823-1831 he is listed in local directories at 38-39 Bond Street. After 1831 Wright disappears from local trade directories which probably means that he had died. Although this chair was made locally the mahogany used to make it came from thousands of miles away. Mahogany for making quality furniture had begun to be imported into London from Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras in the 1720s. It was difficult to buy mahogany in Hull with most consignments coming from London via the coastal trade. This changed in the 1770s with increasing demand for mahogany from local furniture makers. The demand encouraged Hull timber merchants to specialise in importing exotic hardwoods from South and Central America. These merchants traded mahogany throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire. They used the network of waterways flowing into the Humber to transport the wood. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Desk by Audas & Leggott, HUll, c.1880

One of Hull’s most important furniture makers made this solid mahogany desk in the late 1800s. The desk’s writing surface is padded with green leather, with a decorative gold pattern around the edge. Hull’s excellent trade links via its port meant that long before 1800 it was the regional centre for furniture making. Previously Beverley and York had been the local centres of furniture production. Many high quality pieces like this desk were made in Hull in the 1800s. Audas & Leggott was one of Hull’s most important furniture makers in the late 1800s. The firm operated from around 1860 to 1889. Audas & Leggott was established by Thomas Audas and George Leggott. The firm is first listed in trade directories (the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages) in 1861. The 1861 trade directory tells us that Audas & Leggott’s furniture was made in Naylors Row, Drypool. The firm’s show room was at 9 Paragon Street. Later, Audas & Leggott occupied further premises in Savile Street. From 1867-1889 the firm’s main address was 17 Paragon Street. From 1882 Audas & Leggott was described in trade directories as cabinet makers, designers, carvers and decorators. This shows that the firm had expanded to offer a range of services to customers. According to James Joseph Sheahan’s ‘History of Hull’ (1864), Audas & Leggott opened its Paragon Street show room in 1860. The building that became the show room had been built as a Christian temperance church. It then became a dancing saloon, with a very bad reputation. Sheahan was pleased that Audas & Leggott had taken over the building. The firm must have been well respected in Hull. Audas & Leggott’s status in Hull is also suggested by its commission to make a set of chairs for St Luke’s Church. The pine communion chairs were made before the consecration of the building in 1862. Unfortunately they no longer survive as the church was destroyed by bombing in the Second World War. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Chair, late 1700s

A plaque on the back of this chair says it belonged to Samuel Thompson. Samuel sold timber that arrived at Hull’s docks by ship. The plaque tells us the exact date he was born and that he died in 1803. After Samuel died his wife and sons continued his business. No one knows for certain if this chair was made in Hull but as Samuel was a local man it’s likely. Perhaps it was made from the wood he sold? Hull was an important regional centre for furniture making in the 1700s and 1800s. The city’s furniture industry was founded on its role as a timber port. Wood imports from northern Europe and the Baltic have been part of Hull’s commerce for centuries. As early as 1304, 25 000 boards of timber arrived in Hull. They were used mainly in the building and shipbuilding industries. By the 1600s, Hull was second only to London as a timber port. The easy availability of timber encouraged furniture makers to settle in Hull in the 1700s. This in turn changed the character of the timber trade. From the 1770s, Hull timber merchants began to specialise in importing exotic hardwoods from South and Central America. Woods like mahogany were in great demand for making good quality furniture. Hull’s first constructed dock opened in 1778, covering 9 ¾ acres. Before this, the only place for timber ships to dock was in the ‘Old Harbour’ in the River Hull. New timber yards sprang up around the dock. This tempted furniture makers to set up business in the surrounding streets, such as Savile Street and Bond Street. Hull’s trade links meant that by 1800 it had become the regional centre for furniture making, overtaking Beverley and York.


Chiffonier by Robert Wright, Bond Street, Hull, c.1830

The narrow shelf at the top of this cabinet would probably have been used to display precious pieces of china. The shelf has been made ornamental as well as practical, with decoratively carved wooden supports at either end. Hull was the regional centre for furniture making in the 1800s. Long before 1800 it overtook Beverley and York as a producer of good quality furniture. This was because Hull’s port made it easy for furniture makers to get timber from abroad. Robert Wright was one of many Hull furniture makers in the 1800s. It is difficult to find information about these makers because so few written records survive. Most of what we know comes from local trade directories. Trade directories were the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages. Robert Wright is first mentioned in the 1791 Hull directory, when he was a joiner in Blanket Row. From around 1810 he was a cabinet maker at 20 Bond Street. From 1823-1831 he is listed in local directories at 38-39 Bond Street. This chair was made at one of Robert Wright’s Bond Street workshops. After 1831 Wright disappears from trade directories, which probably means that he had died. Like most other furniture workshops in the 1800s, Robert Wright’s workshop was probably a small family business. Small workshops had little capital and couldn’t afford to make much furniture for stock. Throughout the 1700s and into the 1800s every piece of furniture was made to order. Later in the 1800s more confident furniture makers made display pieces for their shop windows. Like many small furniture makers at the time, Robert Wright also practised other trades to make a living. Trade directory entries show that he was also an upholsterer and undertaker. Many furniture makers used their carpentry skills to make coffins. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Silver skillet by James Birkby, Hull, 1650

This is a skillet which is an old fashioned name for a saucepan. Skillets are usually a rounded bowl on legs like this. This is quite a fancy, silver skillet. Some would have just been made in pot or ordinary metal.

This was made by Hull silversmith James Birkby. Birkby’s workshop was in Church Lane, near Holy Trinity Church. This was an area used by many silversmiths before him.

Many of Hull’s silversmiths were based in the same location on Church Lane, Which is now demolished. This was close to Market Place, near Holy Trinity Church. Eleven silversmiths are known to have worked at the Church Lane premises including James Birkby.

In 1645, silversmith Robert Robinson took on an apprentice called James Birkby. After serving his apprenticeship, Birkby bought his freedom in 1651 and established his own business in premises very close by. James Birkby died at the age of 32.

This is a plain circular silver skillet with a cover on three paw-feet. The side of the skillet is engraved with a coat of arms belonging to the Hawkesworth family. There is also an inscription in Latin:

‘Ex dono Walter Hawksworth, Jenero & Ecclaesia de Hawksworth in Comitat Yorkshire Ano Domi 1650’.

This was purchased from Christies in London in November 1994, with grant-aid from the Rupert Alec Smith Fund. The skillet belonged to William Randolph Hearst. It was taken from St. Donat’s Castle, Wales prior to being sold at Christies in 1938. It was then sold to Major Rex Benson and then again at Sotheby’s in 1944 to How of Edinburgh.


Pearlware Jug, c.1811

This jug shows a boxing match between Tom Molineaux and Tom Cribb in 1810. Molineaux had been a slave in America. He gained his freedom when he made a plantation owner lots of money through boxing.

Tom came to England to earn money as a boxer and to fight English champion Tom Cribb. They fought for 39 rounds until both men were exhausted. Molineaux collapsed and Cribb was declared the winner. Both fighters impressed the public and Molineaux became a celebrity.

Tom Molineaux was born in 1784 as a slave in Virginia. He was trained by his father Zachary Molineaux and boxed with other slaves as entertainment for the plantation owners. His own plantation owner won a hundred thousand dollars on Molineaux and then granted Tom his freedom.

In 1810 Tom worked his passage on board a ship to England hoping to earn money prize fighting. Boxing was one way in which black people could gain wealth and social status in Britain at that time.

In December 1810 Molineaux fought Tom Cribb the English champion. In the 28th round Molineaux appeared to have knocked out Cribb. However, some people argued that he had been hiding lead bullets in his fists. This was disproved but gave Cribb time to recover.

Molineaux later slipped and hit his head on one of the ring posts which weakened him. By the 39th round he was unable to defend himself any more and Cribb was declared the winner. A modern boxing match only lasts a maximum of 12 rounds of three minutes.

At a rematch a record 15,000 people watched the fight. Cribb had trained harder for this fight and Molineaux was eventually knocked out after his jaw had been broken.

Tom Molineaux still became something of a celebrity and gained admiration. However, he later died penniless in Dublin in 1818.


Anti-slavery vase, possibly by Coalport, Shropshire, c.1790-1820

The picture on this vase shows a woman being sold as a slave. The picture may be a scene from the legend of Inkle and Yarico. The story was about a woman being sold as a slave by the man she loved. It was a popular and well known story in Britain in the 1700s.

The vase was made to encourage support for the anti-slavery campaign of the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Many people believed the legend of Inkle and Yarico was a true story. The story was first introduced to Britain by a journalist in the ‘Spectator’ in 1711.

According to the story, Thomas Inkle was a young British merchant who sailed for the West Indies in 1647. His ship ran into trouble and landed on the American mainland. Here he met Yarico, a native American woman. They fell in love and lived together for several months. However, when Inkle found a ship to take him to Barbados, he sold Yarico as a slave. At the time Barbados was dominated by European sugar plantations worked by slaves.

The story of Inkle and Yarico was made into an opera by George Colman. Colman changed the ending so that true love prevailed and Inkle took Yarico out of slavery. This made the story even more appealing to abolitionists.

It isn’t clear which pottery factory manufactured this vase but it may have been made at Shropshire’s Coalport factory. John Rose established the Coalport factory on the banks of the River Severn around 1797. It specialised in fine porcelain.

The vase closely resembles some early Coalport pieces from 1797-1815. Few early Coalport pieces were marked with the maker’s name, so they are hard to identify. To add to the confusion, John Rose’s brother Thomas ran a rival factory at Coalport. It produced porcelain that was very similar to the products made at John Rose’s factory. John Rose bought this rival factory in 1814.


Close-up detail of Britain's Oldest Ball (image/jpeg) The Oldest 'Ball' in Britain

As a city mad on its ball sports, whether they be round or oval, it is interesting to note that Hull is also the owner of the oldest ball in Britain. However, far from it being a football or a rugby ball, it is in fact a wooden bowling ball dating back to the thirteenth century. The ball or bowl is thought to be the oldest purpose built ball for sports in the country, and although called a ball, it is far from being ball-shaped. Made of solid wood it has one face that is almost flat. Although at first it was thought to be broken, its unusual shape is now thought to be intentional. The bowl was excavated in the early 1970's from the site of a timbered hall on the corner of High Street and Blackfriargate in Hull. It was found in the remains of stable litter where the water-logged conditions helped to preserve it. The site had been owned by the monks of Meaux Abbey, who owned the port of Wyke before it became Kingston Upon Hull in 1299, so it is possible that the ball is older than the city itself. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#The game of half-bowl #SUBHEADINGEND# Although called a bowl, it would not have been used on a green, and resembles the game of skittles today. Believed to have been used in a game called half-bowl, the unusual shape of the bowl allowed it to be bowled in a curving arc. Twelve pins would be set in a circle with one pin in the centre and one on each side of the circle. The object of the game was to knock down the twelve pins but only after the pin at the far side of the circle had been knocked down first. In Hertfordshire it was known as rolly-polly and a similar version of this game still survives, with versions being played in Spain, Belgium and Holland. As Hull had many trading links with these countries during the medieval period, it is possible that the game was introduced from the continent. #SUBHEADING#Banned by the King#SUBHEADINGEND# One of the more interesting facts associated with the bowl is that it was one of several games banned by King Edward IV in 1477, mainly because it was a distraction and promoted gambling. If this is so, is it possible that Hull's monks were involved in gambling, completely against the laws of all monastic orders?! To this day it still has its fair share of attention, as well as being held by medieval monks amongst others, it has more recently been held by TV presenters Richard and Judy and has featured on their Channel Four show. For a plain wooden ball measuring no more than 10cm across, its story gives us an interesting insight into the world of Medieval Hull.



freedom centrepiece (image/jpeg) The Freedom Centrepiece 2007

#SUBHEADING#The Freedom Centrepiece 2007#SUBHEADINGEND# In 2006 Hull Museums commissioned silversmith Jocelyn Burton to produce a major silver centrepiece. This was part of the commemorations for the bi-centenary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007. This will be a lasting testament to freedom and will hopefully be around for the tercentenary. The centrepiece was funded by the Alderman Rupert Alec-Smith Fund and the Wilberforce 2007 Programme. Three leading silversmiths were commissioned to produce a forward looking design that concentrated on the theme of 'freedom'. A panel selected Burton's as the winning one. The panel was made up of experts in silver, slavery, art and community affairs. #SUBHEADING#Winning design#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE#Jocelyn's winning design is based upon the shape of the cowry shell. The cowry shell was used extensively in West Africa as currency and played a major part in the slave trade. The shape is also meant to be representative of a ship's sail in the wind, projecting us forwards into the future. Burton was inspired by a quote from William Wilberforce, on Tuesday 12th May 1789, when he declared in the House of Commons as part of his speech calling for the Total Abolition of Slavery, "I would never rest...I found myself impelled to go boldly forward." The base of the design is ebonised wood, with silver chasing representing the four elements - earth, water, fire and air. This represents the universe, to which all of humankind belongs. The ebony and the cowry shell are also representative of West Africa. Beneath this is a design of broken chains, representing the abolition of the slave trade. Around the base are also names of many different freedom fighters through history, including William Wilberforce. The Freedom Centrepiece, funded by the Alderman Rupert Alec-Smith Fund and the Wilberforce 2007 Programme, was unveiled at the Guildhall on 5th June 2007 by the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Dr Navin Chandra Ramgoolan.


The Freedom Centrepiece by Jocelyn Burton, 2007

This silver piece is made to look like a cowry sea shell. These shells were used in West Africa as money, including in the slave trade. The shape also represents a ship's sail in the wind, moving us forwards to a better future. This was specially made in 2007 to remember the end of the British slave trade 200 years ago. Many people fought for the end of this terrible trade, including William Wilberforce who was born in Hull. In 2006 Hull Museums commissioned Jocelyn Burton to produce a silver centrepiece. This was part of the commemorative events for the bi-centenary of the abolition of the slave trade in 2007. This was generously funded by the Alderman Alec-Smith Fund and the Wilberforce 2007 Programme. Three leading silversmiths were commissioned to produce a design and a panel selected Burton's as the winning one. Jocelyn's winning design was inspired by a quote from William Wilberforce. On 12th May 1789 Wilberforce delivered his speech to the House of Commons calling for the Total Abolition of Slavery. He declared, 'I would never rest...I found myself impelled to go boldly forward.' The base of the design is ebony, with silver chasing representing the four elements: earth, water, fire and air. This represents the universe which all of humankind belongs to. The ebony and the cowry shell are also representative of West Africa. Beneath this is a design of broken chains, representing the abolition of the slave trade. The names around the base recall famous freedom fighters throughout history. The three crowns on the top of the piece represent Hull and its connection to this struggle.


excavation photograph (image/jpeg) Digging the Past

Archaeology is the scientific study of past cultures and the way people lived based on things they left behind. Objects give us information about groups of people, language, religion, technology and values and Hull Museums archaeological collection is wide and varied. The collections include, boats preserved from the Humber and the Roos Carr figures, Roman mosaics and other artefacts, coins and much much more. Read our narratives to learn more about the past peoples of Hull and the surrounding areas.


Roman mosaic, Rudston, East Yorkshire, c.200-299 AD

The figure in the centre of this mosaic is the goddess Venus. She was the goddess of love and beauty. Around the edges are a lion, a bull, a leopard and a stag.

This mosaic is from a house in Rudston, East Yorkshire. Wealthy Romans decorated their floors with mosaics. These were made of tiny cubes of stone called tesserae. Some mosaics were just patterns but others had people and animals in them like this one.

A Roman site near Rudston in East Yorkshire has been known of since 1839. There were excavations there in the 1930s, 1960s and 1970s. These led to the discovery of several finely-preserved mosaics. These include the Venus Mosaic which takes its name from the goddess in its centre.

The Venus mosaic was unearthed in 1933 and was removed to Hull Museums in 1962.

The style of draftsmanship and colour in this mosaic suggest it may have been made by a British craftsmen. He probably used a copybook of designs that came from Roman North Africa.

The centre of this mosaic contains two figures, Venus and a merman, or Triton. Venus has bracelets on her wrists and holds a mirror to her left. In her right hand she holds a golden apple which she won in a beauty contest.

Around the edge of the mosaic are four animals: a lion, a stag, a leopard and a bull. These may be a celebration of the amphitheatre or symbolise the seasons.

The Roman displays at Hull contain mosaics from villas to the north and south of the Humber. They are reckoned to form the best single collection of Roman mosaics in northern Britain.


Detail from Venus mosaic (image/jpeg) The Rudston Venus mosaic

The Venus Mosaic came from the largest room in the first house built at a Roman villa near Rudston, East Yorkshire. The intact mosaic with its oblong side-panels would have measured 4.67m x 3.2m. It dates to the later 3rd century AD. Although the design is entirely Roman, the naive style with which it has been made suggests the craftsman, or men, were native Britons. Far from being a drawback though, it is the naivety that makes this particular mosaic so appealing. #SUBHEADING#Goddess of Beauty#SUBHEADINGEND# The mosaic is named after the figure of Venus which can be seen in the central circle. She is naked and her long hair is flowing wildly. She wears bracelets on her arms and in her right hand holds the apple she won in a beauty contest - the Judgement of Paris. Venus is nearly always shown with a mirror - and the Rudston Venus seems to have just dropped hers. Her proportions are a little strange; her abdomen and hips are emphasised, while her legs taper to tiny feet. #SUBHEADING#Tritons and torches#SUBHEADINGEND# She is accompanied by a Triton or merman; half-man, half fish. He holds a burning torch, probably a misrepresentation of the conch shell generally depicted with Tritons. Venus paired with a Triton recalls the birth of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess identified with Venus, from the foam of the sea. #SUBHEADING#Fierce Creatures#SUBHEADINGEND# Four animals surround the central circle; a lion, a stag, a leopard and a bull. Unusually for British mosaics two are given Latin stage-names, a convention seen in Roman mosaics in North Africa. Interestingly the mosaicist doesn't seems to have been too good at spelling! The lion is described as (LEO) F(L)AMMEFER, 'the fiery lion'. He has been speared and blood is shown spurting from the wound. The bull is called TAURUS OMICISA which translates to something like 'the mankilling bull'. A staff with a crescent at the end hovers above him. This seems to be another link with North Africa, since the crescent staff was a symbol used by the Telegenii, one of the known teams of animal fighters in the African amphitheatres. Perhaps the mosaicist was copying the design from a North African pattern-book. The leopard, who looks directly at the viewer has a chequered disc above him. It has been suggested that this might be a device whirled to goad animals in the amphitheatre. Only the stag, who is shown wandering peacefully through a wood, seems not to be directly associated with the arena. #SUBHEADING#Gladiators or Hunters?#SUBHEADINGEND# In the spaces between the animals and the central section are four naked hunters running in the same direction as the animals. The person holding the spear and looking at the stag seems to be female. The man opposite has a beard and holds a rope above his head. It is tempting to see the people as animal fighters from an amphitheatre. The four corners contain birds, perhaps a dove often associated with Venus, pecking at apples or pomegranates. #SUBHEADING#Mixing Myths#SUBHEADINGEND# Only one of the flanking panels remains. The centre of the panel has a bust between vines; clusters of grapes grow from canthari (wine-cups) at either end. The bust wears a winged cap and is accompanied by a wand called a caduceus, the symbol of Mercury. However, there is no association between Mercury and vines, suggesting that the craftsman has misunderstood a design of the bust of Bacchus crowned with grapes and vine-leaves, and bearing a thrysus or wand. As well as his well-known association with wine, Bacchus was also linked with amphitheatres so may well have been the intended god here.


Whalebone corset

This garment from the mid 18th century would have been worn as underwear to give the body a long, straight, rounded shape, making the waist look slender against a large volume of skirts. Though usually called a corset the correct name for this garment is actually a ‘stay’ with the French term ‘corset’ becoming more widespread in the late 18th and early 19th Century. The term ‘stay’ was also to refer to the pieces of baleen that were used. The diagonal direction of the bones helped to slenderise the body and prevent any movement. There are 180 pieces of baleen in this hand-made garment and each is placed in position depending on its thickness and then stitched either side to hold it into place. Larger pieces were used at the seams to maintain the roundness at the front and the cotton material would have been stiffened using paste or glue. images: 2005.2455 (white, with no shoulder straps) 2006.3201 (brown, with shoulder straps)


Longcase clock by Samuel Atkinson, Bridlington, c.1760

The picture of the moon in the arch above this clock face isn’t just decorative. The picture moves across the dial to show the phases of the moon. The part of the moon visible in the picture is the same as the shape of the moon in the sky.

Phases of the moon dials were important in port towns like Bridlington and Hull. Their livelihood depended on the tide. Tides are affected by the phase of the moon.

This clock’s phase of the moon dial would also have come in handy for planning travel. In the days before street lighting, most travel at night was planned according to the brightness of the moon.

Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. This clock was made by Samuel Atkinson, a clock and watch maker in Bridlington from 1760-1800. All we know about Samuel is that he had three children. Sarah was born in 1768, his son Samuel died in 1770, and another son called Samuel was born in 1772.

The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some local craftsmen had the skills to make all of these parts. Other ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts and marked their name on the clock. Many of the cases for these clocks were probably still made in East Yorkshire, which had a number of skilled joiners.

Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time and four in Bridlington. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget. This clock case is made of oak, which was popular because it was quite cheap. Woods like walnut and ebony were more expensive.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Bracket clock by Kirk, Grimsby Lane, Hull, c.1840

The white flower decoration on this clock case has been made using mother of pearl. Mother of pearl is a shiny, hard, smooth substance found inside some shells. It is also used for making buttons and beads.

Kezia and Thomas Kirk made this clock at their shop in Grimsby Lane, Hull. After 1846 Thomas continued the business alone until 1872. He advertised himself as a clockmaker, watchmaker and silversmith.

Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. Hull had no clockmakers’ guild to regulate and record the trade, so it’s difficult to find out about local clock making. Information about the craft comes from surviving examples, newspapers and trade directories. Trade directories were a kind of old fashioned Yellow Pages.

The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some local craftsmen had the skills to make all of these parts. Other ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts and marked their name on the clock. Many of the cases for these clocks were probably still made in East Yorkshire, which had a number of skilled joiners.

Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget.

Bracket clocks are clocks designed to sit on a table or mantelpiece, or hang on a wall. They are much smaller than longcase (or grandfather) clocks that stand on the floor. Bracket clocks have short pendulums and mechanisms driven by steel springs. Most people couldn’t afford bracket clocks, as the steel springs were very expensive to make.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


(image/jpeg) Catch fortune when you can

This advert shows that lotteries are nothing new. Long before the National Lottery, enterprises like the 'New Lottery' were promising 'earthly paradise' for lucky winners. This advert promises the people of Hull a chance to win 30,000 pounds, a huge sum of money at the time. J. Rodford, a Hull bookseller, sold the lottery tickets. He was an agent for 'BISH', a London contractor that probably ran the lottery. The advert has been torn out of a book, possibly a trade directory. Trade directories were the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages, with classified listings for all kinds of businesses. #SUBHEADING#Pictogram#SUBHEADINGEND# The fascinating thing about this advert is its pictogram puzzle. It uses clever symbols that must be deciphered to discover the benefits of the lottery. #IMAGE# For those that could not work it out the solution was given at the bottom: 'As every man would rather get money than not, the attention of all is called to the New Lottery, in which, by a small risk, they may get an independent fortune. They should hasten to the nearest lottery office, and then, by purchasing even a share, they may secure what they desire, and which cannot fail to make the mare go, and place them (if money be their deity) in an earthly paradise.'


tile detail (image/jpeg) William De Morgan

#SUBHEADING# The 'Arts and Crafts Movement'#SUBHEADINGEND# With William Morris as its figure-head the movement included artists, designers and architects and was a reaction to the highly mechanised production of decorative items at the time. It was felt that popular decorative styles were over-ornamental and not appropriate for the materials or for the purpose of the item. The movement sought to revive traditional craftsmanship and advocated simple designs, usually derived from nature, that were more honest to the materials and the function of the item. De Morgan initially worked with glass and he first experimented with making tiles in the 1870s when he set up a kiln in the basement of his home in Chelsea. These premises were not totally satisfactory and at one stage his experiments resulted in a fire! In 1882, he moved and started production at Merton Abbey, near London before establishing his Sands End factory in Fulham. The impressed back-stamp marks on his hand-made tiles indicate the site at which they were made. #SUBHEADING# Painted Paper Tile Designs #SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# One of the first tile designs produced by De Morgan in the late 1870s was 'Bedford Park Daisy' and this also proved to be of the most successful designs made by the De Morgan company. Although the tiles were 'hand-painted', the paint was not applied directly onto the tiles. Using the 'painted paper' technique, the design was copied from a master drawing onto a thin piece of paper. This was then placed onto the tile and brushed with a liquid or powdered glaze. When the tile was fired, the paper was burnt away and the painted design became part of the glaze. This allowed decoration on the tiles to be done with precision but also gave the look of hand-painting. The process also ensured that the same design could be repeatedly reproduced and also made using different colours. #SUBHEADING# Lustre Glaze Tiles #SUBHEADINGEND# Towards the end of the nineteenth century, William De Morgan experimented with and re-introduced the use of 'lustre glazes' for his tiles and other pottery items. These were ceramic colours that became a thin shimmering metallic film during firing in the kiln. They were either applied in areas or as a coating. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING# Tile Design #SUBHEADINGEND# Most of De Morgan's tile designs feature images derived from nature including flowers, plants, birds and animals. One series of tiles called 'Fantastical Creatures' features mythological creatures including dragons and griffins whilst other tiles depict real animals from the natural world such as boars, snakes, eagles and peacocks. This was not his only inspiration as De Morgan also produced a series of tiles depicting stylised galleon-type ships at full sail. De Morgan was also heavily inspired by traditional Persian or 'Isnik' designs from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. His designs often featured motifs and shades of blue, green, turquoise and pink favoured by the Persians.



D.O.M.

D.O.M., 1999 
Gavin Turk  (b.1967)

 Turk continually explores what it means to be an artist, investigating ideas about authenticity, originality and value in a playful way.
 
In many he turns himself into a prop- the artist as object- transforming and reinventing himself, as seen in both of these examples.
 
This photograph is a print of a sculptural installation called, Death of Marat, that Turk made in 1998.  The installation, which included a bathtub and a waxwork figure, is in turn a ‘copy’of the famous painting of the same name, by the neo-classical French artist, Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825).  David’s tragic painting depicted the death of the French revolutionary leader and writer, Jean Paul Marat (1743-93), who was assassinated in his bath. It is regarded as one of the most poignant images resulting from the French Revolution.
 
Turk subtly alters David’s image. A waxwork of Turk replaces the figure of Marat, the omission of blood or a knife suggesting sleep rather than death. The inscribed block in the original painting has also been replaced with a neo-classical pedestal engraved by the Scottish artist Ian Hamilton Finlay (b.1925).


Iris print on paper
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2000 
 


When You Wake

When You Wake, 2003
Shizuka Yokomizo  (b.1966)

Yokomizo sees her work as an expression of the relationship between the self and other. Put more simply, the unbridegable gap between ‘you’ and ‘me’.  
 
In contrast to much documentary-style video and photography, her approach causes the viewer to be very aware of their own presence in relation to that of her subject. She also chooses to work with strangers, sensitively exploring the boundaries between private and public realms.
 
In When You Wake, Yokomizo’s subjects are especially vulnerable, being old people filmed in nursing homes as well as in domestic settings.
 
The film has many possible interpretations but above all a reflective mood. It suggest’s the isolation of ageing, solitude, separation and ultimately, the closeness of death. By contrast however, in the tea party scene there is a strong sense of community and the warmth of shared experiences and memories.
 
In the sleeping sequence in which the artist’s own breathing was recorded whilst asleep, she makes a link to us all and the essential fragility of human existence.

 
Two screen video projection 
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


The trial of William Lord Russell

This copy is one of the few pictures bought by the Ferens under Vincent Galloway that seems to have no local connection or relevance to the Ferens’ collection. The trial and subsequent execution of Lord Russell on trumped up charges was one of the humiliating events of political life in the last years of the reign of King Charles II.


Water Falls Down


Water Falls Down, 2001   
by Matthew DALZIEL b Irvine 1957 & Louise SCULLION b Helensburgh 1966


Dalziel and Scullion have worked in collaboration since 1993. In their photography, films and sculpture they explore our complex relationship with Nature. Their fundamental interest in the subject matter of landscape provides continuity with well-established art historical traditions.
 
‘Water Falls Down’, was made whilst they were living in the remote, north-east fishing village of St Combs, Aberdeenshire. It focuses on the natural environment in relationship to a specific community, providing in one respect, a portrait of shared identity.
 
The film contains three distinct parts that are shown cyclically; amongst these is the image of a solitary birch sapling beside water. The scene is silent and still but for the presence of snow gently falling.
 
This is followed by an image of a stone in a river continuously washed by water heard at volume, as it  gushes over its surface in undulating waves. The image is mesmerising and hypnotic adding to the contemplative atmosphere.
 
In the third part, the filming continues at a slower speed, with the swell of a bleak, grey sea providing the focus for a communal event in the village, a baptism at sea.

DVD installation
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


Self Portrait, Fingers

Self Portrait, Fingers, 1999
by John Coplans (1920 – 2003) 

An extract from Coplan’s obituary in August 2003 remarks, ‘Both poignant and aggressive… images included close-ups of his hands and feet, legs and torso, exposing expanses of sagging and wrinkled flesh, as well as startling details like flaking skin, split nails, flattened arches and anarchic hair. They combined elements of documentary photography and performance art, scrutinizing the body unforgivingly’.
 
Coplans made a whole sequence of images based on his hand. Magnified to a dramatic scale and isolated from the rest of the body, the hand seems to have assumed an identity of its own.  
 
This photograph can be read almost like a person in miniature with the fingers as legs, possessing their own energy and sense of arrested life. He recognised the ambiguity of such images commenting, 
 
‘The hand hereby becomes a text capable of many and complex interpretations, an agent of evocation and a malleable instrument of performance with an ever-expanding level of impossible meanings’.
(John Coplans, artist’s handbook, ‘Hand’, 1988)


Black and white photograph
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2001


Veil


Veil, 1997
by Jananne Al-Ani  (b.1966)   
 
Clothing plays an important role in defining identity. This work explores the powerful connotations carried by a single item.
 
In the West the veil is most commonly associated with brides and theVirgin Mary but in many Muslim cultures the wearing of the veil is an integral part of life for most women.
 
Born in Iraq, Al-Ani’s mother is Irish and her father Iraqi. She was educated, lives and works in London. With this background she has gained an intimate knowledge of both Western and Eastern cultures. She has produced a body of work exploring the Western fascination with the veil, reflecting some of the complexities and ambiguities of the subject. 
 
‘I am interested in examining the Western fascination with the veil. No single item of clothing has had more influence on Western images of Middle Eastern women than the veil’.
 
Al-Ani’s work offers an alternative vision to that of Western art historical precedents. Both photography and paintings have tended to emphasise the exotic and to exploit the voyeuristic nature of the relationship between artist and model.
 
The artist, her mother and three sisters are portrayed. 


Single screen slide projection
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme, with Lfrom the Arts Council England, 2002 
 


Message to My Best Friend

 
Message to My Best Friend, 2000
by Alan Currall  (b.1964)

Not naturally comfortable in front of the camera the faltering nature of Currall’s delivery convinces us that what he has to say is real rather than invented. 
 
In, ‘Message to My Best Friend’, he begins with a touching if awkward confession which by degree degenerates to the toe-curlingly embarrassing. By the end of the performance Currall has suggested a much more disturbing power relationship.  
 
Ultimately it would appear the desire of one person to literally swap places with, or adopt another’s identity. 


Single monitor video art work with sound
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


How I Would Probably Do It

How I Would Probably Do It, 2004
by Alan Currall (b.1964) 

Characteristically low-tech in style we can only guess what Currall is at such pains to demonstrate to us, his audience. We become acutely aware of our own presence as onlookers, as he removes his shirt and bares his torso in front of the unforgiving glare of studio lights and camera. 
 
There almost appear to be two identities at play. The first is created by the image of the straining torso. This dramatic physical presence is at the same time, undermined by the absurdity of the continuous commentary voice-over, with its more everyday, down to earth tone.
 
The success of this work is its ability to subtly tweak at our emotions.

  
Single monitor video art work with sound
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


(image/jpeg) Lightships and the Humber

The constant movement of tides, shift seas and sand banks increases the hazards of shipping dramatically and has always been a problem for mariners working on the Humber as the North Sea and her tributaries deposit mud and sand into the river. One way to increase safety for mariners was to have a strong guiding light to act as a navigational aid around the changing sand banks. However in some instances, as with the River Humber, conventional lighthouses could not be used to aid a ships' navigation and alternative solutions were needed. It is from this need, the notion of a lightship (or light vessel) was born. The first active petition for a lightship came in 1679 but was met with ridicule. Questions were raised about how such a small vessel could be held securely by a hemp rope and also where a crew could be found to man such a unstable vessel. As a result the first Lightship was a private endeavour by the adventurer Robert Hamblon who was stationed at the Nore at the entrance to the Thames in 1732. #SUBHEADING# Lightships on the Humber #SUBHEADINGEND# However, it was another 88 years until the Humber received its first floating light vessel. In 1820 the Betsey was hired to prevent the wrecking and grounding of vessels along the Humber. It was not until after Betsey's withdrawal from service due to a collision with another vessel that Hull's seamen demanded a new light vessel to be made and orders were soon made for the construction of the Bull light vessel. Other predecessors of the Spurn included the Middle, and Hebble. In 1926, the Humber Conservancy Board (who had taken over the administration of the Humber from Trinity House in 1907) advertised for tenders to build a new lightship. Twenty one tenders were received with the cheapest being from 'The Goole Shipping and Repairing Company' and they built the vessel for a total cost of 16,550 pounds [this is the equivalent to 690,000 pounds at todays prices]. The vessel was finally launched on 19th July 1927 and served the Humber at her station for almost 50 years only leaving her station during the Second World War and for repairs. In 1959 a new Spurn was built costing almost 100,000 pounds when our Spurn was painted red and transferred to the Bull station. After sterling service as the Bull Lightship she was decommission in 1975 and was laid up until 1983 when Hull City Council bought her for 4025 pounds and started the process of her renovation to get her back to her original state. She opened to the public at her present berth in the Marina in February 1987.


Roman mosaic, Rudston, East Yorkshire, c.200-300 AD

This is known as the Geometric Mosaic. It is from a house in Rudston, East Yorkshire. Wealthy Romans decorated their floors with mosaics. These were made of tiny cubes of stone called tesserae. Some mosaics had people and animals in them. Others were just patterns like this one. Not everybody could afford to decorate their homes with mosaics. Mosaics were used on the floors of the best rooms of the biggest Roman house in the area. A Roman site near Rudston in East Yorkshire has been known of since 1839. There were excavations there in the 1930s, 1960s and 1970s. These led to the discovery of several finely-preserved mosaics. These include this Geometric mosaic. The design at the centre of this mosaic has four motifs known as ‘swastika-peltae’. The swastika was an ancient symbol used long before the 20th century Nazis decided to use it. The Roman displays at Hull contain mosaics from villas to the north and south of the Humber. These mosaics are of a high quality and illustrate what a wealthy villa owner might aspire to. They are reckoned to form the best single collection of Roman mosaics in northern Britain. Roman estates, at home and in their empire, were managed from villas. As a residence for a landowner the villa could be prestigious and comfortable while common folk lived in basic farmsteads. The domestic ranges of a villa might have hot and cold bath suites and warm central heating.


Ball Gown by Madame Clapham, Hull, c.1900

No expense has been spared to make this fancy ball gown.

The cream fabric is called ‘tamboured’ net. The net has been hand embroidered using a small wooden frame called a ‘tambour’. Tambours have two hoops, one inside the other. The fabric is stretched between the two hoops to make it easier to sew.

The bodice panel has flowers embroidered in chenille and silver thread, with sparkly sequins. Chenille is a soft, fluffy cord that feels like velvet.

This dress was made by Madame Clapham, Hull’s most famous dressmaker. Rich and fashionable ladies had dresses for special occasions made at her salon.

Emily Clapham opened her dressmaking salon in Kingston Square, Hull, in 1887. By the 1890s she was regarded as Hull’s finest dressmaker. The salon attracted an international clientele of rich and stylish ladies. Madame Clapham ran the salon until her death in 1952, when her niece Emily Wall took over until 1967.

At the time this ball gown was made, upper class ladies had to follow strict dress codes. Social engagements like balls, race meetings, dinner parties and musical evenings all required different styles of dress. The salon was particularly busy before Christmas, with an array of festivities held by prominent local families.

The very latest fashions were essential for all these social occasions. To keep up to date with changing styles, Madame Clapham visited Paris three or four times a year. At this time, Paris was the centre of fashion. Madame Clapham also claimed that:

‘Representatives of the best French houses come over periodically to wait upon me specially with their newest goods.’

Unlike other local dressmakers, Madame Clapham was able to compete with the London fashion houses. Gowns created in Kingston Square were worn by leading society ladies in London. Madame Clapham received many orders for dresses suitable for visitors to the royal court. From 1901 she advertised herself as ‘Court Dressmaker’, which added to her prestige.


Painted whale's tooth (scrimshaw), c.1801-1900

This is a rare example of painted scrimshaw. It is a sperm whale’s tooth with painted images of English and French ships at battle. Images on scrimshaw are usually engraved and then filled with ink. This is very time consuming and requires quite a lot of skill.

It may be that the man who made this didn’t have the patience to make a traditional piece of scrimshaw. However it may be that he just preferred painting and fancied a change.

One side of this tooth is painted with a naval engagement. The English ship on the left is flying the St George’s flag and is firing its cannons. In the centre is a ship flying the French tricolour flag and also firing its cannons. On the right is another ship flying the French tricolour. The other side of the tooth is blank.

This tooth is part of a collection that formerly belonged to Kathleen Eleanor Tizard. The collection was donated to Hull Museums by K.E. Tizard’s son in November 1999.

The origin of the term “scrimshaw” is not clear and is discussed a lot. In parts of England it was used early on to describe past-times, games and recreations. When a captain ordered his crew to be “scrimshandering”, he wanted them to be pre-occupied with a creative past-time.

The main reason for making scrimshaw was to kill time and to keep men occupied and out of trouble. To understand scrimshaw it is important to understand the life of whalers. Sailing, and especially whaling, involved long periods of waiting and doing nothing. Anything that took a long time and helped to express your world would have been a welcome hobby.

Scrimshaw was also a way of expressing their loneliness, homesickness, patriotism and general interests. Ships and maritime themes naturally appear a lot on scrimshaw.


Decorated whale's tooth (scrimshaw) by Charles Hargraves, Ontario, Canada, 1979

This engraved Sperm whale tooth is a modern piece of scrimshaw that tells an old story. The man depicted is Captain William Barron. Barron was the last Master of a Hull whaling ship called the Truelove.

The Truelove was a famously old and strong ship. It was built in Philadelphia in 1764 but came to be owned by the English. It was the last Hull whaling ship to operate by sail, with steam ships taking over in the 1850s.

This scrimshaw was commissioned by Hull Museums in 1979. It is based on a Victorian photograph of Captain William Barron.

Captain Barron served in the whaling trade from 1847 to 1863. He made his first voyage on the Truelove in 1849 and became her last whaling captain in 1861. His memoirs, Old Whaling Days, were published in 1895.

Although involved in a brutal trade, William Barron had a softer side. Many baby seals were also killed on whaling trips for the fashion industry. Barron disapproved and described this as “a remorseless and callous fashion.”

The Truelove was an old Hull whaleship which sailed a total of seventy-two seasons in the Arctic. It was built in Philadelphia in 1764. The English gained the Truelove during the American War of Independence. Like many other ships it was converted for the whaling industry.

Following one whaling trip, a Captain Parker brought two Inuit people back to Hull on the Truelove for a visit. They caused a great stir and were “exhibited” in Hull and York. Casts of their faces are in the Maritime Museum, as well as the Truelove’s flag. What they thought of the trip is not recorded.

The Truelove was the last of the Hull sailing whalers. It sailed alongside steam-engined vessels which were introduced to the trade in the 1850s-60s. On a final trip to Philadelphia, some wanted to preserve her as a museum. This failed and she ended as a hulk on the Thames, broken up 1895.


Decorated walrus tusk (scrimshaw) c.1837-1901

The sailor who decorated this tusk must have loved his Queen and country. It depicts many patriotic images including the British flag, the Prince of Wales’ feathers and a crown. The ‘VR’ initials stand for ‘Victoria Regina’. This means ‘Queen Victoria’ in Latin, and shows the tusk to be Victorian.

Two other mottos are on the tusk.  One is 'Ich dien' which means ‘I serve’. The other is “IN HOC SIGNO VINCES” which means ‘In this sign I conquer’.

The patriotic images on this tusk include the Union flag, the Prince of Wales’ feathers, a crown and crossed swords. Also depicted is a sailor with the Union flag, thistles, a star and garter and chain shot.

The motto “IN HOC SIGNO VINCES” (In this sign I conquer) was the motto of Constantine, the first Christian Emperor of Rome.

Walruses are famous for their tusks and these can grow up to one metre in length. Males tend to have larger tusks than females. Walruses inhabit the ice-floes in the shallower waters of the Arctic. Whalers working in the Arctic often had contact with native people. This offered opportunities to trade and gain walrus tusks to work on.

Scrimshaw like this tusk is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone, teeth or baleen. It can also be made out of walrus tusks like this piece.

The origin of the term “scrimshaw” is not clear and is discussed a lot. In parts of England it was used early on to describe past-times and recreations. When a captain ordered his crew to be “scrimshandering”, he wanted them to be pre-occupied with a creative past-time.

Scrimshaw identified with the Hull whaling trade is extremely rare, and occasionally fake. The British trade in whale oil and bone centred around Hull in the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Most surviving scrimshaw is from after these periods.


Decorated whale's tooth (scrimshaw), USA, c.1801-1900

Scrimshaw is folk art by men who hunted whales. It is usually made with whalebone or teeth. Scrimshaw was a way for whalers to express their world, their loneliness and the places they visited.

This tooth depicts a lady in middle eastern costume. Women naturally appear a lot on scrimshaw as men were away for years at a time. This tooth may be a record of new cultures experienced, or it may just have been copied from a book.

One side of this tooth depicts a seated woman in exotic dress, with a band around her head. On the other side is the profile view of a ship, with the Stars and Stripes flag of the US.

Sperm whales were mostly hunted by Americans in the South seas and America. These were much more dangerous than arctic whales and often tried to fight back and defend themselves. Many whaleboats were crushed in their jaws or overturned.

Great sperm whales hold many records. They are the deepest diving mammal, reaching depths of more than 1000m. They are also the largest toothed whale and have the biggest brain in the animal world.

Women naturally appear a lot on scrimshaw but these are usually very respectable images. As most scrimshaw was meant to be seen once back on shore, few erotic images survive. Images from fashion catalogues and books were often copied.

The main reason for making scrimshaw was to kill time and to keep men occupied and out of trouble. To understand scrimshaw it is important to understand the life of whalers.

Sailing, and especially whaling, involved long periods of waiting and doing nothing. Anything that took time and helped to express the world you lived in would have been a welcome hobby.

This tooth is part of a collection that formerly belonged to Kathleen Eleanor Tizard. The collection was donated to Hull Museums by K.E. Tizard’s son in November 1999.


Seaman's tidy box, possibly made in Hull, c.1838

This is a very rare piece of scrimshaw linked to the Hull whaling trade. It is a seaman's wooden tidy box. The whalebone panel on the box shows the ship the Riby Grove. This was a Hull whaling ship that was lost in the Arctic in 1838.

The box is inscribed “RIBY GROVE HULL 71` 20 NTH.” This probably gives the co-ordinates for where the Riby Grove sank.

This seaman's tidy box has two brass plates. One is stamped “E. Wills” and one “E.O.Rogers.” It’s possible that one of these men was the maker of the box. The whalebone plaque in the lid depicts the Riby Grove in the Arctic, with whaleboats chasing whales amid ice.

The ‘Riby Grove’ was a registered whaler in Hull. It was built in Whitby in 1818 and weighed 242 tonnes. It was active in whaling between 1834 and 1838. It was a Brigantine rigged ship.

The Arctic whaling trade was extremely dangerous. In 1835, Hull lost five vessels from its whaling fleet of twenty-three ships. The ships that were lost that year were crushed in ice at Baffin Bay.

This box was acquired by Hull Museums from T.Housby, May 1978.

A lot of scrimshaw is from the US, especially pieces made from the teeth of sperm whales. Other countries, including Britain, also produced scrimshaw, especially “busks” and items from baleen. This mostly originated from the whales in Arctic fisheries.

Items identified with the Hull whaling trade are extremely rare, and occasionally fake. The British trade in whale oil and bone centred around Hull in the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Most scrimshaw is from after these periods.


Wool winder made from whalebone (scrimshaw)

This is a wool winder or ‘swift’. It helps somebody wind up wool and acts as an extra pair of hands. A swift is one of the most difficult things a whaler could try to make.

With whalers at sea for years, scrimshaw swifts probably developed as presents for wives back home. If the whaler couldn’t be there to help, then perhaps he could give a present that would. It would also remind her of him while he was away.

There are often more than one hundred separate pieces in a swift. Scrimshaw swifts have been described as “the ultimate product of the scrimshaw worker’s art”. However, swifts were also made in other materials.

This swift is made from whale jawbone and sperm whale tooth. It is provided with a clamp for fixing it to a table. It is decorated with metal inlays. Above this is a collar with lozenge pattern.

Scrimshaw is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone, teeth or baleen (a hard substance from the mouths of filter feeding whales).

The origin of the term “scrimshaw” is not clear and is discussed a lot. When a captain ordered his crew to be “scrimshandering” for the day, he wanted them to be pre-occupied.

The main reason for making scrimshaw was to kill time and to keep men occupied and out of trouble. Sailing, and especially whaling, involved long periods of waiting and doing nothing. Anything that took a long time would have been a welcome hobby.

A lot of scrimshaw is from the US, especially pieces made from the teeth of sperm whales. Britain also produced scrimshaw, especially “busks” and items from baleen, mostly originating from the whales in Arctic fisheries.

Items identified with the Hull whaling trade are extremely rare, and occasionally fake. The British trade in whale oil and bone centred around Hull in the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Most surviving scrimshaw is from after these periods.


Decorated whalebone, possibly made in South Georgia, 1900s

This is a blade of rorqual baleen which is a type of whale bone. Some whales have these instead of teeth. They help the whales to filter the small animals that they eat from the sea water.

This is decorated with flowers and a shield shaped frame. It is inscribed 'South Georgia'. South Georgia is a very remote island near Antarctica. It is surrounded by ice cold waters and a whaling station used to be based there.

Baleen whales (Mysticeti) are filter feeders, sifting huge quantities of sea water through their mouths to feed on krill. The baleen whales include species like the Blue Whale, the Bowhead Whale, the Humpback Whale and the Greenland Right Whale.

This baleen plate is a product of twentieth-century whale fishery in the South Atlantic.

South Georgia whaling station is most famous as the place where Sir Ernest Shackleton finally made it back to safety. This followed the amazing survival effort that followed his Trans-Antarctic expedition on the Endurance in 1914-1916.

South Georgia lies between 35.47' to 38.01' west and 53.58' to 54.53' south. It is surrounded by the ice cold waters that flow up from Antarctica.

Scrimshaw is the folk art of the whaler. This is usually made with whalebone, teeth or baleen. The origin of the term “scrimshaw” is not clear and is discussed a lot. When a captain ordered his crew to be “scrimshandering”, he wanted them to be pre-occupied with a creative past-time.

The main reason for making scrimshaw was to kill time and to keep men occupied and out of trouble. Sailing, and especially whaling, involved long periods of waiting and doing nothing. Anything that took a long time would have been a welcome hobby.

Items identified with the Hull whaling trade are extremely rare, and occasionally fake. The British trade in whale oil and bone centred around Hull in the early 1600s and the early 1700s. Most scrimshaw is from after these periods.


Sunderland-ware jug, c.1801-1900

The Truelove was a famous Hull whaling trip, and the last one to use sails. It was built in Philadelphia in 1764. The English gained the Truelove during the American War of Independence. Like many other ships it was converted for the whaling industry.

This jug may have been intended as a present for a loved one. Whalers were away for long periods of time doing dangerous work. The verse, entitled ‘Love’ on the jug, indicates the nature of this present.

The Truelove was an old Hull whale ship which sailed a total of seventy-two seasons in the Arctic. It was built in Philadelphia in 1764. The English gained the Truelove during the American War of Independence. Like many other ships it was converted for the whaling industry.

Following one whaling trip, a Captain Parker brought two Inuit people back to Hull on the Truelove for a visit. They caused a great stir and were “exhibited” in Hull and York. Casts of their faces are in the Maritime Museum, as well as the Truelove’s flag. What they thought of the trip is not recorded.

The Truelove was the last of the Hull sailing whalers. It sailed alongside steam-engined vessels which were introduced to the trade in the 1850s-60s. On a final trip to Philadelphia, some wanted to preserve her as a museum. This failed and she ended as a hulk on the Thames, broken up 1895.

This is a Sunderland-ware jug inscribed 'TRUELOVE FROM HULL', with painted illustration of the ship. There is also a verse entitled 'Love', with pink rim and rings around body.

Love

There’s sunshine on the sea my love
There’s beauty oe’r the skies
But fairer seem thy looks my love
And brighter are thine eyes.

The back of the jug has an illustration entitled 'MARINER'S ARMS' and an illustration of the 'NORAN CREINA STEAM-YACHT'.


Model of William Wilberforce by Minton, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1830-1836

This is Hull’s William Wilberforce, Member of Parliament for Yorkshire and a famous anti-slavery campaigner. He has a stack of books beneath his chair.

Despite what the books suggest, Wilberforce didn’t do much reading in his younger days. Whilst at Cambridge University he preferred theatre, dancing, singing and playing cards to studying. Later he realised how much time he had wasted at Cambridge. He began to re-educate himself, studying for nine or ten hours a day every summer.

The model also includes a scroll of paper beneath Wilberforce’s feet. The paper has the words ‘Abolition, Slave Bill’ on it. This is a reference to Wilberforce’s parliamentary campaign against the slave trade.

Wilberforce first became interested in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in the 1780s. He was concerned about raising the slavery issue in Parliament due to the money invested in the slave trade by MPs. Therefore he concentrated first on the abolition of the slave trade and then the abolition of slavery.

Wilberforce made his first abolition speech in Parliament in 1789. For many years he presented the abolition bill to Parliament and it kept being defeated. The bill was finally passed in 1807. Parliament gave a round of applause to Wilberforce who had tears running down his face.

Wilberforce was less active in the abolition of slavery itself due to ill health. As he lay dying in 1833 he knew the Abolition of Slavery bill was due to be passed. It was left to his fellow MPs and abolitionists to continue the fight against slavery.

William Wilberforce died on 29 July 1833. His death was marked with a state funeral. Wilberforce was remembered in Hull and around the world. In Hull a subscription was raised to build a Wilberforce Monument. The foundation stone was laid on 1 August 1834 with flags flying and bells ringing in celebration. The Wilberforce Monument still stands in Hull today.


Jug, 1807

This jug was made to show support for Lord Milton in the 1807 general election. Lord Milton was one of the candidates competing to be a Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. The other two candidates were Lascelles and Hull’s William Wilberforce.

Milton and Wilberforce were elected as MPs. Yorkshire had two MPs because of the county’s size. Many other items were produced to advertise the candidates. Medallions decorated with the candidates’ pictures were a popular way of showing support.

The meaning of the word ‘plumper’ on this jug is confusing at first. A plumper is a vote cast at an election for a single candidate instead of an optional two or more. A plumper can also be a person who votes for one candidate at an election when he is allowed to vote for more.

As Yorkshire had two MPs, voters were allowed to vote for two candidates at the 1807 election. This jug’s message is to vote only for Milton, giving the other candidates fewer votes. This tactic would give Milton the best chance of being elected.

The 1807 election for the County of Yorkshire was a fiercely fought contest. People were eager to read about the latest voting figures and handbills were printed daily to show the results. Cartoon pamphlets were produced ridiculing the characters of the candidates, adding to the lively debate about the election.

Like Lord Milton, William Wilberforce was successful at the election. He had been an MP for Yorkshire since 1784. Yorkshire was one of the most powerful counties in England, so his position as MP gave Wilberforce great influence.

Wilberforce first became interested in politics whilst at university. He watched MPs debate in the House of Commons and was inspired to become an MP himself. He was elected MP for Hull in 1780, at the age of 21, before becoming MP for Yorkshire four years later. Wilberforce held office in Parliament for over 40 years.


Jug, late 1700s-early 1800s

This jug shows the products made by enslaved Africans in America and the Caribbean.

One of the pictures shows an African slave on a beach. The two large barrels beside him are called hogsheads. Hogsheads were used to pack sugar, the main product made by slaves in the Caribbean.

The sugar was shipped to Europe, where it was in great demand. The Europeans who owned sugar plantations in the Caribbean became so rich that they called sugar ‘white gold’.

Most enslaved people taken from Africa to the Caribbean worked on sugar plantations owned by Europeans. Sugar cane was brought to the Caribbean to be grown for profit in the 1600s. Slaves in North America also grew tobacco, rice and cotton. The white bales shown on this jug are cotton bales.

When people taken from Africa were bought as slaves in the Caribbean, their new owners took them to the plantations. New arrivals underwent a period known as ‘seasoning’ or ‘breaking in’.

Slaves were inspected and divided into field and domestic workers. They were registered in plantation accounts and branded with estate marks to show who owned them. This made it easier to identify runaway slaves. They were introduced to the daily routine and discipline on the plantation. Up to a quarter of new arrivals died during seasoning.

The sugar cane harvest ran from January to July. At this time slaves often worked 12 hours a day in the fields. They would then work in the factories through the night, extracting the sugar from the cane.

Discipline was harsh on the plantations and punishments were severe. Flogging with whips and beatings from the overseer were part of daily life. Sexual and physical abuse was common. Enslaved people found ways of resisting their oppression. Some ran away. Others rebelled by working slowly to reduce the planters’ profits. More violent resistance included vandalism or theft of plantation property.


Model of Hannah More by Minton, Stoke-on-Trent, c.1830-1836

Hannah More (1745-1833) was a well known writer. She wrote popular religious pamphlets and was interested in educating poor people. In her pamphlets, More advised poor people to work hard and trust in God and the kindness of rich people.

Hannah More was friends with Hull’s William Wilberforce. He influenced her religious views. The Clapham Sect, a group that Wilberforce was a member of, gave More money to produce her pamphlets. The group also financed her schools for poor people.

This figure is made from bisque, unglazed and undecorated porcelain. Bisque has a ‘chalky’ appearance, because it isn’t covered with shiny glaze. The figure was made by Minton, a world famous pottery firm. Thomas Minton founded the pottery in Stoke-on-Trent in 1793.

Minton porcelain pieces from the 1820s and 1830s, like this one, are rarely marked with the maker’s name. They can be identified as Minton because designs for them appear in the factory’s pattern books. A sketch of this Hannah More figure appears in one of the pattern books.

Minton made a wide range of figures and figure groups. Some were glazed and painted with enamel colours. Most of Minton’s products were more utilitarian though. The factory produced earthenware and porcelain tableware, such as tea services, jugs and mugs.

After Thomas Minton’s death in 1836 the firm continued to be run by the Minton family. Minton employed the finest ceramic artists. Many of them were attracted from Europe by the firm’s worldwide prestige.

The Minton factory in the centre of Stoke was rebuilt and modernised after the Second World War. Minton eventually merged with Royal Doulton Tableware. By the 1980s Minton was only making a few of its own designs, but still employing highly skilled decorators.

The Minton factory was recently demolished as part of a reorganisation within the Royal Doulton Group. Royal Doulton still produces porcelain tableware under the Minton name.


Wilberforce House teaspoon by S&CS, Birmingham, 1908-1909

This decorative teaspoon was made as a souvenir of Wilberforce House Museum in Hull. The picture in the bowl of the spoon shows the museum.

Wilberforce House was the first museum in Britain to explore the history of slavery and abolition. It opened to the public in 1906.

The anti-slavery campaigner William Wilberforce was born at Wilberforce House in 1759. Wilberforce spent part of his childhood living there. The house is at 25 High Street, in Hull’s Old Town.

Wilberforce House is one of the oldest buildings in Hull. It was built around 1660 by William Catlyn for Hugh Lister. The Listers were a powerful family in Hull. The house was extended during the 1730s and 1760s to form the building that exists today.

Hull merchant John Thornton lived at 25 High Street in the early 1700s. William Wilberforce’s grandfather came to Hull to work as an apprentice for him. Wilberforce’s grandfather married John Thornton’s daughter Sarah in 1711. He eventually bought 25 High Street in 1732, after John Thornton’s death.

William Wilberforce was born in one of the upstairs rooms on 24th August 1759. To celebrate his birth, his family decorated the ceiling of the main stairway with the family crest, the eagle.

Wilberforce was forced to sell the house in the early 1830s to pay off his son’s business debts. Before Wilberforce House became a museum, it was rented out to merchants as offices.

The house was bought by Hull City Council in 1903, after a campaign by Councillor John Brown to save it. When Wilberforce House opened as a museum on 24th August 1906, it displayed objects relating to Wilberforce, slavery and local history.

During the Second World War Wilberforce House escaped bombing raids that destroyed the houses opposite and the warehouse behind. The museum was completely redeveloped to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the British slave trade in 2007.


Longcase clock by William Rust, 21 Market Place, Hull, c.1806-1810

Everything on this clock face, including the numbers, has been hand painted. There are painted flowers in the corners and a scene showing a country cottage in the arch. Painted dials were often decorated with countryside scenes.

Painted clock dials were fashionable from the 1780s. They replaced brass dials, which were popular until the 1770s. Instead of painted pictures, decorative brass castings were fitted into the corners and arch of brass dials.

This clock was made by William Rust of Hull. William was a clock and watch maker and goldsmith. He had premises at 21 Market Place in 1791-1792 and 1806-1823.

Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. Hull had no clockmakers’ guild to regulate and record the trade, so it’s difficult to find out about local clock making. Information about the craft comes from surviving examples, newspapers and trade directories. Trade directories were a kind of old fashioned Yellow Pages.

The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some local craftsmen had the skills to make all of these parts. Other ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts and marked their name on the clock. Many of the cases for these clocks were probably still made in East Yorkshire, which had a number of skilled joiners.

Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Bracket clock by King & Co., Hull and Paris, late 1800s

The shiny brass creature on top of this clock has a lion’s body, bird’s wings and a man’s head. It is based on giant stone statues discovered by archaeologists in Iraq.

Europeans were fascinated by discoveries made by archaeologists in the 1800s. Archaeologists dug up the giant stone statues of winged lions at the royal palace at Nimrud in Iraq. The statues were over 3000 years old. They were put in the palace to protect the king from demons.

Nimrud was the capital of Assyria, a kingdom in northern Iraq. Assyria dominated the Middle East during the first millennium BC. The Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal (883-859 BC) established Nimrud as his capital. He decorated his palace with huge stone statues.

Two huge statues of winged lions flanked one of the entrances to the palace’s throne room. The winged lion on this clock is strikingly similar to these statues. The statues were excavated by Austen Henry Layard. He was an archaeologist in Assyria between 1845 and 1851. He suggested that the statues embodied a lion’s strength, a bird’s swiftness and a human’s intelligence.

This clock was made by King & Co., a clock maker with branches in Hull and Paris. Clocks and watches had been made in Hull from the early 1700s.

By 1820 there were 30 clockmakers in Hull, but there were also new threats to local clock making. By 1800 clock and watch parts were being mass produced in Birmingham. By the 1830s entire clock mechanisms could be bought from Birmingham. This reduced the demand for local clockmakers’ skills.

In the 1800s clocks and watches began to be imported on a large scale from France, Germany and America. This destroyed the market for clocks made in Hull. Local traders became clock sellers rather than clockmakers.

This clock was probably made in Paris and imported to Hull. The link with Paris illustrates the decline of local clock making. It suggests that many clocks were being imported by the late 1800s.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Longcase clock by Robert Holborn, South Cave, East Yorkshire, c.1765

What makes this clock special are the pictures decorating its case. Tiny pieces of wood from different types of tree have been used to create them. Each different wood has its own colour and grain. The pieces have been arranged to make pictures of flowers and an urn.

This clock was made by Robert Holborn of South Cave, near Hull. The record of his daughter Sarah’s birth in 1755 tells us he was a joiner (carpenter) and clockmaker.

Records also show that a man called Robert Holborn was working as a watchmaker in Sheffield in 1790. When he voted in Sheffield in 1807, he said he owned property in South Cave. It is likely that the two Robert Holborns are the same man.

Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. There was no local clockmakers’ guild to regulate and record the trade, so it’s difficult to find out about clock making. Information about the craft comes from surviving examples, newspapers and trade directories. Trade directories were a kind of old fashioned Yellow Pages.

The parts needed to make a clock are the dial, movements (the mechanism that tells the time) and case. Some ‘clockmakers’ bought ready made parts, especially cases, and put them together. More skilled clockmakers made everything themselves. Robert Holborn’s joinery experience would have given him the skills to make a complete clock.

Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Bracket clock by Charles Gardner, Hull, c.1840

The parts inside this clock that make it tell the time are called an ‘eight day movement’. An eight day movement needs winding up every eight days so it doesn’t slow down and finally stop.

The eight day movement was invented to replace the 30 hour movement. Clocks with 30 hour movements stopped after just 30 hours. If you owned a clock with a 30 hour movement, you would have had to wind it up every day!

This clock was made by Charles Gardner. Charles made clocks and watches at various workshops in Hull between 1826 and 1872. He moved from Bishop Lane to Trinity House Lane, then to Whitefriargate and finally to Queen Street.

Clocks and watches were made in Hull and East Yorkshire from the early 1700s. Local demand for clocks supported several makers. In the 1700s there were around six clockmakers in Hull at any one time. Local clockmakers were influenced by London styles. Many Hull makers made copies of high quality London clocks, or they made cheaper cases, depending on their customer’s budget.

Bracket clocks have short pendulums and mechanisms driven by steel springs. Most people couldn’t afford bracket clocks, as the steel springs were very expensive to make. Many bracket clocks, like this one, have a cord called a ‘pull repeat’. This makes the clock chime the last hour when pulled. This was a useful way of finding out the approximate time in the dark without having to light a candle.

Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the V&A Purchase Grant Fund.


Sideboard, c.1791-1811

This sideboard would have stood against the wall in someone’s dining room. The drawers would have held cutlery and table linens like napkins.

The four oval patterns decorating the front contrast with the dark mahogany wood. They have been made by ‘inlaying’ pieces of light coloured wood. Inlaying means to set pieces of material such as wood or ivory into the surface of an object. The inlaid pieces make a pattern that is level with the sideboard’s surface.

This sideboard’s design was probably inspired by ‘The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing-Book’ by Thomas Sheraton. Thomas was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1751. He worked as a furniture maker and moved to London around 1790.

There is no evidence that Thomas made furniture during his time in London. His trade card says he taught ‘perspective, architecture and ornaments, making designs for cabinet-makers’. He supported himself mainly through his work as an author. ‘The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book’ was published in four parts in 1791 to 1794.

Sheraton’s Drawing Book aimed to teach people about drawing, geometric representation, architecture and perspective. As an experienced cabinet maker, he drew designs for pieces of furniture to illustrate his points. Soon the Drawing Book was in great demand among furniture makers who wanted to copy Sheraton’s designs. 600 English cabinet makers and joiners subscribed to the Drawing Book.

Thomas Sheraton’s name became applied to the distinctive style of furniture illustrated in his designs. This style of furniture was mainly popular in the late Georgian period, until 1811. Many pieces of furniture survive from this period that were either copied from or influenced by his designs.

Sheraton’s Drawing Book contains an illustration of a sideboard similar to this one. The illustration shows two small drawers on either side of the sideboard and a drawer in the centre. They all have circular handles, just like this sideboard.


'Uncle Tom' Staffordshire flatback, c.1852-1880

This pottery figure is Uncle Tom, the main character in ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’ by American author Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published in 1852 and tells the story of a black slave in America. Stowe wrote the novel because she thought slavery was wrong and should be stopped. She wanted to encourage people to support the campaign to abolish slavery.

The little girl standing on Uncle Tom’s knee is Eva. She and Tom become best friends in the book.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin was the best-selling novel of the 1800s. In the year after it was published in 1852, 300 000 copies were sold in America alone. It showed the cruel reality of slavery and helped persuade many Americans to support its abolition.

Slavery was abolished in Britain and the British colonies in 1833, but continued to be legal in America and many other countries. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin partly in response to the Second Fugitive Slave Act in America. This punished people who helped runaway slaves and restricted the rights of runaway and freed slaves.

As this Staffordshire-made figure shows, the story of Uncle Tom was also popular in Britain. The first London edition of the book appeared in May 1852 and sold 200 000 copies. Many British people campaigned for slavery to be abolished in the United States. Slavery was finally made illegal there in 1865.

This type of pottery figure is called a ‘Staffordshire flatback’ because the back has been left flat and undecorated. Flatbacks were made from the late 1830s by over 100 manufacturers in Staffordshire. They were also called chimney ornaments, because their flat backs allowed them to stand against the chimney breast.

Flatbacks showed popular subjects that everyone would recognise. The Royal Family were the most popular. Others included politicians, military heroes, actors, and even notorious criminals like the highwayman Dick Turpin. The fact that Uncle Tom appears on a flatback shows how familiar his story had become in Britain.


Anti-slavery jug, early 1800s

Anti-slavery pottery was made in Britain in the early 1800s to support the growing movement to abolish slavery. Pieces were aimed at women and designed to appeal to their ‘maternal’ instincts. That is why this jug is printed with a picture of an enslaved woman holding her baby.

The most common design for anti-slavery pottery was the print on the other side of this jug – the kneeling slave. This emblem was used by abolitionists to promote their cause.

The public supported the abolition of the slave trade by buying objects with the kneeling slave symbol. Medallions showing the symbol were especially popular. Over 200 000 were made. Clay pipes and tobacco boxes decorated with the kneeling slave symbol were sold. Their purpose was to remind people that the tobacco they smoked was grown by plantation slaves.

The kneeling slave image showed Africans as passive, begging Europeans for their release from slavery. This was intended to provoke sympathy from Europeans. The reality was very different. Many Africans actively fought against their own enslavement.


Anti-slavery mug, early 1800s

The poem on this mug is written like a toast said by the person drinking from it. The poem has been hand painted onto the mug and calls for slaves to be set free.

Anti-slavery pottery was made in Britain in the early 1800s to support the anti-slavery campaign. Many people opposed the enslavement of African people on Caribbean and American sugar, tobacco and cotton plantations. Ordinary people supported the campaign by buying pottery decorated with anti-slavery verses and symbols.

There had always been opposition to slavery, but in the 1700s more people called for abolition. Enslaved people, freed ex-slaves and British Members of Parliament played an essential role in abolition.

The Quakers were the first religious group to speak out against slavery. They banned their members from owning slaves. They first petitioned Parliament against the slave trade in 1783. Slave uprisings in the Caribbean also made an impact on the British public and Parliament. These included the Saint Dominque (Haiti) rebellion in 1791 and the Jamaican revolt in 1831-1832.

Throughout the abolition campaign there was great social and political unrest in Europe. Events included the French Revolution, Britain’s loss of the American Colonies and the threat of invasion by Napoleon’s forces. These events made Britain’s upper classes nervous of social reform. Britain also relied on slavery for the enormous wealth it generated from the trade in slaves and related products.

Despite this, laws were passed in Parliament for the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, and slavery in 1833.

William Wilberforce led the Parliamentary campaign to abolish the transatlantic slave trade. He first became interested in the abolition of the slave trade and slavery in the 1780s. Wilberforce made his first abolition speech in Parliament in 1789. For many years he presented the abolition bill to Parliament and it kept being defeated, until it was passed in 1807.


Pair of side tables, c.1791-1811

These tables have been designed cleverly. They can be used separately as side tables against a wall. Alternatively, they can be put together to make one circular table with symmetrical decoration.

Different types of wood have been used to make the contrasting patterns on the table tops and sides. All of these colours occur naturally in wood, apart from the green flower garlands and inner band. They have been stained green to give a more colourful effect.

The design of these tables was probably inspired by ‘The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing-Book’ by Thomas Sheraton. This book was a popular source of inspiration for furniture makers when these tables were made.

Thomas was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1751. He worked as a furniture maker and moved to London around 1790. There is no evidence that Thomas made furniture during his time in London. His trade card says he taught ‘perspective, architecture and ornaments, making designs for cabinet-makers’. He supported himself mainly through his work as an author.

‘The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book’ was published in four parts in 1791 to 1794. Sheraton’s Drawing Book aimed to teach people about drawing, geometric representation, architecture and perspective. As an experienced cabinet maker, he drew designs for pieces of furniture to illustrate his points.

Soon the Drawing Book was in great demand among furniture makers who wanted to copy Sheraton’s designs. 600 English cabinet makers and joiners subscribed to the Drawing Book. The styles illustrated in Sheraton’s Drawing Book influenced furniture for many years.

Thomas Sheraton’s name became applied to the distinctive style of furniture illustrated in his designs. This style of furniture was mainly popular in the late Georgian period, until 1811. Many pieces of furniture survive from this period that were either copied from or influenced by his designs.


Anti-slavery bowl, early 1800s

Anti-slavery pottery was made in Britain in the early 1800s to support the growing movement to abolish slavery. Pieces were aimed at women and designed to appeal to their ‘maternal’ instincts. That is why this bowl is printed with a picture of an enslaved woman holding her baby.

The poem asks British women to join the campaign against slavery. It reminds them that African women were often separated from their children when they were forced into slavery.

The poem reflects several British ideas about slavery in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Enslaved Africans were seen as helpless, looking entirely to the British for freedom. In reality many enslaved Africans fought against their enslavement.

The poem also reflects the growing realisation at the time that slavery was not just cruel, it was fundamentally unjust. Africans were treated as goods to be bought and sold rather than human beings, because of their ethnic background.

Women played an important role in the anti-slavery campaign. Unmarried or widowed women found it easier to participate because they had less responsibility within the home.

Widow Elizabeth Hayrick was a leading radical figure. She argued that the gradual abolition of slavery was a stalling tactic by politicians to defeat the anti-slavery campaign. Other women wrote poetry in support of abolition. Many women refused to buy sugar produced by slaves on Caribbean plantations. Women were key promoters of the sugar boycott in the home.

Women also joined anti-slavery societies. By 1831 there were 73 women’s anti-slavery societies. In 1833 women signed a national petition to Parliament calling for the abolition of slavery.

Enslaved women also took an active role in resisting slavery. They wrote poetry to highlight their position as slaves and played an important part in slave uprisings. An enslaved woman called Nanny Grigg played a prominent role in a slave rebellion in Barbados in 1816. Granny Nanny, another female slave, helped in the Jamaican resistance.


Anti-slavery plaque, late 1700s - early 1800s

This wall plaque gives a British view of the abolition of slavery. It shows an enslaved African kneeling, his hands and feet tied together with chains. He is begging Britannia, the lady in the long flowing robes, to set him free. Britannia is commonly used as a symbol of Britain.

Most British people believed that they were solely responsible for ending slavery. This was far from true. Many Africans actively fought against their own enslavement.

The figure of the enslaved African on this plaque is made from moulded wax. It stands out against the pale painted background and picture of Britannia. A ship, probably a slave ship, can be seen in the background. The design of the plaque emphasises the differences British people believed existed between Africans and themselves.

Slavery abolitionists used the image of a kneeling slave as their emblem in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is based on an anti-slavery design created at the Wedgwood pottery factory in 1787. William Hackwood, a worker at the factory, modelled the design.

The kneeling slave image was first used on medallions. Over 200 000 medallions decorated with the image were made to promote the abolitionists’ cause. The design also appeared on ceramics, hairpins and jewellery. The public showed their support for the campaign to abolish slavery by buying these objects.

The kneeling slave design has been criticised because it shows enslaved Africans as passive people pleading for their emancipation. In reality, many Africans fought against their own enslavement. The design was intended to provoke sympathy from the British public and Parliament. They saw themselves as the sole liberators of enslaved people.


Anti-slavery inkstand, early 1800s

This inkstand is in the shape of the shell of a sea creature called a nautilus. The nautilus is related to the squid and octopus and lives in the Pacific and Indian oceans.

When this inkstand was made, people wrote with pens which had to be dipped in bottles of ink. The inkstand has a top section inside it with holes for holding two pots of ink and two pens.

Nautilus shells were valued in Europe for their rarity and beauty. Rich people sometimes had ornamental cups or salt cellars made out of the shells. This pottery copy of a nautilus shell would have been much more reasonably priced.

The inkstand is decorated with pictures of a kneeling enslaved African in chains. Slavery abolitionists used the kneeling slave image as their emblem in the late 1700s and early 1800s. It is based on an anti-slavery design created at the Wedgwood pottery factory in 1787. William Hackwood, a worker at the factory, modelled the design.

The kneeling slave image was first used on medallions. Over 200 000 medallions decorated with the image were made to promote the abolitionists’ cause. The design also appeared on ceramics, hairpins and jewellery. The public showed their support for the campaign to abolish slavery by buying these objects.

The kneeling slave design has been criticised because it shows enslaved Africans as passive people pleading for their emancipation. In reality, many Africans actively fought against their own enslavement. The design was intended to provoke sympathy from the British public and Parliament. They saw themselves as the sole liberators of enslaved people.


Anti-slavery mug, early 1800s

This mug was made to support the anti-slavery movement in the early 1800s. The words ‘Ye are all the children of one Father’ are a strong Christian message of opposition to slavery.

The message is that everyone, whatever their skin colour, was created by God. Many felt this made it wrong for black people to work as slaves for white people.

The picture of a black and a white child hugging one another reinforces the message of equality.

The anti-slavery campaign had a strong Christian dimension. The Quakers were the first religious group to speak out against slavery. They banned their members from owning slaves. They first petitioned the British Parliament against the slave trade in 1783.

The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade was set up in 1787. Most members of the Society were Quakers. Its membership included other influential non-conformist Christians, like William Wilberforce, MP for Yorkshire. The Society promoted the campaign against the slave trade in Parliament. It also gathered support from local groups across Britain.

Anti-slavery ceramics were made in the early 1800s to support the growing campaign to abolish slavery. They were often aimed at women and produced to appeal to their ‘maternal’ instincts. Ceramics printed with pictures of enslaved women and their babies were common.

The words ‘A Trifle for Thomas’ on this mug show that it was bought as a gift. The picture and the inscription ‘Ye are all the children of one Father’ suggest it was bought for a child. The cherub-like appearance of the children shown on the mug reinforces its Christian associations.


Anti-slavery sugar bowl, late 1700s-early 1800s

Many British people refused to buy sugar during the campaign against slavery in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Most sugar was produced by African slaves in the Caribbean. It’s estimated that between 300 000 and 400 000 British people refused to buy sugar.

This bowl’s message is that people should buy sugar from India – then known as East India – instead. Indian sugar was not made by slaves. Every time this bowl was refilled with sugar, its owner would have been reminded of this.

Africans were forced to work as slaves on sugar plantations in the Caribbean from the 1500s. Many of these plantations were owned by Europeans. Much of the sugar produced ended up on British tea tables. Britain grew rich on the profits of the slave trade, which funded rapid industrial development.

Public opinion began to turn against slavery from the 1700s. British people stopped buying sugar after the Government failed to pass the Abolition of the Slave Trade Bill in 1791.

The public’s refusal to buy sugar produced by slaves was one of the first national boycotts in British history. Many people were unhappy that they were supporting slavery by buying sugar produced on Caribbean plantations. British people had a very sweet tooth, so boycotting sugar showed how strongly they felt about slavery.

A wide range of people boycotted sugar, particularly women. Women weren’t allowed to vote, but they could show how they felt through their choice of products. Some people today refuse to buy certain foods or clothes because they believe the workers making them are being exploited.

The British slave trade was finally abolished by the Government in 1807. The reasons for this have been hotly debated. Some think that competition from Cuba and Brazil led to the decline of sugar production in the Caribbean. Others believe that resistance to slavery and the abolition campaign were the main factors in turning public opinion against slavery.


(image/jpeg) Pewter - Poor Man's Silver

Items have been made out of pewter since ancient Egyptian times. It was introduced to Britain by the Romans in the Second Century. Pewter items were often made by silversmiths as a cheaper alternative to silver. As such, it is often called 'Poor Man's Silver'. It is an alloy of mainly tin, with other metals such as bismuth, copper and lead, to harden and strengthen it. Pewter can be worked in several ways to produce different objects. It can be rolled, cast, pressed, spun or shaped by hand. A great variety of objects have been made from pewter including mugs, tankards, plates, dishes, candlesticks, tea services and jewellery. Its surface can be embellished by hammering, engraving or polishing. Pewter tankards were often decorated with 'wriggle-work' which was a line of zig-zag engraving. #SUBHEADING#Marks On Pewter#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE#The museum collections contain several pewter items including brooch, plates, dishes and tankards or mugs. Some of these are stamped with a crowned 'X' mark. This mark was introduced to show that the pewter was good quality. Many items are stamped with the maker's trademark which is also known as a 'touch mark'. This often includes the maker's initials or whole name. One tankard bears the company name stamp of 'Yates & Birch' who were based in Birmingham and used this mark on their wares around 1800. Tankards often bear a stamped capacity mark of 'pint', 'half pint' or 'quart'. The measure had to be verified by an inspector. Each city or town had its own verification mark between 1826 and 1878. After this, the mark comprised of the initials of the reigning monarch ('VR' or 'ER') and a number signifying the town/city location. Two tankards bear the number '528', denoting verification in the county of Lincoln and one has the number '41' to say it has been checked in Hull. Many pewter items, like silver, were marked with the initials, monogram or crest of their owner. One of the tankards in the collection bears a simple triad of initials on the handle. Two tankards bear the stamped three crowns of Hull crest accompanied by the word 'HULL'. These may refer to them being made, sold or used by public houses in Hull. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Bottoms Up!#SUBHEADINGEND# One of the pewter tankards in the collection has a glass bottom. It is thought that the feature helped men to avoid being trapped into conscription by the press-gang. Men could only be forced in to joining the King's Navy if it could be said that they had taken the 'King's shilling'. Members of the press gang visited public houses and offered to buy men drinks and secretly slipped a shilling into the tankard. At the end of the drink, the shilling would reveal itself and the men would be forced to join up. When publicans realised this was happening, they introduced tankards with a glass bottom. Drinkers could raise their tankards to see if there was a shilling lurking in their ale. It is thought that the expression 'Bottoms Up'' derives from this. Tankards continued to be made with glass bottoms long after this time. The one in the collections contains a presentation message that is dated 1902, although the tankard itself may be older.


Detail from Redmore print (image/jpeg) Hull and the sea

The Humber estuary links the rivers of Yorkshire and the East Midlands with the North Sea. Hull developed as an important port where the River Hull meets the Humber. Products from the surrounding area were exported to northern Europe, and raw materials of the Baltic region, mainly timber, were imported into England. It continued to grow with more and more docks being established and trade thriving. This section of our website illustrates Hull's connection with the sea by exploring the museum collections ranging from archaeological finds to artwork.


Eva Crackes herbarium label (image/jpeg) Eva Crackles 1918-2007

Hull Museums has several Herbarium collections, compiled by local collectors to record the diverse flora of the local region. The most extensive of these was created by Florence Eva Crackles, and provides a detailed record of the flora of East Yorkshire. #SUBHEADING# A Passion for Botany #SUBHEADINGEND# Florence Eva Crackles (known as Eva) was born in Hull in 1918. She graduated with a BSc in maths & chemistry in 1940, and went on to develop a joint interest in Ornithology and Botany. She joined the Hull Scientific & Field Naturalists Club in 1941, and subsequently the Yorkshire Naturalists Union in 1943, which allowed her to pursue her interests and meet other enthusiasts in the region. She went on many excursions with Tom Stainforth until his death in 1944. Stainforth's Herbarium is also in the museum collections. By the 1950s Eva's interest in Botany had increased. The wartime bombing of Hull left many derelict sites where wildflowers could be collected. Many of the items collected by Eva in 1950s state the location of a bombed area in Hull. Eva was also a keen writer as well as a collector, and she wrote a column in the Hull Daily Mail called 'Crackles Country'. #SUBHEADING# Sharing the Knowledge #SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Eva enjoyed sharing her passion for Botany, and gave lectures at evening classes for the Workers Educational Association. Her teaching was supplemented by her research and publications. She was awarded a Masters from Hull University in 1978 for her work on Calamagrostis stricta and Calamagrostis canscens and their hybrids at Leven Canal. In 1990 she published The Flora of the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was a culmination of four decades of collecting and research. Her training in maths and chemistry made all her work scientifically precise and detailed. Eva also had interests beyond Botany. She was a keen researcher of family history, and published an account of her family history in the East Yorkshire Historian in 2000. #SUBHEADING# Recognition of her work #SUBHEADINGEND# In 1991 Eva was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Hull University in recognition of her extensive contribution to botany and teaching. A year later she also received an MBE for her services to Botany and its conservation, and she was an active champion at public enquiries in protecting threatened sites in East Yorkshire. View all of the items from the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/resultsoverview.php?keywordsorig=Eva+Crackles&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=Eva+Crackles+Collection&museumorig=&keywords=&title=&person=Eva+Crackles&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collection7=Eva+Crackles+Collection&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit.x=34&SearchSubmit.y=12 TEXT=Eva Crackles Collection# or use the advanced search


(image/jpeg) James Johnson's Romantic Landscape Returns

A visitor favourite, James Johnson's 'Romantic Landscape' has returned to the displays in Gallery 5 at the Ferens Art Gallery following the fitting of a more sympathetic 19th century-style reproduction frame by a specialist conservator. The painting was last shown in Gallery 8 in 2011 when an exhibition of the Ferens landscapes from the permanent collection was mounted to complement the Tate's loan of 'Bigger Trees near Warter' 2007, by David Hockney.


Detail of stitching (image/jpeg) Simply Samplers!

#SUBHEADING#Simply Samplers!#SUBHEADINGEND# Samplers come in all different shapes and sizes and are one of the most common forms of needlework.The actual word, 'sampler' is derived from the Latin exemplum meaning 'an example to be followed or a pattern'. Types of samplers have been found in Egyptian burial grounds and despite only sections of the sampler surviving, Christian style emblems sewn in red and blue wool could be detected.The original purpose of the sampler was educational as it was used to provide other stitchers with examples of different stitches and patterns. The sampler itself was also used as a practice piece for new or difficult stitches and was often found rolled up in the sewing box. #SUBHEADING#Copying Designs#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Samplers have been found all over the world, but the earliest recorded English sampler is from 1598 stitched by Jane Bostocke. It was created to commemorate the birth of a family member, Alice Lee. The sampler still survives today and is held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Early styles of samplers relied on people copying emblems or motifs from other samplers. The earliest dated sampler in the Hull Museums Collection is from 1742 by Elizabeth Clark with an alphabet and flower motifs. It was only later that pattern books were created in the form that we know today to help the stitchers with their designs.Pattern books were produced as early as the 1520s. Many did not survive due to the technique of pricking off patterns directly from the printed page on to the linen. This made the copying of the pattern easier, but this increased the wear and tear of the pages.


children playing in the street (image/jpeg) How we used to live

Hull has a very rich and varied history. It has developed over the centuries from a small walled town to a bustling city, and has seen many major historical events that have shaped its history and the lives of the people who lived here. The stories here explore the way we used to live - what clothes we wore, where we used to work and how our lives were affected by wider conflicts and events. It also looks at the lives of famous local born people, their achievements and how they contributed to the City's interesting past.


Portrait of Maureen Lipman

In a colourful musical and artistic career, Humphrey Ocean has played bass guitar with Ian Dury's band 'Kilburn and the Highroads', and in 1976 toured the USA as artist-in-residence with Paul McCartney's 'Wings'. In 1982, as winner of their Imperial Tobacco Portrait Award, Ocean was asked by the National Portrait Gallery to paint the poet Philip Larkin (completed 1984). This brought him to Hull, and to the attention of the Ferens Art Gallery. An exhibition at the Ferens followed in 1986-7, touring throughout the UK with a large selection of work chosen by the artist from the Ferens collection. After the exhibition Ocean was commissioned by the Friends of the Ferens to paint the Hull-born actress Maureen Lipman; he was an obvious choice, as his portraits of contemporary celebrities are immensely popular. Maureen Lipman, who often visited the Ferens as a girl, was delighted to sit for him. The result is an unusual and informal composition with Maureen in a full-length horizontal pose. The artist has added a ripple-moulded inner frame turned on a 17th century Dutch machine, much in keeping with the Ferens' Dutch collection.


J.R. Mortimer and Thomas Sheppard (image/jpeg) Collectors and Collections

Museums are made up of many different collections spanning a diverse range of disciplines. Each with its own unique history of development. Throughout the museum's history, objects have been donated, bequeathed and purchased to form the collections we hold today. The buildings themselves have also changed over time, as new museums have opened, old ones have closed, and interior displays have been refurbished to present new exhibitions to the public.  Read about the Hull Museums' development, the collections we have and the collectors who contributed their life's work to the museum collections.


Buildings

Hull Museums Service began with the collections of the Hull Literary and Philosophical Society, and under the curatorship of Thomas Sheppard the Service and the collections grew, acquiring both buildings and specimens! Read on to find out more about the history of the museum buildings, what they used to display and how they have developed into the museums we have today.


Collectors

This section explores the stories behind the people who had a passion for collecting. Every collector has their own motivations for collecting, whether it's for scientific and historical study or just for a love of collecting those objects. Read on to find out about their lives, what they collected and what made them so enthusiastic about their chosen collection.


An Exmoor Farm 1937-38

James McIntosh Patrick's early talent was for etching, but when the print market slumped in the 1930's he diversified; teaching at Dundee College of Art, making illustrations for postcards and journals, and turning to oil painting. As with Richard Eurich's (1903-1992) Marine Harvest, represented at the Ferens, McIntosh Patrick's landscape paintings recall Bruegel's (c1525/30-69) meticulous attention to detail. His themes were generally of agriculture rather than wild nature, and are mainly found within a 20 mile radius of his Dundee home. An Exmoor Farm, however, shows a scene much further south, with the farm buildings of Wellstead Farm, Exford, surrounded by a imaginary wintry landscape. With its beautiful, calm atmosphere, this picture shows a rather sentimental and nostalgic view of traditional countryside leisure pursuits. It would have been created in the artist's studio as McIntosh Patrick did not paint 'En Plein Air' until the second world war when he lost his studio. Thereafter he would spend weeks, even months, working on one painting in all weathers, sometimes even warming his frozen paint to make it move.


The Steam Paddle Tug "May" pulling out of Bridlington Harbour, 1890

Born in Lincolnshire, Penny moved to Hull in the 1860s. A prolific artist, his works tend to be simple ship portraits, the principal vessel shown in profile. Many of his canvases highlight the contrast between the old and the new - sail and steam - rather than characterising any specific craft. Including this painting, the Ferens owns three of Penny's works.


Octavia, 1939

Penrose is best known for having introduced Surrealism into Britain during the 1930s. He worked with Picasso (1881-1973) and Max Ernst (1891-1976) in Paris in the 1920s, and continued to contribute to Surrealist exhibitions and publications in England well into the 1940s. Octavia is a powerful example of a Surrealist work. The woman is based on studies of Penrose's then close companion and later second wife, the photographer and model, Lee Miller. It demonstrates Surrealism's preoccupation with machines and metamorphosis, and the woman, with her vicious spikes and heavy chains, is both victim and aggressor. The distant tunnel appears like a watching eye. Painted just before the outbreak of hostilities in Europe, Octavia is a disturbing picture, full of ambiguity and discord. The War was to mark the end of British Surrealism as a recognisable movement. Always a loosely connected group, artists drifted away, some into the Services, others succumbing to the establishment by accepting commissions from the War Artists' Advisory Committee. Looking back, Penrose felt that the War had had a negative effect on his artistic development, cutting him off from the heart of Surrealism in Paris.


Martagon Lilies

Like his fellow Colourists Cadell (1885-1937), Fergusson (1874- 1961) and Hunter (1877-1931), Peploe found Scottish life rather drab and colourless, writing in 1908 'it is terrible to be an artist and live in Edinburgh'. They reacted against the low key, muted colours of their predecessors whose dour genre scenes, mists and stags dominated Scottish painting in the nineteenth century. Inspired by their travels in the Mediterranean, and the colourful work of Matisse (1869-1954) and the Fauves in Europe, the Scottish Colourists (a term not coined until c.1948) adopted a bright and lively palette. This was more extreme and decorative than that of their contemporaries, the Bloomsbury and Camden Town painters. Peploe himself studied at Edinburgh School of Art and the Academie Julian in Paris. In 1910 he moved to Paris where he fell under the influence of Cubism and, later, the colour and vivacity of the Russian ballet. In his early work he favoured heavy black outlines to achieve a two-dimensional effect, but abandoned this technique around 1920. He painted portraits only occasionally, preferring to concentrate on landscape, flowers or still life.


A Summer Shower

Perugini came to London in 1863 and was helped financially by Lord Leighton (1830-1896) in the launching of his artistic career. In A Summer Shower three young women in Greek-inspired costumes (fashionable in London at the time) are interrupted in their game of battledore and shuttlecock by the unpredictable British weather. They shelter under a large tree in a pose which recalls the Three Graces - a theme from classical antiquity. Perugini was famed as a painter of 'sweet idleness' and as 'a painter of womanhood in her most charmingly decorative aspect'.


Suicide in Costume II

Piche studied at the Royal College of Art between 1960-64 during which time he worked as an assistant to Henry Moore (1898-1986). A fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Piche has exhibited at a number of London galleries including the Whitechapel. Piche's work came to prominence during the 1960s. He created sculpture using a variety of materials, the work often drawing upon contrasts between organic and geometric forms. Suicide in Costume II, like much of his work at the time, embraced the themes of pressure, violence and of life struggling for existence.


Portrait of Esther

Lucien PISSARRO Paris 1863 - Somerset 1944 Portrait of Esther, 1893 Oil on canvas Purchased in 1989 using the Ferens Endowment Fund with the aid of grants from the National Art Collections Fund and the MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. Lucien Pissarro, taught to paint by his father, the famous Camile Pissarro (1831-1903), links the French Impressionists with the later generation of English Impressionists. In France he had close contact with Cezanne (1839-1906) and Seurat (1859-91) and took up the pointillist style of applying tiny blobs of paint which intermingle in the spectator's eye to dazzling effect. Painted a year after their marriage, this portrait is of Pissarro's wife Esther Benusan. In the background is a William Morris (1834-96) tapestry, which Pissarro unites with Esther's profile in a mosaic-like pattern.


View of a Palace

An intriguing painting, this work has variously been suggested be of French, Dutch, Flemish or German origin. Until recently the painting was thought to be the work of the Flemish artist, Adam Frans Van der Meulen (1632-1690). However, recent research from France has suggested that the painting might belong to the school of Pierre Patel, a French landscape artist of the 17th century. This theory is supported by the fact that Patel is known to have painted a view of the palace of Versailles during the same period. The identity of the building in the background of our painting is itself under debate - it is certainly in the style of Versailles, Louis XIV's sumptuous residency. However, this can be misleading as smaller versions of the French monarch's palace were being built all over Europe by those who wished to emulate his power and prestige. It has been recently suggested that the building depicted here has some similarities to the Menagerie at Versailles, built by Le Van. The presence of the gazelles in the foreground and a group of characters in court dress on the right could confirm this hypothesis.


The Man with the Muck Rake

Paton's own inscription on the reverse of this painting confirms that this is a study for the large and final version, shown nearby, of the picture in the Ferens' collection: 'This is the first of two preliminary studies for the life size picture of the 'Man with the Muck Rake'. The second study - if I rightly recollect has a dark background and only one angel, as in the engraved picture. Noel Paton Nov 11 1889'. Paton had drawn subjects from Bunyan's The Pilgrims Progress soon after his return to Edinburgh in 1857. Before embarking upon the final version, he clearly reworked the subject of the 'Muck Rake' several times, making significant changes to its details until he was fully satisfied with the result; there is another version in the collection of Aberdeen Art Gallery.


Detail of fan (image/jpeg) Fans - Functional, Fashionable and Flirtatious

#SUBHEADING#Functional#SUBHEADINGEND# There are many different types, shapes and sizes of hand held fans in Hull Museums costume collection. They range from the plain and practical to the ornate and decorative, and can incorporate many different materials including lace, silk, feathers and even stuffed birds! #IMAGE# Essentially fans are functional objects; a flat surface that, when waved back and forth provides an airflow that cools you down. However, in different societies over time, fans have developed into a fashionable crafted accessory and have even developed a language of their own. There are four main types of fan; Rigid fans, usually paddle shaped with a handle, often decorated with feathers. Brise fans, made from separate sticks which are linked together at the top with a ribbon threaded through. Cockade fans, made from a folded main leaf which forms a circle when the two guards join to form one handle. Folded fans, made from a main folded leaf attached to a series of riveted sticks and a guard at each end. #SUBHEADING#Fashionable#SUBHEADINGEND# Fans have a long history dating back to ancient times, and large feather fans can be seen in ancient Egyptian images, held by slaves to cool the pharaohs. China and Japan also have a long history of using hand fans, with the folding fan becoming popular during the Ming Dynasty in China. The folding fan was introduced into Europe in the 17th century from China, and was considered a very high status gift. These, along with rigid fans, were often decorated with feathers and jewels. By the 18th century, the fan had become an essential fashion accessory and fan painting became a recognised art, with scenes on the leaves of the fan including country landscapes, classical figures and religious subjects. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#A variety of materials#SUBHEADINGEND# Sticks and guards could be made out of ivory, tortoiseshell, mother of pearl and wood, whilst the main body of the fan could be silk, paper or animal skin. In the last quarter of the 19th century, feather fans became popular, starting out brightly coloured and later becoming more neutrally shaded. This trend continued into the 1920s with one large ostrich feather plume dyed to match the colour of the wearer's dress. After this fans were used more for advertising purposes. #SUBHEADING#Flirtatious!#SUBHEADINGEND# The fan was also useful for another purpose - flirtation! In a society where men and women could not easily converse, the fan developed a language of its own to allow communication. The way a lady held and positioned her fan could mean the difference between declining a man's attentions and accepting a proposal of marriage! Fan messages included: - The fan placed near the heart: "You have won my love" - Fanning quickly: "I am engaged" - Hiding the eyes behind an open fan: "I love you" As social etiquette changed, the language of the fan for forbidden communication became obsolete, and the language of the fan was lost.


Portrait of Gertrude Kingston

Hull-born Starr established himself as a portrait, genre and mural painter. He trained at London's Slade School of Art, winning a scholarship at the age of seventeen. He became a friend of the American artist Whistler (1834-1903) and is regarded as one of the most successful of his followers. Starr was one of the artists represented at the London Impressionist Exhibition in 1889. He lived in London until 1892 when a scandal forced him to move to New York. He remained there until his death. Gertrude Kingston (1866-1937) was an actress who made her stage debut in 1887, the year before this elegant portrait was painted. It is possible that she posed in costume as a stage character, rather than actually being dressed for hunting. The monochromatic colour scheme and the broad, flat areas instead of modelled forms clearly show the influence of Whistler in this bold, assertive portrait. Her finely sculpted features present the ideal Victorian beauty of the 1880s.


Poppy (after John Hoppner's painting of Anna Isabella Milbanke)

St. James is currently a senior lecturer at Camberwell College of Art in London. His exploration of video as a creative means of expression has led to his work being exhibited both nationally and internationally. The Ferens also has in its collection an earlier video work, The Ark, which is a collaborative work by St. James and the artist, Anne Wilson (b.1955) Poppy is the result of a commission from the Ferens for St. James to produce a video piece inspired by a work in the gallery's historic collection. The piece conveys the artist's response to John Hoppner's (1758-1810) painting, Anna Isabella Milbanke, and focuses on a little girl, full of excitement and expectation but also restricted by the formal conventions of 18th century portrait. The artist has endeavoured to capture the innocence and naivety of both girls, together with the atmosphere of the landscape setting which drew St. James to the Hoppner painting in the first place. The sitter for the video portrait is the artist's six year old daughter, Poppy Wilson-St. James. The artist's empathy for Anna Isabella Milbanke evolves through his own experiences as the father of a young girl. St. James' family - and himself - are often the subjects for his work and on this occasion Poppy was tempted to participate through the promise of a new dress for the occasion.


Boulogne Sands - Children Shrimping

This painting was the Gallery's major purchase of 1979-80. It is a key work in the early period of Steer's career when he was assimilating, with Sickert, the influences of French Impressionism. Boulogne Sands is an example of what became known as London Impressionism, although it depicts a French scene. The bright, light palette, loose style and in particular the pointillist (dabs of colour) inspired technique are all derived from the style of French artists like Monet (1840-1926). Steer was a leading artist of the so-called English Impressionists and he enjoyed a long teaching career at London's Slade School of Art.


Reverie (Miss Lilian Montgomery)

Steer first studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris where he became greatly influenced by contemporary developments in French art. On returning to England he became a leader amongst his generation of progressive English artists who looked to France for inspiration. Together with his contemporary, Sickert (1860-1942), he was responsible for bringing the French Impressionist style and manner across to England. Miss Lilian Montgomery was a favourite model of Steer's. In Reverie her image is almost lost amongst the loose brushstrokes and the artist's preoccupation with style and technique in much the same way that she appears lost in her own thoughts.


The Good Samaritan

Originally a painter of nostalgic rural scenes, the inevitability of rural life, with its time-honoured traditions, appealed to Stott. However, witnessing the increasing destruction of the landscape during the early years of this century, Stott began to draw his subject matter more from the Bible and less from modern life. Here, Stott depicts the Good Samaritan rescuing the injured traveller (Luke 10:30-37). The extreme vulnerability of the figure of the boy is emphasised by his naked white flesh contrasted against the dark, impressionistic background, somewhat reminiscent of an English landscape scene.


Marine (Sailing Ship on Beach)

Marine depicts a brig that is beached following a storm. Evidence of the severe weather is seen by the large amount of wreckage lying on the beach, including a broken mast and tackle. Although Stubbs was not a ship portrait painter here he shows an understanding of ships probably influenced by the coastal scenes painted by his father.


Folding Time

Although Stott was born in Rochdale, he spent much of his life at Amberley in Sussex, an idyllic village with thatched cottages. He painted many rural scenes from the countryside around his home, but many of his pictures have a melancholic air, perhaps reflecting his personal distress at the changing landscape. Folding Time depicts an elderly farmer returning home with the sheep at sunset, and as such may symbolize the end of an era with the gradual destruction of time honoured rural traditions. Stott was heavily influenced by the French artist Millet (1814-1875). Comparisons of his landscapes have also been made with the author Thomas Hardy's literary descriptions of the British countryside. His painting technique was long and painstaking with many preparatory notes and drawings used as inspiration for the final work. The oil paintings were built up in layers of small brush strokes, but he gradually moved towards a more impressionistic style with brighter colours and larger daubs of paint. Stott exhibited works at the Royal Academy for over thirty years and left them £25,000 in his will to provide art students with travel grants.


Ship on a Beach by Moonlight

The information on Ralph Stubbs is a little uncertain as there are a number of parties called Stubbs, at least one called Reuben and two called Ralph. Problems have arisen from the name 'R. Stubbs' appearing on pictures as late as 1888 despite records showing that Ralph died in 1879. One view is that Stubbs had a son who also signed his work 'R.Stubbs' and exhibited in Hull as late as 1888. Ship on a Beach by Moonlight is a more romantic coastal view with the artist attending to the effects of light and atmosphere. This manner is reflective of his foremost interests as a landscape painter.


Vault

Like Sweet's other canvas, Red, Yellow, Blue, also in the collection, this work seeks to explore and express some of the elements of abstract painting. It is, however, less rigidly geometrical and the slashes of colour echo the freer expressionism of the 1950s and '60s, and of artists like Peter Lanyon (1918-64) and Terry Frost (b.1695) whose work is also represented in the Ferens collection.


Red, Yellow, Blue

David Sweet studied and taught at Hull College of Art and was a contemporary of Ian Hart (1943-1977), whose work is also represented in the Ferens collection. Like Hart, Sweet's work addresses the formal and creative difficulties posed by abstract painting, which he explored across several canvases.


Interior - Girl Reading

Provis specialised in small, detailed interiors of cottages and farm houses with women and children doing household chores. Such genre pieces, popular in Victorian England, set out to present a 'slice of life'. There was, however, a tendency to beautify the subject, to cater for the taste in pictures of pretty young women. The soft lighting and subdued colours achieve this effect. The girl probably reads the Bible, as judging by the sparse furnishings this would be the only book likely to be kept in the cottage.


Detail of dress (image/jpeg) Flirty Flapper Fashion

The 1920s were a time of great change, socially and economically, for everyone in Britain. After the First World War there were many changes. Women were more liberated, able to work and have leisure pursuits. #IMAGE# These changes were also reflected in fashion. It became a scandalous age when women would cut their hair short, wear make up, smoke cigarettes in public, and dance the night away to Jazz music! #SUBHEADING# Charleston Beauties #SUBHEADINGEND# A fashionable 1920s girl would have worn a shapeless shift dress that has an undefined dropped waistline, long strings of beads and high heeled shoes with a strap bar. Evening wear would have been very elaborate with an uneven hemline, intricate beading and sequins. This dress from the collection typifies this style of dress. It is made of black chiffon with black and clear beads that would have caught the light when dancing the night away. It is sleeveless and has a fabric rose corsage on the left shoulder with a defined dropped waistline decorated with a beaded pattern. Other dresses demonstrate the geometric designs that were popular in this period. Many evening dresses featured lots of tassels which would shake when dancing the popular dances such as The Charleston or The Black Bottom Stomp. #SUBHEADING# Daring Hemlines #SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# The hemline of the black evening dress is surprising long. It is a common misconception that all hemlines in the 1920s were above the knee. People at the time considered them dangerous high! But in reality most dresses were calf length, apart from a short period 1926-28 when hemlines reached just below the knee. This day dress has an uneven 'handkerchief' hemline which at it's shortest would reach just below the knee. #SUBHEADING# The Weight of Fashion #SUBHEADINGEND# Beaded dresses like the one shown above weigh a tremendous amount and often don't survive very well. This is because the base fabric is often net or chiffon which are both very light material and can't support the weight of the beading that decorates it. Holes and tears are quiet common in dresses of this age. They have to be looked after very carefully and stored flat to prevent pressure on the fabric.


His First Grief, 1910

Charles Spencelayh studied at the Royal College of Art and also in Paris, winning a prize for figure painting. He was the father of the painter of miniatures, Vernon Spencelayh (b.1891). Most of Spencelayh's paintings are portraits or figurative genre scenes, much like this work, although he was also a successful etcher and miniaturist. He was especially famed for his cluttered interiors depicting old men, which he painted in great detail. Although this painting is of a young boy, it still concentrates on the themes of old age and death. This was a subject which would have been close to the hearts of a Victorian audience in the nineteenth century, and which was continued by Edwardian artists well into the twentieth. In a letter of 1940 to Vincent Galloway, then Director of the Ferens Art Gallery, Spencelayh noted that the boy in the painting, who acted as his model on several occasions, was tragically killed in the Great War in 1916.


Portrait of Gwen Harter in a Red Bead Necklace, 1920s

Born in Cookham, Berkshire, Gilbert was the youngest brother of the artist Stanley Spencer (1891-1959). Like Stanley, Gilbert also studied at the Slade School of Art in London under the tuition of Henry Tonks (1862-1937). On leaving the college Gilbert pursued an art career in London, exhibiting at a number of venues including the New English Art Club and the Royal Academy of which he became a member in 1959. Throughout his career he was also a member of the Royal Watercolour Society. Besides being an artist Spencer was also a respected teacher. He served as Professor of Painting at the Royal College of Art for sixteen years before undertaking senior positions at the Glasgow School of Art and later at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in London. Although he was predominantly a landscape artist, Spencer's portraits in oil together with his drawings show considerable talent particularly for their draughtsmanship. The sitter in this portrait is Gwen Harter, who married the artist Sydney Carline (1888-1929), the brother of Stanley Spemcer's first wife Hilda Carline (1889-1950), herself a talented artist. This portrait would appear to date from the 1920s and the emphasis on the neckline is a characteristic feature of the period, as is the vivid background


The Red House

Throughout his life, Spencer found both inspiration and consolation in the meadows, lush hedgerows and country gardens of rural England. He continually returned to the subject of landscapes in his work as a regenerative process, each time re-exploring the subject with new energy. The Red House is in Wangford, Suffolk. Spencer followed the artist Hilda Carline (1889-1950) there in the autumn of 1924. Hilda married Spencer at Wangford Church in 1925 and they spent their honeymoon at a farm cottage in the village. After the breach in his relationship with Hilda he returned briefly and alone to Wangford in 1937, failing to persuade his wife to accompany him. Hilda is depicted in a group portrait at the Ferens by her brother Richard Carline (1896-1980). For Spencer, the landscapes he portrayed were often of great personal importance. This sense of place was a fundamental theme running through much of his art. His landscapes often feature distorted scale and perspective and a heightening of realistic detail to personalise the scene.


Coastline with Lighthouse

Born in West Yorkshire, Suddaby studied art in Sheffield before moving to London. He was predominantly a landscape painter and had numerous one-man exhibitions in London. Following the Second World War he moved to Suffolk and produced many scenes of East Anglia, for which he is renowned. Suddaby was also a founder member of the Colchester Art Society with John Nash (1893-1977) and Cedric Morris (1889-1982), both represented at the Ferens. Coast Scene with Lighthouse typifies Suddaby's style, with its richness of colour, energetic brush marks and sense of immediacy.


Nude - Portrait of Patricia Preece

One of the greatest English artists, Spencer had a unique vision of the world. An eccentric and highly imaginative individual, he remained an independent artist, apart from any currently fashionable groups. He attended the Slade School of Art along with Bomberg (1890-1957), Nash (1889-1946) and Wadsworth (1889-1949), among others. Many of Spencer's visionary paintings and landscapes were inspired by life in his native town of Cookham. This striking portrait of Spencer's second wife was probably painted in 1936/37, around the time of their marriage. Spencer produced a number of private, almost intrusively analytical paintings of both himself and Patricia, often using a similarly close viewpoint. Pat Preece looks out at the viewer with an unflinching gaze. The frankness of the portrayal makes this portrait as intimidating as Victor Newsome's highly stylised nude of 1980/81.


harry cartlidge on the wilberforce monument (image/jpeg) Harry Cartlidge - Life Through a Lens

Harry Cartlidge was born in Hull in 1893 and was always fascinated by photography. When he was 13 his mother bought him his first camera, a quarter plate box-camera. He once remarked "when I was a youngster you could buy little negatives showing pictures of footballers and various personalities which you printed by exposing them to the sun!". When he left school be became a clerk in the Territorial Army Office before joining the London and North Eastern Railway Co. as a shorthand clerk. He worked at St Andrews Dock and Hull Dock Offices (now the Maritime Museum). He continued to work in Hull moving between the dock and the Police Office at Paragon station. He developed his skills as a photographer taking portraits of staff at the railway and dock offices and wedding photographs of soldiers getting married on leave. #SUBHEADING# Public recognition of his work #SUBHEADINGEND# During the 1920s he began to submit his work for publication and his work appeared in a number of magazines and papers. He also entered, and won, a number of photography competitions. In August 1929 he spotted smoke from the Hull Fish Market and rushed to the scene with his camera. #IMAGE# His pictures of the fire were quickly developed and appeared in a number of national newspapers the following day. The images were also requested by the fish merchants and the Fire Insurance Companies. His camera captured over events across the city including a detailed series of the Wilberforce monument being taken-down and moved to Queens Gardens in 1935. He even climbed the scaffold, as the public were invited to do for a small fee, and documented the city from this unique vantage point. #IMAGE#He regularly took photographs of locations close to Hull, with favourites including Beverley, Whitby and Scarborough. A picture of a floodlit Beverley Minster, a popular subject, even featured in an album presented to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to celebrate their coronation, 1937. In 1951 he married May Terry who he worked with the North Eastern Railway Co. A few years later at the age of 60 he retired from the railways enabling him to devote more time to photography, including joining the staff at a local photographic shop. He regularly took photographs of Hull street scenes, shop fronts and buildings. He continued to give slide talks around the city too, even into his nineties. In 1982 he even featured in and episode of the BBC TV series "Magic Lantern Show" called "Yesterday's Humberside." View all of the items from the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/resultsoverview.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&title=&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collectionall=all&collection2=Cartlidge+Collection&museumall=all&museum6=Maritime+Museum&location=any&SearchSubmit.x=45&SearchSubmit.y=14 TEXT=Harry Cartlidge Collection# or use the advanced search


Somewhere in England

The son of the Bavarian portrait painter George Sauter (1866-1937), Rudolf studied art in London and Munich. He became an established figurative painter and had one-man shows in both New York and London. Tragically, much of Sauter's work was destroyed in a fire in the early 1980s. Together with the National Portrait Gallery, the Ferens is one of the few British public galleries to represent Sauter's work. Despite its title, Somewhere in England seems more evocative of other European countries, particularly Holland. Such references are partly due to the extensive travels Sauter undertook throughout Europe, South Africa and later America. It is in the latter that he established a wide reputation as a painter and printmaker.


Needle and Thread

Little is known about Schafer, although he is known to have exhibited both paintings and sculpture at various London Galleries. This painting was one of the first bought for the Ferens' collection along with Under Petticoat Government by Blandford Fletcher (1858-1936). It was purchased in 1906, the same year the work was shown at the Hull Autumn Exhibition in the Municipal Art Gallery (now the City Hall), before the Ferens was opened in 1927. It had been exhibited previously at The Royal Academy under the title The Sempstress. A contemporary(?) note in the painting's history file describes the work as: 'A beautifully painted picture of high artistic quality, pathetic, sad and reminiscent of Rembrandt in its beauty of light and shade'. It is, indeed, indebted to the 17th century Dutch tradition of sombre, introspective portraits, a style introduced by Rembrandt and one which greatly influenced many Victorian painters. Scenes such as this, depicting working women, were popular with the Victorian public and provided subject matter for many painters and authors of the period. This particular piece was inspired by Thomas Hood's poem The Song of the Shirt, about a poor seamstress 'plying her needle thread-/stitch, stitch!'


Painting, 1959

Although born in Scotland, Scott studied art in both Belfast and London. Like Henry Mundy (b.1919) he was a prize winner in the prestigious John Moores exhibition the year this picture was painted. Scott's paintings of still life's in the late 1940s and early '50s led to a brief experimentation with pure abstraction. He progressed on to arrangements of simple shapes on a flat ground which, like the Ferens' painting, are reminiscent of pots, pans and other household items. Scott chose to paint still life's of ordinary kitchen utensils partly because they are so ordinary that they can be treated as shapes and nothing else. The title of the work, Painting, probably refers to the process as well as the object. Scott has divided the canvas into four rectangular quarters, making 'fields' of colour with a brush and palette knife.


IDYLL, c.1931/2

IDYLL, c.1931/2 Sickert was probably the single most important artist and art teacher of the Edwardian period. He was one of the founders of the Camden Town Group, and was influential in encouraging a new and very English form of Post-Impressionism. Rather than working en plein air (open air) however, he sometimes based his work upon artists' woodcuts. These were known as the Echoes. Idyll, a late work by Sickert, was painted after an illustration of a wood engraving which appeared in Leisure Hour magazine in 1859. The only significant change the artist has made is a slight reduction in the foreground and sky.


24 pins, 13 pieces of paper and painted elements, 1974

In the 1950s Smith, who trained in Sheffield and at the Royal College of Art, belonged to the 'Kitchen Sink' school of painters who depicted everyday things using a very dour palette of colours. He later gave up this realist approach in favour of an abstract style. In common with his contemporaries throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s Smith began to explore the relationships between colour, sound and movement in a very individual way. For Smith there was a strong link between the rhythm he wished to convey and the idea of musical notation, which itself conveyed rhythm on a flat surface. He came to regard his work as diagrams of his own experiences and sensations, saying, in 1963: the closer the painting is to a diagram or graph the nearer it is to my intention.' Smith's work of the early 1970s, exemplified by this busy, collated relief, is an extension of this belief.


Hyacinth, 1920

Smith went to Paris in 1910 where he studied at Matisse's (1869-1954) school during the last few weeks before its closure. Thereafter Smith identified very strongly with French art, being influenced in particular by the bold, un-naturalistic colours and opulent forms of the Fauve movement, of which Matisse was a founding member. Smith's luscious nudes and still life flower pieces in particular owe much to Matisse, as this painting exemplifies. Its rich, saturated colours and fluency of line, along with the work's painterly approach, give it a vigour and sumptuousness that echo the older artist's style. Much of Smith's working career was spent in France where he enjoyed a high reputation amongst his English contemporaries. Frank Auerbach (b.1931), who is represented in the Feren's collection, is just one of the many British painters to have admired his work.


Truelove from Hull on a jug (image/jpeg) Truelove: From War to Whaler

#IMAGE##SUBHEADING#Spoils of War#SUBHEADINGEND# The 'Truelove' was built in Philadelphia in 1764 and came into English hands during the American War of Independence where she had been used as a privateer. She was sold to John Voase, a wine merchant and ship owner in Hull, and was converted into a whaling ship. The 'Truelove' made over 80 voyages, killing over 500 whales as well as seals, walruses, narwhals and polar bears. The 'Truelove' also brought wine from Oporto and for 9 years she engaged in general trade with the Baltic ports. In 1835 the 'Truelove' was one of a fleet trapped in ice in Melville Bay, Greenland. Twenty of the fleet were crushed but 'Truelove' survived unharmed. Captain Wells described her as 'handy as a cutter, safe as a lifeboat, and tight as a bottle'. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Visitors from Greenland#SUBHEADINGEND# In 1847 Captain John Parker brought a couple back from the Nyatlick in the Cumberland Straits to Hull on the 'Truelove'. The couple called Memiadluk and Uckaluk were brought to England to highlight the poor conditions in their homeland and after arriving in Hull they took part in talks in Manchester and York. Before their departure plaster casts were made of their heads as well as the head of Captain Parker and these are now displayed in the Hull Maritime Museum. Memiadluk and Uckaluk were given a variety of gifts by their hosts before they left but unfortunately on the return journey to Cumberland South Uckaluk died after there was an outbreak of Measles on board. #SUBHEADING#End of an Era#SUBHEADINGEND# The 'Truelove' was the last of the Hull whalers and sailed alongside the steam powered whaling vessels in the 1850's and 60's. In 1873 she travelled to her home port of Philadelphia and was presented with a flag in honour of her 'birth' there 109 years earlier. After her visit to Philadelphia there were calls to have her made into a floating museum but this never came about and she ended her days as a bulk on the Thames before she was finally broken up in the late 1890's. The 'Truelove' was in use for over 130 years, outliving all other vessels of her class who were built at the same time. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Some Captains of the Truelove#SUBHEADINGEND# John Parker was Captain of the 'Truelove' for 17 years and was a master on the whalers for 27 years - a record that was unsurpassed by any other Captain. William Barron was the youngest apprentice on board the 'Truelove' when he set sail along with Captain John Parker in 1849 for that season's whaling. He would work his way up to Captain by 1861 becoming one of Hull's most noted whaling captains. William Wells sailed in whalers between 1844 and 1863. After coming ashore he became Haven Master of Hull and advisor to the Arctic explorer Benjamin Leigh Smith.


Young Roman

Having showed early artistic talent Dod was taken in 1907 by her mother to Stanhope Forbes' (1857-1947) School of Painting in Newlyn. Walter Langley (1852-1922) and Thomas Cooper Gotch (1854- 1931) were amongst other artists settled there. Like her contemporaries Procter was attracted by the 'plein air' approach to painting. She came to regard oil as her best medium, giving up the use of watercolour by c.1920. From 1910 she studied in Paris where she met Ernest Procter (1886-1935), whom she later married. Together they travelled widely and undertook mural commissions. Dod exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy and the New English Art Club. She returned to Newlyn after Ernest's death and became a local celebrity. Procter's major talent was in her single figure paintings in oil, executed in a simple yet unconventional style. Her concerns were with form, weight and the fall of light upon her subjects. She became known for her portraits of children and young women and is said to have made truly 'feminine art.' Her sitter in Young Roman, poised between boyhood and adulthood, is unknown. The cool, Mediterranean feel of the portrait suggests it could have been painted during the Procters' travels, although the setting also evokes the simple, light interior of their Newlyn home. Its pure, classical semi-profile pose also hints at Renaissance portraiture.


Still Life with Red Apple

This painting was purchased from Pye following an exhibition of the work of local artists at the Ferens in 1958. A label from the back of the painting tells us that Pye was based in Bridlington, but we hold no more information on his life or work.


Green Apples

Unfortunately, the gallery has been unable to locate any information about the artist of this most traditional still life, Patricia Ramsay. The painting is one of a group of five works bequeathed to the Hull by the late Muriel Warde, formerly Muriel Wilson, a member of the distinguished Wilson shipping family. The most important of the works included in the bequest is Canaletto's (1697-1768) A View on the Grand Canal.


Hull from the Humber

Beginning his career as a marine engineer, no details are known of Redmore's early artistic training. It is possible he may have received instruction from John Ward (1798-1849) whom he succeeded as Hull's most renowned marine artist, but there is no definite evidence. Certainly the composition of Redmore's Hull from the Humber owes much to Ward in its use of compositional devices such as the watermen on rafts of timber, leading the eye from the left- hand side of the canvas into the centre. However, unlike Ward, who was concerned with presenting an accurate record of a vessel, Redmore's principal aim was to construct a pleasing view. As a ship's engineer he was well acquainted with the different types of vessels, but Redmore's paintings are not ship portraits defining every block and rope of the rigging. Redmore's work was part of the Victorian tradition of executing romantic sea paintings of ships in a violent storm or shown in a calm sunlit sea. His patrons came from a wider public, not just those involved in shipping. This is reflected in the size of his canvases which were sometimes very large to fill the ample wall space of the substantial Victorian townhouse.


Boats off Whitby

Henry Redmore was the son of a Hull house carpenter and engineer. He began his own career as a marine engineer, only starting to paint commercially at the age of about 28, a year after the death of John Ward (1798 - 1849), Hull's most renowned marine painter. Ten years later he was described as 'H. Redmore the celebrated marine artist of the town', following the display of his 50,000 square foot canvas of The glorious achievements of the British Navy commanded by the immortal Nelson'. Redmore's training as a marine engineer would have enhanced his understanding of the sea and ships, improving his ability to draw with accurate nautical detail. Yet he painted few ship portraits. As Boats off Whitby illustrates, Redmore's main interest was in creating a romantic atmosphere, whether painting groups of vessels on calm sunlit waters, or in his well known depictions of violent storm-tossed seas, craggy coasts and shipwrecks.


Coast Scene, Whitby

Henry Redmore was a successful local painter who, along with John Ward (1798-1849), is believed to be the best Hull marine artist of the 19th century. He painted many local sea scenes of the Yorkshire coast, particularly on the Humber and off Scarborough and Whitby. Although his subjects were local, the influence of Dutch 17th century marine painting is apparent in his work, which pays particular attention to the rendering of skies and seas. Redmore is best known for his romantic depictions of ships on high seas, such as Coast Scene, Whitby. However, his later works are in effect genre studies of fishermen with their small craft and seaside cottages. He was active to the end of his life and there are at least four canvases dated 1887, the year of his death. Redmore's remains still lie in Hull General Cemetery under a simple headstone carved with palette and brushes.


Two Cutters

This scene is of two cutters sailing on what appear to be strong, stormy seas. Dark clouds dominate much of the sky and the floating wreckage of a mast and rigging are seen in the foreground. Such features suggest the aftermath of a storm at sea.


Titanic souvenir (image/jpeg) Joseph Groves Boxhall - The Last Man Standing

J.G Boxhall was born in Hull on 23 March 1884. Following in the seafaring footsteps of his grandfather, uncle and father Boxhall started his apprenticeship in 1899 and after completing his mates' certificate in 1903 he joined the Wilson Line, as 3rd Officer of the Iago. He passed his 1st mates certificate in 1905 and was 2nd Officer of Rosario in the same year. He studied at Trinity House, Hull and in 1907, after successfully completing his exams, he joined the White Star Line and was appointed 6th Officer of Oceanic. In the following years he served on Oceanic, Arabic and in 1909 he was offered the position of 4th officer on Titanic #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#The Titanic#SUBHEADINGEND# After picking up his ticket in Liverpool Boxhall travelled from Belfast to Southampton with the Titanic and on the 10 April 1912 she set out on her maiden voyage. On the night that Titanic sunk Boxhall was walking the bridge when heard the signal that an iceberg had been spotted ahead. After the collision he was ordered by Captain Smith to go and check the forward part of the ship and was informed by the carpenter that the mail hold was rapidly filling with water. Boxhall calculated the ship's position and sent out the distress signal and later fired the distress rockets from the bridge trying to signal to a vessel which vanished over the horizon (thought to be the Californian but this was never proved). Captain Smith informed the crew that Titanic would sink within an hour to an hour and a half and Boxhall was put in charge of Lifeboat 2. Carrying mainly female passengers, the boat was less than two thirds full when they were picked up by the Carpathia. #SUBHEADING#After the Titanic#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Boxhall gave evidence at the U.S Senate Inquiry and at the Board of Trade Inquiry in Britain before returning to his duties in June 1912 as 4th Officer of the Adriatic. He was aboard HMS Commonwealth at the outbreak of war and was promoted to Lieutenant RNR in 1915 joining a torpedo boat at Gibraltar in the same year. After the First World War Boxhall married Marjorie Bedells in Sheffield on 25 March 1919 and then joined Cedric as Second Officer on the Liverpool-New York run. Although Boxhall was never master of a vessel he was an experienced and capable officer and before retiring in 1940 he was 1st Officer of Berengania; another of the great 'Leviathans'. #SUBHEADING#A Night to Remember#SUBHEADINGEND# Boxhall was reluctant to speak of his experiences on the Titanic but did agree to be technical advisor on the 1958 film 'A Night to Remember' and in the years that followed he gave interviews to a few researchers. His health deteriorated in the 1960's and he died in 1967. He was the last surviving crew member of the Titanic and his body was cremated and scattered on the spot where he had calculated that the Titanic had gone down.


Whalebone corset detail (image/jpeg) Restrictive Fashion

This corset is from the mid 18th century (c 1740-60). Corsets were used as underwear to shape a woman's body into the fashionable shape of the era. Although commonly called a corset, early examples are in fact 'stays', a solid piece of underwear that shapes the whole torso. Stays have their origins in the boned bodices of the 17th century. Their design was to give the body a long conical shape, making the waist look slender against a large volume of skirts. These stays are fully boned and are very rigid. The thickness of the bones depended on where they were place within the stays. The diagonal direction of the bones helped to slenderise the body and prevent any movement. These stays are made from heavy white cotton with a canvas backing, stiffened with paste or glue. There are no shoulder straps on these stays anymore, but it is highly likely that they did have straps originally. #SUBHEADING#The Art of the Stay-Maker#SUBHEADINGEND# The stay-maker has to be admired since all stays are hand-made. Every piece of whalebone is placed and stitched either side to hold it in place. There are 180 bones in these stays. Larger pieces of whalebone are at the seams to maintain roundness at the front and straight pieces on the shoulder blades to hold the back straight. Stays were a very individual garment since every woman had different requirements to achieve the fashionable shape. These stays are from a similar date and have much lighter boning but the same basic construction and benefits to the wearer. #SUBHEADING#Fashion and the Whale#SUBHEADINGEND# Hull's whaling industry was big business in the 19th century. Parts of whales were used for many different purposes, and corsetry was one of them. Whalebone stays are not actually made from the whale's bones. The 'bones' are made of baleen which is a horn-like substance that comes from a whale's mouth. Inside a whale's mouth there are approximately 300 triangular fibrous blades which sieve the small fish and crustaceans from the sea water. When the blades arrive at the factory, the hairs are removed and then they are soaked in warm water for two-three weeks. When this is over, the blades are steamed for an hour before being cut into strips. The number of blades that can be extracted from whale's mouth varies depending on the species and size of the whale. Baleen is used in corsetry for its flexible qualities. It can be softened by hot water or steam and will retain its shape if secured until it has cooled. #SUBHEADING#Near Extinction#SUBHEADINGEND# During the 18th century most baleen came from the Greenland Fisheries which were fished to almost extinction. Later in the 19th century the American Arctic Fisheries dominated the market and the bones came from Bowhead whales which were also fished to near extinction. It was only advances in processing steel, and the eventual decline of corset wearing in the 20th century that saved the Bowhead whale in the Arctic Ocean.


Detail of candle doubter (image/jpeg) Harlequin Design Candle Doubters

#SUBHEADING#Don't Doubt the Doubter!#SUBHEADINGEND# The pair of candle doubters is in the form of a 'harlequin' figure who is wearing a chequered diamond-patterned costume, hat and mask and is holding two rings in the form of snakes. The doubters operate in the same way as scissors with the two rings acting as finger holes. The tool is a 'doubter' rather than a 'snuffer', as it extinguishes the flame by nipping the wick rather than depriving the flame of oxygen by covering. The 'harlequin' design was very popular and was still in production by other makers over a century later. #SUBHEADING#History of the Harlequin#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# The Harlequin is a fictional character dating back to the Middle Ages and can be found in stories from across Europe. In Italy, Harlequin was one of the characters in stories performed by 'Commedia Dell' Arte' troupes of the sixteenth century. His role in these stories was that of a 'Zanni' or servant and often the storyline centres around him making a mistake that he then has to put right, whilst in the meantime causing confusion and disruption. He also carries a slapstick which he uses on other characters in the storyline! Harlequin also appeared in medieval French Miracle Plays as 'Hellequin', where he was a messenger of the devil. He was depicted as coming from the centre of the earth and hence had his face blackened. His character took on different guises. Sometimes he played a typical 'clown' role, whilst at other times his purpose was to mimic characters from more 'serious' plays. He was almost always depicted as being agile, energetic and nimble and so was often played by acrobats. He was often portrayed as a good-natured rogue, a thief, a liar and a prankster, but also had the endearing characteristics of being witty and carefree. Through the centuries the original costume and personality of the harlequin has been adopted for court jester and circus clown characters. The figure that is depicted in the candle doubters is probably an amalgamation of earlier and later characters as he is wearing the garb of the Italian 'Commedia' stories figure, but also is carrying snake rings which may indicate a circus act. The item forms part of a larger collection of various mainly eighteenth century sugar tongs and other candle doubters.


sewing machine detail (image/jpeg) Singer sewing machine

Singer sewing machines are a common feature of most museum collections, and Hull Museums' collections are certainly no different! Sewing machines were one of the first home labour saving devices to be mass produced and distributed widely, and Singer became a company of international reputation, establishing factories and distributing machines all over the world. #SUBHEADING#Popularity#SUBHEADINGEND# Their popularity and mass production means, beautiful as they are, they are not considered valuable by serious antique collectors. However, they do represent a major feature of domestic life, and their affordability on hire purchase allowed a large range of families across the social spectrum to benefit from quicker household sewing chores. #SUBHEADING#Our Example#SUBHEADINGEND# This particular machine is housed in its own bentwood case, and can be dated from its serial number to 1917. It was manufactured at Clydebank in Scotland, the largest sewing machine factory in the world. This 99 model was introduced as a smaller, more portable version of the previous 66 model, but don't be deceived - this is still very heavy! It is operated by turning the handle attached to the wheel, which required both concentration and co-ordination to turn the wheel with one hand whilst guiding the fabric through the foot and needle with the other. Although this is an early machine it is remarkably flexible in its functions. The instruction booklet outlines how to use all the various additional attachments, provided in the built in box, which included a binder, a quilter, foot hemmer, a braider and a ruffler for different finishing touches. It also provides troubleshooting tips for constant thread snapping, breaking needles and incorrect tension. This machine was either bought or serviced in Hull, as a receipt left in the box has the address of 'P. Camm, Sewing Machine Engineer, 102 George Street, Hull'. The reverse advertises the sale of new and second hand machines, telling customers that 'Your old machine is worth money! We offer generous part exchange allowances'. Sewing machines were so popular because they provided a quicker way of making and repairing clothes and household items. #IMAGE# The 'Ready to Wear' clothing industry was just beginning in the 1920s, but those with sufficient sewing skills (and less money) would have continued to make their own clothes from patterns of the latest fashions available in women's magazines or by pattern companies such as Buttericks. This machine must have seen many changes in clothing fashions. Although we don't know what exactly was made on this machine, the last person to use it was probably making something brown - this is the colour of cotton still wound on the undercarriage bobbin!


Le Pavilion Bleu, 1926

Pearce served an apprenticeship in architecture before attending Chelsea School of Art in 1904, where he studied under William Orpen (1878-1931) and Augustus John (1878-1961), and later with the influential Walter Sickert (1860-1942). Pearce's work included figure painting, still lifes and landscapes. He also practised as a printmaker. This painting shows the particular influence of Sickert, with its freer brush strokes embracing some of the manner of the French Impressionists. The subject, the now fading 'Belle Epoque' society, reflects Pearce's own social background.


Detail from a piece of glassware (image/jpeg) Hull's One and Only Glass Company

This is piece of fancy glass was made in Hull. It looks black but the glass is in fact dark red. Examples of glass made in Hull are very rare. Glass making is, alas, one of Hull's past industries. In 1846 a company was set up with the intention of making glass objects such as plate glass, bottle glass, sheet glass, and pipes for water and sewerage. #SUBHEADING#Premises out of town#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# The Hull Glass Company, as it was known, had its premises near the River Hull at Wilmington. The site is now the Stagecoach bus depot. This map dates from September 1848 and clearly shows the glass works on the left. The small row of houses immediately below the glass works are 32 purpose built houses for glass workers called Swiss Buildings, although it is now known as Glass House Row. It was usual practice for manufacturers to bring workers from the Europe who were experts in their trade. Perhaps the immigrant workers for Hull Glass Company came from Switzerland, hence the name of the street. A local trade directory lists at least 11 glass worker's families living in Swiss Buildings in 1848, but the census of 1851 shows that none of the glass workers live there anymore or in the surrounding streets. Unfortunately the company was not in business for very long. It no longer appears in trade directories after 1850. A balance sheet dated 30th December 1848, just 2 years after the glass works opened, mentions that 'the works having been dormant three out of the six months'. Salaries and wages were still paid to the workers, but the work was clearly in decline. Hull Museums have only a few examples of Hull glass, mostly collected in the early 20th century by Thomas Sheppard.


Delphiniums and Roses

Little is known about Foster except that he was a painter of flowers, landscapes and nudes. He studied art at the Royal College of Art and exhibited at the Royal Academy as well as in the provinces and at the Paris Salon. Foster lived for some time at Beverley in Yorkshire before moving to Dedham in Essex.



(image/jpeg) Anna Isabella Milbanke (Lady Byron)

#SUBHEADING#Who was John Hoppner?#SUBHEADINGEND# John Hoppner (1758-1810) was a leading portrait painter who admired Sir Joshua Reynolds and Sir Thomas Lawrence. He was the son of a domestic servant in the Royal Palace. He enjoyed patronage from King George III which later led to rumours that the king was his natural father, he never denied it. Hoppner later became the official portrait painter of the Prince of Wales in 1789, later the Prince Regent. He had become a very fashionable and successful portrait painter, regularly exhibiting at the Royal Academy. #SUBHEADING#Who was Anna Isabella?#SUBHEADINGEND# Anna Isabella Milbanke (1792-1860) was a highly educated woman in a period when women, even women of her class were not educated to this high standard. She studied classical literature, philosophy and unusually science and maths which she excelled at. She later married Lord Byron romantic poet and satirist in 1815. This unhappy marriage brought about the birth of a daughter named Augusta Ada. Isabella got out of the marriage through a scandal about Byron and his half sister. Isabella was a rich, well connected and ill-used woman; she later became Baroness Wentworth, by her own birth right and was extremely wealthy. She devoted much of her time to campaigns for prison reform and the abolitionist cause. #SUBHEADING#Anna's daughter Ada#SUBHEADINGEND# As a reaction to her husband's wild ways Annabella brought their daughter Ada (1815-1823) up extremely strictly, her education was mainly mathematics. Ada married and became Ada King, Countess of Lovelace known as an extra ordinary woman in her own right, she had three children. Ada's mathematics and scientific talents led her to work with Charles Babbage with his pioneering mechanical computer that did not have to be restricted to maths. Ada is credited with writing the world's first computer programme. Ada was still her father's daughter and she became addicted to alcohol and opium and left massive gambling debts when she died of cancer at the young age of 36. #SUBHEADING#What does the painting show?#SUBHEADINGEND# Knowing the background behind a painting helps us understand the meaning behind it. Through this picture of innocence we can see some of the stories behind it, Anna's brief marriage to Byron and how she influenced the way she raised her own unique and troubled daughter. And that perhaps one of the ways of bringing portraits alive is through understanding some of the stories linked to them. However this painting can also be seen as just a magnificent portrait of a young girl on a shoreline.


coin detail (image/jpeg) Roman Coins in Britain

#SUBHEADING#Roman Invasion#SUBHEADINGEND# When the Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD they brought with them a sophisticated coinage system that had been developing since the 4th century BC and which continued to develop until the fall of the Empire. From Claudius' invasion to the collapse of the empire in Britain in 410 AD a whole range of coins found their way into Britain. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Coins of the Early Empire#SUBHEADINGEND# The initial coinage to enter Britain was that established during the reign of Emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD) consisting of the golden Aureus (worth 25 denarii), the silver Denarius (worth 4 sestertii), the copper alloy Sestertius (worth 2 dupondii), the Dupondius (worth 2 asses) and the As. The As was the basic unit, enough to buy a pound of bread or a litre of cheap wine, smaller fractions existed known as Semis and Quadrans. One of the most widely used coins for the first 200 years of the Roman occupation was the Denarius. First struck in 211 BC it formed the backbone of the Roman system. However, over the next 400 years in the face of over spending the amount of silver in the coin was to drop considerably, from 95% in the days of late Republic to 50% by the reign of Septimius Severus (193-211 AD). #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#The Antoninianus#SUBHEADINGEND# In response Emperor Caracalla struck a new coin in 214 AD, the silver Double-Denarius also referred to as the Antoninianus of 'Radiate Coin', so called as the emperor was depicted wearing a radiate crown, the head-dress of the divine. In the 3rd century anarchy struck the empire, and between 218 AD and 284 AD no less than 37 emperors held imperial office. Emperors and usurpers alike paid for the support of large armies, consequently the Antoninianus was over struck. By the close of the century the coin contained only 2% silver. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Diocletian's Reforms#SUBHEADINGEND# By 295 AD the Antoninanus was an almost worthless, copper coin with a slight silvery wash and some of the smaller coins had fallen out of circulation. Emperor Diocletian looked to reform the whole system, the Antoninianus was removed and coinage was simplified, consisting of only the silver Argenteus/Follis (worth 100 old denarii), the golden Aureus and four smaller copper alloy fractions known as Nummus. These coins did not initially reach Britain, the usurpers Carausius and Allectus (286-296 AD) had control of London mint and continued to strike radiate coins. Only when the empire was reunited did the new coins arrive in Britain. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Constantine's Reforms#SUBHEADINGEND# Diocletian's reforms held until the 4th century when more political fragmentation and inward fighting dogged the empire. By the reign of Constantine (306-337 AD) further reform was needed. The Argenteus was removed and new coins introduced, the gold Solidus and the silver Siliqua along with other multiples and fractions. This time there was no sudden decline in the silver and despite some reforms to bronze coinage many of Constantine's reforms held until the fall of the empire. In Britain the usurper Magnentius briefly issued his own coins between 350-353 AD, however these are not common finds as they were quickly removed after the fall of Magnentius. #SUBHEADING#Return of the Barter Economy#SUBHEADINGEND# When the Romans left Britain, the monetary system dissolved away with it and a barter system returned to the island. It would not be until the 6th century that currency began to circulate again in Britain.


coin detail (image/jpeg) Roman Coin Designs (part 1). Emperors, Empresses, Gods and Goddesses

From the minting of the first Roman coin the 'Aes Grave' in around 270 BC to the fall of the empire a huge number of different coin designs were struck, a handful of which are described here. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Emperors, Empresses and Princes#SUBHEADINGEND# Representations of emperors and their family were nearly always found the obverse (the front) of the coin, just as Queen Elizabeth's head appears on our modern coins. Julius Caesar was the first living person to be depicted in this way on a Roman coin and the emperors that followed continued the trend. However the emperor and his family could also appear on the reverse (the back) of the coin. Emperors often used coins to portray an image of themselves that they wanted people to see. Some wanted to be seen as generous, giving gifts to citizens or rebuilding damaged buildings, as protectors of the harvest, lovers of culture, or lovers of war. Emperor Nero (54-68 AD) liked to be shown playing music and singing, showing his love for the arts, and Emperor Valens (364-367 AD) who ruled during a period of war liked to be depicted in battle proving his military strength. Valens can be seen dragging his defeated enemy by the hair, encircled by the inscription 'GLORIA ROMANORVM' 'The Glory of Rome'. Commodus (180-192) was a cruel and vain emperor who believed he was the incarnation of the Greek hero Hercules, he loved to be depicted as Hercules complete with lion skin and club. #IMAGE# Members of the imperial family could also be represented. Emperor Nero for example depicted his mother Agrippina on some of his coins, Caligula (37-41 AD) portrayed his three sisters, and Gallienus (253-268 AD) was one of many emperors to depict his wife, Empress Sabina. Septimius Severus issued some 'family coins' which depicted his whole family, his wife, daughter-in-law and sons as well as himself. Some emperors also issued coins with depictions of their desired successor to add legitimacy to their claims. Some popular emperors and empresses also had commemorative coins struck after death. They could be depicted in hearses, or beside an alter, Marcus Aurelius (161-180 AD) depicted an empty throne for his wife after her death, and Constantine the Great (306-337 AD) was depicted in a horse drawn chariot ascending to heaven. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Deities, Gods and Goddesses#SUBHEADINGEND# Deities were common depictions on reverses. These were used if an emperor wished to be associated with an attribute of that particular god or goddess. For example if an emperor wanted to appear peaceful he could depict 'Minerva Pacifera' the 'Bringer of Peace', or if he wanted to appear war like he could strike a coin with the image of 'Mars' the God of War. Furthermore emperors could also use the image to suggest the gods approved of and supported their reign, or additionally associate themselves with a divine ancestor as Julius Caesar did with a depiction of Venus. Coins could also be struck with a number of personifications (a human-like representation of an idea). These figures included 'Justica' who represented justice, 'Spes' hope, 'Pax' peace, of 'Fides' confidence and good faith. Romans were aware of many more deities and personifications and no matter which attribute the ruling emperor wished to be linked with he could find a suitable God or personification.


coin detail (image/jpeg) Roman Coin Designs (part 2). Animals, The Army, Places and Buildings.

#IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Animals and Mythical Creatures#SUBHEADINGEND# Animals had been represented on ancient coins for centuries before Rome began minting. Romans continued the tradition with crocodiles, bulls, boar, lions, stags, eagles, crabs, butterflies, elephants, Capricorn, Pegasus, the sphinx, the griffin and more all represented on coins. To celebrate Rome's 1000th anniversary Emperor Philip (244-249 AD) released coins showing the founders of Rome Romulus and Remus suckled by the she-wolf. This became a popular reverse and was continued by the House of Constantine (306-364 AD). In the 4th and 5th centuries the empire was under constant attack from barbarians and was beginning to fall apart, in response an optimistic set of coins was minted depicting the phoenix. #SUBHEADING#War and the Army#SUBHEADINGEND# In the five centuries of its existence the Empire was involved in numerous wars and conflicts, many of these were commemorated on coins. For example the conquest of Britain was recorded on several coins of Claudius (41-54 AD), some show triumphal arches or Claudius in a grand horse drawn vehicle with the inscription 'DE BRITANN' 'For Britain'. The power the emperors exercised was dependant on the goodwill of the army. Emperors were therefore keen to lavish praise on their legions through coin design. Some appealed to specific legions depicting their badges or crests. Septimius Severus for example issued sestertii thanking the specific troops that helped him become emperor. These coins looked not only to honour the legions under the emperors control but also secure the loyalty of others which were not. Some designs honoured the army in general. We see coins inscribed 'VITVS MILITUM' praising the 'Valour of the Army', others 'GLORIA EXERCITVS' 'The Glory of the Army'. Depictions of heroic battle scenes were also popular such as the slaying of an enemy, or the spearing of a fallen horseman. These were designed not only to gain loyalty from the army but strike fear into the hearts of those who opposed Roman rule. #SUBHEADING#Places#SUBHEADINGEND# The empire was huge and made up of many different provinces and territories. Many of these regions were depicted as female personifications, such as Britannia who first appeared on a coin of Hadrian and still appears on our 50 pence pieces! Specific landmarks were also represented, Diocletian (284-305 AD) for example was depicted standing beside the River Rhine following his conquest of the Germanic tribes. Hadrian travelled widely throughout his reign and he was clearly very proud of the provinces under his control. He struck many coins depicting Britain, Spain, Gaul, Germany, Italy, Egypt, Africa and many more provinces, cities and landmarks. #SUBHEADING#Buildings#SUBHEADINGEND# Many of the great buildings that the Romans built can still be seen today. Emperors loved building huge architectural wonders in their cities and were understandably proud of their achievements. A number of grand structures are displayed on Roman coins, including market places, bridges, and amphitheatres such as the Coliseum, first depicted on sestertii of Titus (79-81 AD). Huge temples are also depicted, such as the Temple of Janus shown on sestertii of Nero. Following the conversion to Christianity under Constantine these temple depictions decline and are replaced by depictions of camp gates and military camp plans. The Romans depicted many more images on coins. Perhaps you would like to see how many more you can spot in our collection?


coin detail (image/jpeg) The Roman Mint

#SUBHEADING#How a Roman Coin was struck#SUBHEADINGEND# The mint was the centre for coin production within the empire. It was a busy, hot and noisy place, where hundreds of slaves and poor labourers worked long hours striking perhaps as many as 2.5 million coins a month. The process began with the arrival of sheet metal at the mint, most commonly gold, silver, or copper alloy. This was then stamped into round discs called 'blanks' ready to be struck with the coin design. The design was first engraved into a piece of metal known as the die. The die would be carved by workers known as 'Celators', these were skilled artists and some of the dies they carved were beautifully detailed. Once a die had been carved for both sides of the coin they were mounted; one onto an anvil and the other onto a hand-punch. A hot blank would then be placed between the two dies and a huge mallet would strike the two dies together on to the blank, creating the impression on the coin. The coin was then cooled before going to the treasury to be counted and distributed. Older coins were then recalled, melted down and turned into sheet metal, and the process would begin again. #SUBHEADING#Romano-British Mints#SUBHEADINGEND# For centuries following the successful Roman invasion of 43 AD Britain was without an official mint, nearly all currency was minted in Rome alone. Initial currency arrived via the Roman garrisons, a low estimate suggests that an army of 30,000 could have brought around, 6.75 million denarii to Britain a year. Civilian communities were quick to attach to these military camps to sell food, clothes, and other produce to the soldiers. With the encouragement of the Roman generals, towns and cities began to develop on these sites. Following the increase in trade and commerce within these sites more money was needed and unofficial mints began striking coins. Many areas of the empire had these unofficial mints and to some extent these 'Barbarous copies' appear to have been tolerated by Rome, they filled the gap until official coinage found its way into circulation within the provinces. #IMAGE# It was not until the 3rd century that Britain got its first official mint. In 286 AD Carausian a Roman naval commander declared himself emperor of Britain and Northern Gaul. He opened mints in Londinium, London and most probably Camulodumum, Colchester. Carasian's successor Allectus was defeated in battle in 296 AD and Britain returned to the empire during a period of reorganisation in the mints. In response to inflation, frontier battles and uprisings the mints were proliferated from Rome throughout the empire. This enabled emperors to pay the armies more money and quicker than before, ensuring he had their full support. The reorganisation led to the introduction of signature marks being struck on coins, every mint was given its own unique code. The London mint most commonly stamped coins with the letters 'LN' or 'LON', we can therefore tell from recovered coins that the London mint remained open until the reign of Constantine the Great in 325 AD. #IMAGE# Magnentius who claimed power in the western provinces including Britain in 350-353 AD may well have momentarily reopened the London mint, but no great amount of Roman coins would be struck again in Britain. Around 410 AD Roman rule collapsed and British natives reverted to a cashless economy.


Workbox and Games Table by John Easten & Sons, Hull, c.1890-1900

These chairs have been designed with Victorian men’s and women’s clothing in mind. One of the chairs is for a gentleman. It has a shaped seat, perfect for someone wearing trousers. The lady’s chair is wider and deeper than the gentleman’s to allow space for her long skirt and petticoats. The rail connecting the legs of the lady’s chair is higher up than the rail of the gentleman’s chair. This was to allow her skirt to settle beneath the seat. John Easten & Sons were clearly very versatile. The firm advertised itself as a linen draper, upholsterer, and carpet, paperhanging, bedstead and bedding dealer. Furniture making seems to have been only a small part of the business. John Easten & Sons’ premises were at 8 Market Place, Hull, from 1867-1900. Before this 8 Market Place was occupied by Fearne & Easten, a partnership between John Easten and John Fearne. Fearne & Easten sold fabric, carpets and wallpapers from around 1840 to 1867. John Fearne and John Easten seem to have been friends outside work. In 1858 they were living in adjoining houses at 5 and 6 West Parade, Abbey Road. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Bedroom Chair by Richardson & Sons, Hull, 1871

Lady Rosina Constable owned this chair. She was a rich woman with an eye for luxury. This dainty chair is much smaller than average, making it ideal for a bedroom. It was probably bought for its ornamental value rather than to sit on. The chair is made from walnut, which was a popular choice for high quality furniture. The carved chair back has been decorated with narrow bands of contrasting wood to make it more eye-catching. Richardson & Sons was Hull’s largest and most prestigious furniture maker in the 1800s. The founder Thomas Richardson claimed to have started the business in 1812. This chair was made by Richardson & Sons for Lady Rosina Constable in 1871. The Constable family of Burton Constable Hall, north of Hull, were one of Richardsons’ major clients. The Constables began buying furniture from Richardson & Sons in 1855. Lady Rosina, wife of Sir Thomas Aston Clifford Constable, commissioned most of her furniture from Richardsons. As Sir Clifford Constable’s mistress before their marriage, she had already filled their villa on the Thames with huge quantities of Richardson furniture. William Richardson, one of Thomas Richardson’s sons, was in charge of modernising the furnishings at Burton Constable for Lady Rosina. He sketched the house’s existing furniture so that new furniture could be made to harmonise with it. William also brought over several fashionable pieces from Paris to be copied for Lady Rosina. Patronage from Burton Constable and other country houses was important for many Hull furniture makers. Familes like the Constables encouraged higher standards of manufacture. They also introduced new and fashionable ideas. Around sixty local makers supplied furnishings to Burton Constable between 1740 and 1870. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Table by Gordon Russell, Hull, c.1950-1959

This is one of a series of tables made for Hull’s Guildhall in the 1950s. It was part of a refurbishment that followed war damage to the building. Hull suffered massively from enemy bombing during the Second World War. The Guildhall was lucky not to receive a direct hit. However, on 7th/8th May 1941 bombs did fall nearby and blew many of the building’s windows in. These included those in the Lord Mayor’s Parlour and windows in the Banqueting Hall. Gordon Russell Ltd of Broadway were furniture makers following a long tradition of furniture making in Hull. Hull had great status as a regional centre for furniture making in the 18th-19th centuries. This was founded on the city’s role as a timber port. Imports of wood from northern Europe and the Baltic have been part of Hull’s commerce for centuries. By the 1600s, Hull was second only to London as a timber port. Hull’s docks and trade links meant that by 1800 it had become the regional centre for furniture making. The busy docks were also the main reason that Hull was targeted by bombers during the Second World War. Many lives were lost and many of Hull’s old buildings destroyed. On the night of 7th/8th May 1941 the Guildhall suffered serious blast damage and many windows were blown in. Large stained glass windows in the Banqueting Hall were destroyed and had to be restored in 1957-58. Further refurbishment of the Guildhall was undertaken in the 1950s, including the Lord Mayor’s Parlour. Timber from Hull’s docks would have been used in this refurbishment. Hull continues to be a major importer of timber today. However, it is now mostly pine wood that is imported and the furniture making industry has declined.


The 'Royal Chairs', made by Richardson & Sons, Hull, 1854

In 1854 Queen Victoria came to Hull on an official visit. It was a huge event with many celebrations. This chair was made especially for Queen Victoria to sit on during her visit. Two smaller chairs were also made. One was for Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert and the other for the Prince of Wales. Queen Victoria was the first monarch to visit Hull since King Charles I had been refused entry to the city in 1642. Richardson & Sons were an extremely successful furniture firm in Hull, thriving from the timber imports at the docks. Thomas Richardson founded the business in 1812, working in Castle Street. By 1840 the business was based on Bond Street. They had additional showrooms in Albion Street and Waltham Street, and a timber yard in Baker Street. Richardson & Sons made a special set of chairs for Queen Victoria’s visit to Hull in 1854. Richardson & Sons kept the chairs after the visit to display in their show rooms. They gave the chairs to the city in 1880, after another royal visit by The Duke of Edinburgh. Local historian Sheahan wrote in 1864 about the chairs and Queen Victoria’s visit: “The Directors of the Railway Co. placed their magnificent hotel at the disposal of the Corporation for the accommodation of the Queen and her suite. Upholsterers were set to work to fit up in a becoming manner, a throne-room, bed-room, drawing-room, and boudoir for the Queen […] The throne was of a French style (of the Moyen age) and consisted of three chairs for her Majesty, Prince Albert, and the Prince of Wales. These chairs, which were elegantly carved, richly gilt, and covered with crimson silk velvet, were placed on a dais of three steps, covered with purple cloth with gold fringe”.


Rhinoceros wheelbarrow by Richardson & Sons

This rhino helped people in Hull go to the seaside. The rhinoceros shaped wheelbarrow was used to start a railway line from Hull to Hornsea, on the coast. The man who officially started the railway was Joseph Wade. His family badge had a rhino on it so this wheelbarrow was made especially for him. Joseph was allowed to keep the wheelbarrow as a souvenir. It was made by a firm in Hull called Richardson & Sons. This wheelbarrow is made from high quality walnut. The rhino’s body has been carved or stamped to create a rough texture. This represents the rhino’s coarse hide. The rhino design has been adapted to the function of the wheelbarrow. The rhino’s forelegs are raised to hold the pinion of the carved wooden wheel. The rhino’s hind legs act as the legs of the barrow. The Hull to Hornsea Railway opened on 28 March 1864. It allowed business people who worked in Hull to live in Hornsea and travel to work. The railway also attracted holidaymakers to Hornsea. The wheelbarrow was specially made by Richardson & Sons. Richardson & Sons was Hull’s largest furniture maker in the 1800s. The founder Thomas Richardson first appears in trade directories (the old fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages) in 1822. He was listed as working in Castle Street, where he remained until 1840.


John Lee and his family

This happy and relaxed group portrait shows the Hull businessman, John Lee (d.1809) with his family. John Lee was a Hull factory owner who had a tar and turpentine distillery on the banks of the River Hull near Sculcoates. He was a member of the Council of the Hull Subscription Library, 1799-1803.



'The Auld Man's Meir's Dead'

Howe persisted as an animal painter at a time when portraiture and history painting dominated. He was originally apprenticed to a coach painter in Edinburgh. He visited the battlefield of Waterloo in 1815 and painted a Panorama of the battle that was exhibited at the British Institution in 1816. This sketchy scene has a strong sense of narrative in the vein of 17th century Netherlandish painting.


Portrait (V. Levchenya)

Portrait (V. Levchenya), 2000
by Thomas Ruff  (b.1958)  

Ruff ‘s works are controversial and have often been dismissed by art critics as nothing more than overblown passport photographs, conveying nothing of the personality or character of the sitters.
 
Their blandness however is deliberate. Ruff believes that the photograph is only able to depict the surface of things and he explores this obsessively in his work.  
 
Working in vast series made over years at a time, his photographs are most often based on friends, or his students, as here. He photographs the faces as he finds them, in a straightforward way with no attempt to surprise, intrigue, disguise, or provide the viewer with anything other than studied neutrality.
 
‘Portrait (V. Levchenya)’, is part of a series Ruff started in 1998, intentionally imitating the passport-style approach of a famous body of work he began in 1981.
 
In addition to their serial character his photographs are extremely precise. We feel able to identify with the work in an immediate way as a passport-style image, stripped of all irrelevant details. In this way the portrait appears to be very real and familiar. Despite this however, there seems to be a barrier between us and the sitter as we are unable to identify with him. We perceive the face as a meaningless façade.


Cibachrome print
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2004  


Wajid and Bobbyann

Wajid, 2000 and Bobbyann, 2001 both by Seamus Nicolson (b.1971 -) Seamus Nicolson lives and works in London. His photographs are taken primarily at night and look almost like snapshots of contemporary life*. However, Nicolson’s photographs are actually carefully constructed; he finds a location that interests him and then looks for the right person to fit the scene. Nicolson never uses professional models or actors but prefers to use people from his local area of Harlesdon, North West London. The characters in the two photographs Wajid and Bobby Ann are positioned in unglamorous settings; a grocer’s shop and in front of a bed shop. These locations are similar to those which could be found in other cities apart from London. By using a large scale for his photography, Nicolson aims to elevate ordinary people. Nicolson’s work to the present has focused on youth culture. His early photographs depicted rave parties and he has since focused on individual characters in locations as diverse as petrol stations, take away shops and back streets. Most recently, Nicolson was the photographer for a Vivienne Westwood fashion shoot. Nicolson has been influenced in his work by artists such as Nan Goldin, Jeff Koon as well as film makers. His way of working has parallels to cinematic technique through finding a suitable location and character. Unlike Cinema, Nicolson does not have a story board that he wants to portray - the scene is constructed in accordance to the wishes of the person portrayed. In this sense Nicholson’s photographs contain a mixture of fiction and documentary. C type photographs mounted on aluminium. Purchased by the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme on behalf of the Ferens Art Gallery, with Funds from the Arts Council Lottery Fund.


Detail of book from the Wilberforce library (image/jpeg) The Wilberforce Library

The Wilberforce Library is on display to the public for the first time. It belonged to William Wilberforce and his sons, Samuel and Robert, and was kept at various homes of Wilberforce in London, including the famous Oval Library that William Pitt designed in Battersea Rise, Clapham. It was broken up in the early 20th century and we do not know how many books there were in total. #SUBHEADING#A family past time#SUBHEADINGEND# Wilberforce enjoyed reading and shared his love of books with his family. There are many stories of Wilberforce reading aloud to his wife and sons. Wilberforce gave many books to his friends and family, not simply for an enjoyable read but to help them lead a 'good Christian life'. Wilberforce published his own book, 'A Practical View' of Christianity in 1797, which was reprinted many times during his lifetime. William's sons, Samuel, Robert, and Henry inherited his love of books. Many books in the library were owned by the rest of the family, including his wife, Barbara, who shared his passion for reading. Only one book that we know was owned by her is in the collection; a poetry book given to Barbara by Wilberforce on their wedding day. #SUBHEADING#Books#SUBHEADINGEND# The library covers a wide range of subjects, and reflects Wilberforce's interest in religion, literature and people from different cultures and countries. The main book that helped Wilberforce in his religious conversion was Philip Doddridge's, 'The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul', and Wilberforce also had a biography of Doddridge in his collection. Wilberforce had many travel books and was fascinated by other people's cultures, underlining paragraphs he found interesting. His library also included books relevant to his political role, and although he opposed the French Revolution there is a copy of 'Defence of the French Revolution' amongst his books, evidence that Wilberforce often liked to study both sides of an argument. As a supporter of the monarchy, it is no surprise to find books on British Kings and government, though surprisingly there are no books on Slavery to be found in the collection. #SUBHEADING#Wilberforce's letters and journal#SUBHEADINGEND# Wilberforce House Museum has over 200 letters written by William Wilberforce. Wilberforce was an enthusiastic reader and writer all his life despite having bad eyesight. Most of the letters are from William to his family, friends and Thomas Fowell Buxton, who took over the parliamentary campaign to end slavery after Wilberforce retired. Wilberforce's journal is also on display with his library and dates from 1814-1823. Wilberforce used his journal to record his thoughts and feelings on his personal and political life. In March 1819 Wilberforce disapproved of his eldest son, William's friends and wrote: 'His soft nature makes him the sport of his companions, all the wicked and idle naturally attach themselves like dust'. Reading the journal and letters we understand William Wilberforce better on a personal level, as a loving husband and father. They also give a unique insight into his opinions in Parliament, and his constant battle with ill health. View all of the items in #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/contactsheet.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&title=&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collectionall=all&collection36=Wilberforce+Library&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit_x=28&SearchSubmit_y=16&moucheltextsize=xlarge&EMUSESSID=js4dskm1q8o268km2vbgskq8e6&Page=1TEXT=Wilberforce's Library# or use the advanced search.


Detail from a Rodmell poster (image/jpeg) Harry Hudson Rodmell

Harry Hudson Rodmell (born 1896) was encouraged to pursue art as a career from a very young age. In 1912 he entered the Hull School of Art with a two year scholarship.#IMAGE# It is unsurprising that Hull born Rodmell would find inspiration down at the docks. They were his favourite spots to take his sketchpad and so he developed a love of ships and an in-depth knowledge of many types of vessel.This interest revealed itself in his work and he began to produce work of an extremely high quality, even at this young age. Whilst still at college he painted a picture of S.S.Eskimo which was of commercial poster quality. The design was bought by the owners (Wilson Line of Hull) of the vessel and loaned to hotels as an advertisement for the line. Whilst he was tempted to concentrate on maritime subjects he made sure to develop a range of skills. Rodmell excelled in many subjects including etching, lithography, carving and illustration. #SUBHEADING#Prints get published#SUBHEADINGEND# His first ever published magazine cover was for the Craven Street School Magazine in 1912. It was the start of things to come and many more were to follow. Some of his designs remained magazine covers and others were developed into striking posters. The earliest printed posters in the Rodmell Archive are dated 1920. Many calendars that he made for well known shipping lines also survive from this early period in his career, as do a number of tidetables. A long series of these was made for the tug company Captain William Watkins of London. The series starts in 1926-1950 and then 1951-1968 when the company became Ship Towage. At 43 years this was his longest running commission!#IMAGE# Whilst it is not surprising that the need for posters advertising recreational travel disappeared during the war, it is odd that his talent wasn't called upon more at this time. As a result, the majority of his shipping posters were published in the inter war period. Rodmell had a wealth of companies requesting his designs. #SUBHEADING#Sharing his skills#SUBHEADINGEND# Rodmell was brought up in Hull and was proud of his city. As a result he involved himself closely with various civic projects intended to raise the city's profile. He worked alongside the Maritime Museum and Ferens Art Gallery as well as with local charities such as the Sailor's Children's Society. He also shared his talent by teaching school, college and community groups as well as donating pieces to raise funds. #IMAGE# Harry Rodmell was a commercial artist of great professional skill and one of the outstanding poster makers of his generation. He was also a first class artist, constantly developing and eagerly embracing new materials.Throughout his career his work was often exhibited but never in a solo exhibition. Rather, he contributed to exhibitions organised by such bodies as the Society of Marine Artists, Royal Watercolour Society and the Hull Art Circle. It is remarkable that Rodmell's first one man show wasn't until 1984 and it is sad that this was not during his lifetime.


waist detail (image/jpeg) The Mitchell Collection of Costume

The Mitchell collection of costume was kindly donated to the museums in 1991 from an enthusiastic local collector, Mrs Kathleen Mitchell. From corsets to capes and bodices to boots the collection of more than 450 items of costume and accessories contains many exquisite examples of historic costume especially from the Victorian and Edwardian periods. As with many museum collections, the story of its creation is as interesting as the objects themselves. #SUBHEADING#Mrs Mitchell#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Kathleen Mitchell (nee Stacey) was born in Sheffield in 1912, and moved to Hull in 1950 to teach at St Johns Church of England School. She and her husband John Mitchell organised barn dances between two local schools. Despite initial problems making the boys and girls dance country dances together in a time of Rock and Roll, her enthusiasm was infectious enough to make the events a great success. The Mitchell's were well known within the Folk music and dance world. Kathy led a local branch of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), which flourished under her leadership. She organised the Whitby EFDSS festival, and taught country dancing and sword dancing and prepared the Country Dance Demonstration Team. She was treasured as great teacher and very gentle woman, and in recognition of this was presented with the Gold Badge by the Society in 1978, the highest award they could bestow. #SUBHEADING#Collecting costume#SUBHEADINGEND# Kathy Mitchell's collection of costume was a personal hobby arising from a genuine interest and love of historical costume. She amassed such a large number of items that it virtually took over her house. She collected items from wherever she found them; second hand shops, auctions or through donations. Pat Raine, a local costume expert and friend to Mrs Mitchell, recalls meeting Mrs Mitchell after an introduction by a mutual friend. Kathy had been pleased to show her collection to a fellow costume enthusiast and someone who used the fashion and historical context of many items. Sadly very little of the collection has any known provenance due to the various methods of collection, but living in Hull and Sheffield makes it likely that many of the costumes have a local connection to the city and the wider Yorkshire area. #SUBHEADING#Donation to the museum#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Kathy had talked to Hull Museums before her death about donating a few key items which were historically important, and a good addition to their collections. Unfortunately this had not been completed before she died in June 1990.The executor of her estate was kind enough to donate the entire collection to the museums including an extensive collection of slides, showing the costume photographed by Mrs Mitchell in her garden, sometimes on live models, a practice not advocated with historical dress today. #SUBHEADING#Acknowledgments#SUBHEADINGEND# Many thanks to Pat Raine for kindly supplying this information on Kathy Mitchell. Pat has assisted Hull Museums many times by providing research and expertise on costume items. The museums wish to acknowledge her long standing support. View all of the items in the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/resultsoverview.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&title=&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collectionall=all&collection26=Mitchell+Collection&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit.x=51&SearchSubmit.y=11TEXT=Mitchell Collection# or use the advanced search


Madame Clapham (image/jpeg) Madame Clapham: Hull's Celebrated Dressmaker

Mrs Emily Clapham opened a dress making salon in Hull in 1887, which by the 1890's was highly regarded and attracted world wide patronage for the quality and style of ladies' fashion that she produced. Unusually as a local business woman with no premises outside the city, she was able to maintain a high profile clientele and compete with the London fashion houses of the period. The salon continued to trade until Madame Clapham died in 1952, when the salon was taken on by her niece until 1967. #SUBHEADING#The Making of a Dressmaker#SUBHEADINGEND# Emily, born in Cheltenham in 1856, left school at an early age to serve a dressmaking apprenticeship at Marshall and Snelgrove in Scarborough. She started by picking pins up from the floor and gained a thorough training in the dressmaking trade. She had a good eye for fashion and colour and combined this with good business sense. She went into business with her husband Haigh Clapham in 1887 and invested their savings to purchase No.1 Kingston Square. Madame Clapham was known as an imposing woman, always dressed immaculately in black or navy. Her floor length trains rustled as she moved around the salon and she left behind the scent of lavender, which she always wore. She was a strict Christian Scientist and often helped her family out financially or by giving them employment. #SUBHEADING#The Court Dressmaker#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# Madame Clapham's reputation as a fine dressmaker was at its height from 1890 until the outbreak of the First World War. This was an era of strict dress codes and many social engagements including race meetings, balls and dinner parties. In the 1890s the salon was so successful that Madame Clapham purchased number two Kingston square in 1891. Number three Kingston Square was purchased just before the First World War, with a legacy left to Madame Clapham by her aunt. As Madame Clapham's reputation grew she received many orders for dresses for clients to be presented at court wearing during the "coming out" season. Madame Clapham added the title of Court dressmaker to her Salon's labels in 1901 as a mark of her highly regarded reputation. #SUBHEADING#The End of an Era#SUBHEADINGEND# The First World War had a big impact on Madame Clapham's business as it resulted in a decline for the exquisite dresses of the earlier years. Attitudes and Social codes changed after the war and women gained a greater degree of freedom. Madame Clapham still created evening dresses in the new styles and expanded into corsetry and under garments to fit under certain dresses. The Second World War had an even bigger impact on the Clapham Salon and nearly caused it to close. Rationing made fabrics expensive and many employees were made redundant or went to serve the war effort. The business did pick up after the War but the demand for made-to-measure outfits declined. Madame Clapham died at the grand age of ninety-six on the 10th January 1952. Emily Wall, Madame Clapham's niece and employee continued Madame Clapham's legacy at number 3 Kingston Square under her aunt's name until 1967. View all of the items in the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/contactsheet.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&newsearch=new&title=clapham&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit_x=31&SearchSubmit_y=16&moucheltextsize=xlarge&EMUSESSID=js4dskm1q8o268km2vbgskq8e6&Page=1TEXT= Madam Clapham Costume collection# or use the advanced search.


The Resurrection of Christ

The Resurrection of Christ, c.1450 English School (possibly York) This work typifies the so-called Nottingham Alabasters that were produced in workshops in the Midlands from about 1350-1550. It could possibly be a York-made piece. Alabaster is soft and easy to carve and polish. Nottinghamshire provided the main market for alabaster while notable centres of carving grew in Lincoln and York. In the Gospels, alabaster holds status for its associations with Christian themes - the vessels that held Christ's mourners' tears were of alabaster. Here, Christ is shown holding the banner of the Resurrection and stepping out of an open sepulchre. The soldiers, from the Gospel of Matthew, appear awakened and dazzled. The bright colours, crowded composition, costume detail (the pointed shoes), and the anecdotal narrative compare closely with other works dated to the mid-15th century. The production of retables, decorated panels at the back of altars, of which this was once a part, was the most notable use of alabaster in England. These share common features; a stiff, staged composition with attenuated figures with elongated hands and feet, and frequently a painted and gilded surface. Nottingham alabasters represent the largest single source of English sculpture to have survived from the Middle Ages. Alabaster, with traces of polychrome & gilt. Purchased in 1999 with the aid of the National Art Collections Fund and the Friends of the Ferens Art Gallery


Milton

Milton (after bust by Edward Pierce, c.1660) made by English School, 18th century John Milton (1608-74) was one of the 17th century's greatest poets. His works show the influence of his Christian education and his love of Italian Renaissance poetry. A staunch parliamentarian, he published many pamphlets during the Civil War period. His greatest work was the epic poem Paradise Lost. The expressionless 'stare' of Milton reveals his blindness, a factor proven to be no obstacle for a man who also served as Latin Secretary to Cromwell's Council of State. This a copy of a bust by the established sculptor, Edward Pierce (c.1635-95), of which there is a plaster cast in the National Portrait Gallery. Pierce was one of the best sculptors of his day and his work was much copied. It is one of two busts portraying Milton in the Ferens’ collection. Marble Bequeathed in 1930 by T.R. Ferens.


Sir Walter Scott

Sir Francis Chantry (1781-1841) was originally from Sheffield and was a leading sculptor in the early 19th Century. He considered his bust of Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), carved in 1820, to be one his finest works and he made two replicas that were owned by Sir Robert Peel and the Duke of Wellington. The original is at Abbotsford where Sir Walter Scott died in September 1832. This bust is most likely a copy by another sculptor in the style of Chantry.


Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship, 1999
Dorothy Cross  (b.1956) 

Hull’s identity is strongly connected to its historic importance as a port. The more recent decline of its fishing industry and the effects on the local community find an echo in this video work by the Irish artist Dorothy Cross. 
 
The following text about ‘Ghost Ship’ which commemorates an Irish vessel could equally well be applied to Hull’s Spurn Lightship, both sharing parallel uses, histories and fates and highlighting the linked identities between two distinct communities and geographical locations.
 
‘The lightship is a material reminder of a period of Irish history during which daily life was dominated by the sea- a source of sustenance, pleasure and danger. Cross laments the loss of this intimate relation to nature, as modern life shifts the attention of the Irish people away from the seacoast and ‘inward to the cities’: ‘The Irish coast is being neutralized, automatized, Europeanised’. In this piece she reincarnates, along with the ship, the collective memories of a particular way of life being slowly eroded and forgotten... She evokes the lightship’s history not to fix the past but to repeat its passing, to make visible the process of loss’.


35mm film and DV8 footage transferred to DVD
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005 


Self-Portraits

Self-Portraits, 1986 – 1999
Philip Akkerman  (b.1957) 

The Dutch artist, Philip Akkerman, is obsessed by the exploration of his identity. He has focused exclusively on self portraits for over 20 years and produced many thousands of variations on his own face. He views this work in a universal context,
 
‘I must continue making self-portraits as long as I live, for better or for worse. I reproduce my life.  Broadly speaking, we all experience the same. I paint one of the many. Consequently I paint everyone’.
 
The Ferens’ series of portraits were painted over a 13 year period. They demonstrate that identity can change over time, even from one day to the next and that a person may have many different identities, or aspects to their personality. 
 
Seen together, the paintings also provide a record of Akkerman’s ageing process.  
 
Each work demands to be seen close-up and each element is treated differently; facial features such as neck, nose, hair and paint style, colour and texture. Some portraits are more formal and realistic.  In others he deliberately distorts and exaggerates his features and facial expression, using colour to heighten their disturbing psychological impact.

 
Tempera and oil on panel
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2000


Mother and Child

Mother and Child, 2004
by Torsten Lauschmann (b.1970) 

On one level, ‘Mother and Child’, affords an intimate and personal view of Lauschmann’s partner and newly born baby sleeping in their home.  
 
The artist has also enhanced the work with symbolic significance. The gold background deliberately borrows from religious panel paintings of the ‘Madonna and Child’ from the Byzantine era. The use of gold leaf was expensive and signified the work’s importance and spiritual significance, as well as being an important decorative element.
 
Lauschmann is a film, video and performance artist who has lived and worked in Glasgow since 1997.


DVD and metallic paint
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


Harewood Castle Self Portrait

Harewood Castle Self Portrait, 2001
by Jason Brooks (b.1968)

You may have thought this painting was a photograph?  In this way the picture plays with the identity of the art form itself.
 
Process plays a crucial part in the construction of Brooks’ photo-realist paintings which are most often portraits.  He works from black and white photographs which are then painted in scrupulous detail using only black paint, an air-brush and scalpel to achieve a meticulous finish.  
 
This example of Brooks’ work is in some respects atypical.  It is his first and only self-portrait but his face appears only faintly in the image, as an illusory reflection on an imaginary sheet of picture glass. It is also more modest in scale than usual due to its inspiration.
 
The picture is based on a photograph of a 19th century Turner landscape painting at Harewood House, near Leeds.  The inclusion of his self-portrait, however faint, allows us to sense his presence both as artist and viewer.  Working from a photograph enables him to be objective about his own representation, paying tribute to Turner and at the same time linking himself to time honoured artistic precedents. 


Monochrome air brush painting on canvas
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2001


My Parents Kissing on their Bed, Salem, Massachusetts

My Parents Kissing on their Bed, Salem, Massachusetts, 2004
by Nan Goldin  (b.1953) 

This image of intimacy touches on two potentially taboo subjects; the sexuality of one’s parents and of old people.  Even in today’s relatively liberal climate, such themes remain rarely explored.
 
The American photographer Nan Goldin has used the camera to obsessively record details of her life since the 1970’s.  Her pictures act as a diary- she says the one she is prepared to let others see- and usually feature those she has close relationships with.
 
Strongly autobiographical, it is hard to separate her work from her life story, which included the early suicide of a sister, foster families, alternative lifestyles, drugs, alcohol and abusive relationships.
 
Against this volatile background of emotional instability it is suggested that the camera has provided a means to take control of her life and personal history.  
 
Recurrent themes in Goldin’s work are; sexuality, self-reflection, eroticism and the subtle shades of gender. Her photographs resemble snap-shots and are valued for their immediacy and raw intensity. 

Cibachrome print mounted on aluminium
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005 


Socrates

Bartolomeo Cavaceppi was an Italian sculptor who ran a prolific workshop in Rome in the 18th Century. As a place for selling his own works, as well as restoration and genuine antiquities, Cavaceppi’s workshop was one of the most famous stops in Italy for British tourists on the Grand Tour. Cavaceppi made many works in the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans and as he rarely signed his works, many were mistaken for the genuine article. Cavaceppi also worked as restorer to Pope Clement XI at the Museo Clementino.


mammoth tooth (image/jpeg) Woolly Mammoth - icon of the Ice Age (part 2)

#SUBHEADING#Extinction#SUBHEADINGEND# In the last ice age the Woolly mammoth was a successful species which roamed throughout the northern sub-arctic tundra regions, from Britain to Siberia; through Europe, Asia and North America. However despite their once large number and numerous adaptations they have since become extinct; it is likely that a combination of events brought about its end. #SUBHEADING#Over Hunting#SUBHEADINGEND# Mammoth's were extensively hunted by our ancestors; their large size and relatively slow speed made them easy targets for the skilled nomadic hunters who preyed on them. Mammoth remains have been uncovered with early hunting tools beside them, and bones show evidence of butchery. Their flesh provided food, their huge skins supplied hunters with material for clothing, and furthermore their bones could be carved for tools, musical instruments, jewellery, and combs, evidence even suggests that the mammoth's huge bones could have been used in the construction of huts. #SUBHEADING#Disease#SUBHEADINGEND# When humans first came into contact with woolly mammoths they may well have introduced new bacteria and diseases to which the mammoth had no immunity. The fleas, ticks and lice that our ancestors and their domesticated animals brought with them could easily have passed on deadly bacteria to the mammoth, and from there it could pass through the herd killing many animals in a short amount of time. #SUBHEADING#Environmental change#SUBHEADINGEND# 12,000-10,000 years ago the ice age began to thaw and the mammoth's natural sub-tundra habitat and food sources began to disappear. During this period thousands of large mammals found themselves in an unfamiliar climate and became extinct, including many camels, horses, bears, sabre-toothed cats, the giant rat, and the woolly rhino. The fossil records show that woollies disappeared from Britain and most of the globe in this period. However, discoveries made in 1993 on Wrangel Island off the coast of Siberia, suggested that a dwarf variety, no taller than 2 metres high existed, clinging to a final cold corner of the globe until as little as 4,000 years ago. #SUBHEADING#Back from the dead?#SUBHEADINGEND# Whatever it was that brought about the extinction of the woollies, they are no longer with us. However some scientists are keen to change this and hope to revive the beast through DNA recovered in the animals frozen remains. They hope to successfully breed a mammoth using the egg of its closet living relative the Asian elephant, possibly producing a creature that is 88% mammoth within 50 years. View all the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/resultsoverview.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=whitby&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&newsearch=new&title=mammoth&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collectionall=all&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit.x=0&SearchSubmit.y=0 TEXT=Mammoth specimens in our collection# or use the advanced search


Detail from 'Fairwell' (image/jpeg) Hull, Suffragettes and Art

The suffragettes were the militant group which broke away from the suffragists who were more peaceful in the campaign of 'Votes for Women'. The campaign really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women's Suffrage', suffrage means, the right to vote and this is what women wanted. Millicent Fawcett believed in peaceful protest, she felt that any violence or trouble would make men think women couldn't be trusted to have the vote. Patience and logical arguments, Fawcett argued women could hold responsible posts in society on school boards; women had to pay taxes so why couldn't they vote. The women's suffrage movement was the first highly organized political movement to adapt itself successfully to the new publicity methods to which the national daily newspapers had given rise. The processions, demonstrations, bazaars and badges and regalia, parlor games and illustrated post cards, have all been copied by subsequent political agitations and showed the ingenuity with which public notice was directed to the demand for Votes for Women. #SUBHEADING#Suffragettes and Art#SUBHEADINGEND# The Women's social and political Union was formed by Emmeline Pankhurst on October 10th 1903 to campaign for Votes for Women. Sylvia Pankhurst (Emmeline's daughter) was a trained artist and from the beginning art played a large part in the campaign. Paintings, embroidered banners, posters, photographs, cartoons and enamels were used as advertising and propaganda for the cause. Art was sold for money to help the campaign and was used as propaganda. They also destroyed art as part of their cause. #IMAGE# On the 10th March 1914 at the National Gallery, London the painting 'Rokeby Venus' by Velasquez bought by public subscription for 45,000 pounds was attacked by a suffragette. Mary Richardson also known as 'Slasher Mary' was a Canadian woman (1889-1961) who was a suffragette in the United Kingdom. Mary attacked the painting with a meat chopper, smashed the glass and slashing the canvas seven times before police and gallery attendance could stop her. She said that she wanted to destroy the most beautiful woman in mythical history as a protest against the government destroying Emmeline Pankhurst, the most beautiful character in modern history. Mary Richardson's attacks led to the decision to circulate photographs of the women to galleries, so that they could look out for known militant suffragettes among their visitors. #SUBHEADING#Art Attack in Hull#SUBHEADINGEND# The attacks on works of art in London and Manchester prompted the withdrawal from exhibition at the Ferens Art Gallery of Leighton's Farewell depicting a solitary woman mourning the departure of a loved one. It's unclear if a specific threat had been made against this piece of art work but the curator A H Proctor had considered plain clothed policemen on duty in the gallery. The painting by Lord Frederick Leighton, Scarborough born artist was purchased by the Ferens Art Gallery, Hull in 1912. In 1914 it was taken down after this possible threat by the suffragettes. Leighton was the first British artist to receive a peerage and was president of London's Royal Academy from 1878 till his death in 1896. Leighton's late Victorian neo classical style, most of his subjects were from mythology. He was typically Victorian in his attitude; his female subjects were portrayed as either powerful predators or passively decorative. Leighton was well known for being against the Women's Suffrage movement. Leighton was criticized by the suffragists and attacks in March of 1914 on works of art would have made art galleries wary. There was an incident report at the Ferens Art Gallery which brought the decision to remove from display the painting 'Farewell'. Farewell was placed back on display in September 1914 as there was a suffragette truce called on the outbreak of the First World War. There is no evidence of a specific threat by suffragettes in Hull so maybe they were just being cautious due to the actual attacks that had taken place on art in Manchester and London.


Duff House #2; Duff House #5

Duff House #2, 2000
Duff House #5, 2000
by Ross Sinclair  (b.1966) 
 

In 1994 the Scottish artist, Sinclair had the words ‘Real Life’ tattooed on his back. Since then he has appeared in numerous photographs in different locations, always naked from the waist up, with shaven head and wearing tartan shorts. In this way he makes direct use of his identity to provoke questions and reactions from the viewer.
 
Here he is seen in Duff House, a grand, Baroque country house owned by the National Galleries of Scotland in Aberdeenshire. Sinclair deliberately plays on the tension his presence creates in this lavish, distinctive setting. 
 
His pose, with back to the audience and face hidden, suggests that he wants to remain anonymous, and to stress his role as representative of ‘a type’. The prominent ‘Real Life’ tattoo meanwhile raises wider questions.What is ‘real life’? Whose ‘real life’ is shown? Is ‘real life’ seen in the picture?
 
In this way Sinclair’s work can be read as a simple yet powerful comment on the class based divisions that have historically characterised British society. Until the advent of photography in the mid 19th century, portraits were the exclusive domain of the wealthy, acting as possessions to further convey the sitters’ identity in the form of status and social standing.


C-Type Prints
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2001  


Camouflage (Self-Portrait)


Camouflage (Self-Portrait), 1998   
Gavin Turk  (b.1967)

Turk’s work is intended to provoke questions about the identity of a work of art and its authorship.  
In the early 1990’s he explored these ideas by making a number of works based on his own signature that comment on the value that the artist’s name confers onto a work.
 
He has also made a number of photographic and sculptural self-portraits, which involve some degree of disguise.
 
For this self-portrait he covered his face with patches of cosmetic mudpack to mimic army camouflage. Set against a black background, his eyes stare intently into the camera lens. Like much of Turk’s work, this one contains deliberate references to other cultural forms. In particular it borrows from Marlon Brando’s sinister portrayal of Mr. Kurtz in the cult film, Apocalypse Now (1979).


R-type colour print on paper
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2000


A Lady

This painting of the ship in three positions is a complete ship portrait in which there was a necessity to paint from more than two angles to make a full record of the proportions and design of the vessel. This undoubtedly reflects the owner’s pride in ownership. Unfortunately it is not known who owned the ship but the date on the painting of 1782 suggests that it was painted soon after it was built.


Milton

Milton (after bust by Rysbrack, 1738) Made by English School This bust of Milton (1608-74) is thought to be based on a marble bust by the acclaimed Dutch sculptor, John Michael Rysbrack (1694-1770). His bust was, in turn, based on an engraving by William Faithorne (1616?-1691), taken from life and made in 1670. It is from this well-known engraving that many of the later portraits of Milton were made. The original marble by Rysbrack is in the Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery. This is one of two busts in the Ferens’ collection portraying the great 17th century poet. Both are probably by 18th century London sculptors. Many versions exist, originally made to be set in open pediments above doorways and chimney-pieces. Considered one of the 17th century's 'Modern Worthies', Milton's effigy, placed high above library doors, was considered a great source of inspiration to the 18th century scholar. Marble Presented in 1954 by Mrs. D.V. McGrigor Phillips from the collection of her father Lord Brotherton.


Duke of Wellington

Peter Turnerelli was an Irish sculptor whose family were of Italian origin. He moved to London in 1793 and studied sculpture at the Royal Academy where he exhibited in 1802. During a period in Italy, Turnerelli was greatly influenced by the famous sculptor, Antonio Canova. Between 1797–1800 Turnerelli taught modelling to the daughters of George III and subsequently became Sculptor-in-Ordinary to the Royal Family. He was asked to produce the Jubilee bust of George III in 1810, which he received eighty orders for copies. He had a large aristocratic clientele which included George III, the Duke of Wellington and Louis XVIII. Due to their popularity, copies of his original works were made by others. This bust appears to be a copy after an original Turnerelli now in the British Library.


Detail of portrait (image/jpeg) Room 77

#SUBHEADING#Walter Goodin#SUBHEADINGEND# Walter Goodwin has been attributed to above painting of Alderman Lawrence Science painted c.1961. Walter Goodin was a local artist born in Hull. He specialised in land and seascapes, still life and portraits. There are several examples of his portraits at the Guildhall. He was a medal winner at the Royal Academy in 1939 with a still life (now at the Ferens Art Gallery). During the war Goodin joined the RAF and the death of his friend Kenneth Elwell (Fred Elwell's nephew) made a great impact on him and his career. He abandoned any ambitions to follow up his success in London and returned to Yorkshire. He taught at Hull College of Art and lived in Beverley where he shared a studio with successful local artist Fred Elwell. He also taught at a school in Bridlington. #SUBHEADING#Alderman John Symons#SUBHEADINGEND##IMAGE# Painting by unknown artist c.1907, Alderman John Symons, was described by a contemporary as possessing '... a vivacious wit, which is coupled with a wholesome disregard for conventionalities, and an unrestrained lightness and kindness of art'. Alderman John Symons was a silversmith and bullion dealer, having inherited his father's business. He was also a keen writer and wrote several books on local history, including 'High Street, Some Years Since, and Biographical Sketches, the Visitor's descriptive Guidebook to Kingston upon Hull and Hull in ye Olden Days'. John Symons also used his skills with the pen to write anonymously for the press, combining his political interests to write in support of providing a park for the people of Hull, and many other projects. He was Sheriff of Kingston upon Hull in 1890. #SUBHEADING#Alderman Robert Waller#SUBHEADINGEND##IMAGE# Painted by Benjamin Hudson (d.1900) in 1878 Alderman Robert Waller was Mayor of Hull 1877-1879. As a councillor Waller worked hard on a major project for the West District of Hull's Drainage, an essential element of public health in the Victorian period. He presided over the laying of the foundation stone in Neptune Street, an event that seems to have been typically Victorian. Benjamin Hudson was a local portrait painter who worked from 68 Spring Bank in Hull from 1876 - 1895. This painting was presented to the Council by Alderman Robert Waller's grand-daughter, Mrs Marsden in 1953. #SUBHEADING#Unidentified Man in Grey Suit#SUBHEADINGEND##IMAGE# This portrait on the left by an unknown artist of an unidentified man in a grey suit. This painting is typical of many in the Guildhall, with records of the artist or the subject having been lost in time. Both the subject and the artist of this painting are unknown but it is hoped that future research will uncover more information. All that we can tell is that this was probably painted during the Edwardian period. #SUBHEADING#Alderman Kelburne King#SUBHEADINGEND# Painted by an unknown artist in c.1880, Alderman Kelburne King J.P. M.D was Mayor of Hull 1875-7 and 1879-80. He was born in Scotland in 1829 and took a degree in Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1844. In 1858 became a Surgeon at Hull General Infirmary. Dr King also lectured on Anatomy at the Hull & East Riding School of Medicine. As well as being a councillor and surgeon, he was also involved the Literary and Philosophical Society, becoming President in 1864. As Mayor in 1879-80 Dr King did much to advance the scheme of the Hull & Barnsley Railway.


mammoth tusk (image/jpeg) Woolly Mammoth - icon of the Ice Age (part 1)

A firm visitor favourite at the Hull and East Riding Museum is Mortimer the life sized reconstruction of a Woolly Mammoth. The ancient beast, an icon of the last Ice Age, has been extinct for thousands of years. The discovery of fossils, frozen bodies preserved in the Siberian permafrost, and cave paintings left by our ancient ancestors all help us piece together how these magnificent animals lived. #SUBHEADING#The Last Ice Age#SUBHEADINGEND# The Woolly Mammoth lived in the last Ice Age, from around 250,000 years ago. Despite popular belief they did not live on glaciers; such a barren environment would not have enough food to support such massive animals. Woolly Mammoths actually lived in sub-arctic tundra regions. The museum collections include artefacts found in the region indicating that the Mammoth lived in the East Riding around 75,000 years ago during the onset of a cold stage. During this period the summers could have reached highs of 10C but plunged in the winter months to as low as -20C, the mammoths had a number of adaptations to help them survive in these harsh conditions. #SUBHEADING#Hair#SUBHEADINGEND# The mammoth had an overcoat of thick, coarse, dark and incredibly long hair; on the underbelly this hair could reach 1m in length. Underneath was more hair, a 2.5cm thick undercoat of dense, fine woollen, yellow-brown fur. Beneath the skin was a thick layer of blubber like fat. The thick grey skin (similar to that of an elephant) was covered in glands, which secreted fatty grease into the hair to give further protection against the cold. In the more temperate summer climate the mammoth would moult. #SUBHEADING#Tusks#SUBHEADINGEND# #IMAGE# The Woolly Mammoths had huge curved tusks, which could reach 5m in length more than twice the length of a male African elephant. The curved tusks would have been used like a shovel to clear the snow and get to the food buried beneath. They would also have been used for self-defence and mating rituals. #SUBHEADING#Tails, trunks, ears and teeth#SUBHEADINGEND# Woollies had much smaller tails, trunks and ears than the modern elephant. These adaptations helped to prevent excessive heat loss. African elephant's ears can measure 1.8m in length, mammoth ears were tiny in comparison and would have been just 30cm long. The trunk was shorter with the tip of the trunk had two finger-like projections which the mammoth used to grasp the rough tundra shrubs it fed upon. Woolly Mammoths were huge creatures, growing to about 330cm [11 feet, similar to modern Indian Elephants] and weighing as much as 8 tons, over 8100 kg which is the same weight as a London double decker bus! #IMAGE# A fully grown Woolly Mammoth would have needed to consume over 100kg of vegetation daily, leading some researchers to believe that around 20 hours of a mammoth's day was dedicated to eating! Mammoth's teeth were adapted to cope with grinding the harsh, tough, tundra vegetation, which was the staple food of their diet. Like elephants, mammoths grew six sets of teeth during their lifetime, a set consisting of four teeth in total; two at the top and two on the bottom jaw. View all the #LINK=http://www.hullcc.gov.uk/museumcollections/collections/search-results/resultsoverview.php?keywordsorig=&titleorig=&personorig=&placeorig=whitby&dateorig=&materialorig=&accessionnumberorig=&collectionorig=&museumorig=&keywords=&newsearch=new&title=mammoth&person=&place=&date=&material=&accessionnumber=&collectionall=all&museumall=all&location=any&SearchSubmit.x=0&SearchSubmit.y=0 TEXT=Mammoth specimens in our collection# or use the advanced search



Richard Arkwright Junior

Joseph Nollekins was the leading portrait sculptor of his day. He worked on statues and monuments as well but busts are considered to be where he did his finest work. Nollekins studied in Rome for ten years and returned to England in 1770 where he ran a very prolific and successful workshop. His statue of the Goddess Diana (Formerly in Wentworth Woodhouse) is in the V&A Museum, London. Originally titled as Richard Arkwright, this bust is thought to be of Richard Arkwright Junior, the famous industrialist’s son.


Naval vessels in a rough sea

At the time of purchase in 1950 this painting was thought to be by Williem van de Velde himself. Now that much more is known it is clear that the picture is a copy. Most such copies are by English hands and date from the 18th century.


Portrait of a lady

Currently there is nothing to identify the nationality of the artist or the sitter. A letter in the gallery files discounted the old attribution to R.Harvie and attributed the painting to French School 18th century.


A Riverside Caprice

This may be a view of Hull's waterfront looking east along the Humber bank towards the old harbour, treated with a degree of artistic licence. Dutch sailing craft occupy the foreground, in addition to two fishermen leaning against some bales, engaged in conversation. In this small but strong composition, Ward leads the eye into the picture by the careful positioning of the pier end and the angled mast cast in shadow on the left. The picture has a more romantic and imaginary quality than many of his commissioned ship portraits.


Whalers in the Arctic

Ward's whaling scenes are a distinct and impressive aspect of his output. His accurate treatment of Arctic topography, such as icebergs and floes suggests that, unlike his contemporaries, he made at least one trip to the area to make sketches from which to paint. Interestingly, in contrast to the surroundings, the ship, shown in three different views, was painted from drawings made whilst the vessel was docked in Hull. Part of Ward's skill is his ability to fuse the different elements of the composition to create a convincing and harmonious end result. Other fine examples of Ward's whaling scenes can be found at Hull's Maritime Museum.


The return of the 'William Lee' from Calcutta, entering the Humber Dock, Hull

This painting is widely regarded as Ward's masterpiece. The 'William Lee' was employed in the Arctic fishery until 1837 when she was used in regular trade with Calcutta. The ship departed on the 23rd March 1838 under the command of Capt. Sheppard and returned the following year on 22nd January to an enthusiastic reception from the people of Hull. Ward captures the scene as she enters the mouth of the Humber Dock basin. We sense something of the excitement of the onlookers as they watched the majestic ship returning laden with valuables from the Orient. On the right is the Baltic brig 'Consort'. The picture is framed by the wooden piers on either side. On the left is a Humber Keel with her topsail raised. The red and white striped pennant flying from the 'William Lee's' mast is that of her agent, Joseph Gee. This fine vessel sailed to Calcutta for several years and then in 1845 to St. Petersburg. She was lost two years later.


The snow 'Chase' and the brig 'Dagger'

Most of Ward's pictures depict calm water or ice (most of the latter are in Hull Maritime Museum) and this rougher sea is more unusual. The snow 'Chase' was built on the River Hull in 1818 by Hall and Richardson for the Merchants Stephen Gee and Thomas Loft. In 1839 the brig 'Dagger' was built at Southtown, Yarmouth for the merchant Joseph Gee and the banker George Liddell. The latter also purchased shares in the 'Chase' in 1824. Both vessels sailed in the Baltic trade until the 'Chase' was lost in 1840. The 'Dagger' re-registered under new ownership at Liverpool in 1847. From there she sailed to the West Indies and was last heard of in 1855. Carved on the stern of the 'Chase' and depicted on a flag at the foremast is the crest of Gee of Bishop Burton, an armoured fist brandishing a sword.


The wreck of the 'Thomas', off the Stony Binks, 8th June, 1821

This picture is generally thought to be one of Ward's earliest surviving works due to its dramatic treatment of the subject and reliance on the 18th century tradition of English marine painting. Unlike the succeeding generation of painters, Ward was not interested in making romantic views of the sea and rarely painted the dangers of seafaring. A hand-written label on the reverse of the canvas explains: "This painting represents the transport ship Thomas, Capt. Dysart bound out to St. Helena with troops aground on the Stony Binks, near to Spurn Point at day break on the morning of June the 8th 1821. The lifeboat in the act of taking out the soldiers and crew - and putting them aboard the Bee, Cutter. Except a soldiers [sic] wife who was washed overboard. The gale increasing the ship beat to pieces and became a total wreck." The 'Thomas' was actually coming to Hull to take on troops intended for duty at St. Helena guarding the Emperor Napoleon, who had in fact died on the 5th May, but the news had not yet reached Britain. Clearly visible is Spurn Point with Smeaton's high and low lights. The 'Thomas' flies her red ensign upside down as a signal of distress.


The snow 'Rosetta' off Spurn Head

The 'Rosetta' was built at County Durham in 1833 by Robert Gray for William Ringrose of Hull and Christopher Leake Ringrose of Rotterdam, merchants trading under the firm of 'W. and C.L. Ringrose'. She was sold in 1845, registered in Leith in 1853 and lost in the Gulf of St. Lawrence three years later. This is one of Ward's most basic compositions. The vessel is depicted in one view only, in strict profile. The horizon is marked by a hazy depiction of Spurn Head. It is thought possible that the picture was painted for Captain E. Jones of Sutton, a descendent of the donor.


Still Life: The Pickwick Club, 1950s

Elwell’s skill in painting still lifes was due in part to his thorough training at Lincoln School of Art and his later studies of Dutch art in Antwerp. His first known signed and dated work was 'Still Life with Fish', with which he won a national art prize. His talents at depicting such objects as plates and copper pans permeated much of his work, and he frequently worked still lifes into his larger narrative paintings. Towards the end of his life, Elwell returned to the still life as a subject in its own right, and it is from this period that 'Still Life: The Pickwick Club' appears to date. The painting takes its title from the picture of the Pickwick Club that appears on the wall within the composition. A punchbowl and glasses, silver salver, candelabra, decanter and pipes are amongst the objects that Elwell also includes, both to demonstrate his artistic skills and to evoke the convivial atmosphere of the gentlemen’s debating club. Elwell’s mastery of highlights to convey the play of light upon objects is clearly evident in the flicks of white paint on the jug and in the reflections on the silver plate. This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1956, and again in 1958, posthumously. It was one of the pictures sold from Bar House following Elwell’s death that year.


The Last Purchase, 1921

'The Last Purchase' (also called 'The New Purchase' and 'The Last Lot') is significant in Fred Elwell's career as being the moment of synthesis, in a single painting, of all the strongest elements of his portraiture, still life and room interiors. All are handled meticulously in this, probably Elwell's most important single work. At the age of 85, James Elwell, the artist's father, is portrayed amongst his spoils from the latest antique auction, which he has set out for inspection. The painting captures the intensity and joy of the connoisseur as he repairs a vase with the craftsman's dexterity, and even tenderness. The scene is instilled with the artist's empathy for his subject. His respect for his father's skills leads him to give prominence to the tools of conservation; the paste, brushes, paints and magnifier are in the foreground in a composition which echoes Elwell's earliest still lives of fish. Fred's own fascination for curios is reflected in the almost Pre-Raphaelite sharpness of definition and the juxtaposition of complex patterns.


The Wedding Dress, 1911

Such emotive subjects as this were popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Elwell intensifies the sorrow of the scene by contrasting the light sheen of the woman's unworn gown with the black dress she wears instead, in mourning. Her bowed body, silhouetted against the open trunk, conveys the formal language of grief. The model for this painting was Violet Press, a costumier in Beverley. Fate dealt an ironic blow when, shortly after posing, she lost her husband in the First World War, after only a short marriage.


The Landlord, 1935

This is one of Elwell's most distinctive and best known portraits, and one around which many myths have evolved! Despite popular assumptions that the painting was set in Beverley, Elwell himself stated in an interview that it was at the Buck Inn, Driffield. ‘The Landlord’ of the title is shown in a confident and self-assured pose. Elwell has relished painting the contrasting surfaces around him, from the wooden keg and glass bottles to the gleaming copper flagon, putting to good use his considerable skills as a still life artist. Elwell's model for this portrait was John Booth, who was actually a butler, working both at Tranby Croft, near Hull, and for the Duchess of Westminster. His mannered air contributes in part to the success of 'The Landlord'. Ironically, having posed for this painting, he was later to become a publican at the Molescroft Inn, near Beverley.


The Housekeeper's Room

The setting is Bar House, Beverley, in the peaceful environs of Elwell's future home. The artist's attention to detail reveals the Meissen candelabra, bearing a lute-playing figure at its base, which was one of the treasures of the house. In 1911, Fred often visited the house and helped to care for Mary Holmes’ailing husband. Mary and Fred were to marry after his death. Attending 'morning orders' in the housekeeper's room was a nerve-wracking encounter for the poor housemaid and Elwell depicts her tugging nervously at her apron. He has used the effect of light from the window to illuminate the housemaid's stooped back in contrast with the housekeeper's stern countenance. Interestingly, the figures in this painting present conflicting evidence with the date inscribed on it. Emily Rowley, who lived opposite Elwell's studio in Trinity Lane, is thought to be the woman who modelled for the maid. This, however, was in around 1930. Even more confusing, the housekeeper's features have been recognised as those of Elizabeth Chapman, Elwell's housekeeper in the 1950s. One can only assume therefore that the painting was subject to modification during the 43 years between the stated date of completion and its display at the Royal Academy in 1954.


A Badminton Court, 1926

Elwell’s focus in this painting is not upon the badminton itself, but upon the social interactions of the figures in the scene. Indeed, one critic described the man astride the chair as ‘someone who has borrowed a racquet off a friend just to get at the girls in the team.’ The composition of the painting, with its rigid division of foreground and background, leads the eye directly to the figures at the front of the court, with those in the background being only of incidental interest. More formal preoccupations typical to Elwell’s work are the light effects he creates by combining the glowing stove and a freshly struck match with the whiter light which appears from a hidden source above. The badminton court featured in the painting is thought to have been part of the Assembly Rooms in Norwood, Beverley. Oil on panel. Presented in 1959 by A. L. Rapstone.


Landscape, c.1900

Landscapes formed an important part of Elwell's work. This landscape appears to date from the early part of the century when Elwell explored the flatness and expansive skies and rivers of the East Riding of Yorkshire. It is likely that his practise of painting out of doors began when he was a student in France in the 1890s. Most of his landscapes were painted on a similarly small scale.


detail of an old dice (image/jpeg) Board Games - The Roll of Knucklebones and Dice Throughout History

#SUBHEADING#'Shake Them Bones'#SUBHEADINGEND# Bones have been playthings from time immemorial. In Medieval and Roman times it was very popular to play games with animal bones; usually it would be ankle bones or knuckle bones from sheep. The most popular game was the forerunner for the modern game of 'Jacks'. Players threw knucklebones into the air and caught as many as they could on the back of their hands or picked up as many bones as they could from the ground while one was in the air. This game is immortalised in a terracotta sculpture in the British Museum from about 800 BC. As each of the four sides of a knuckle bone is different, it was similar to a four sided dice, each of the four sides would be given a value, they would be used for gambling games. Different throws have received distinctive names, such as riding the elephant, peas in the pod, and horses in the stable. In Roman times the winning throw would be known as Venus and the losing throw as canis 'dog' and used for board games such as the Medieval predecessor of Backgammon, 'Game of Twelve Lines'. #SUBHEADING#How do you score knucklebones?#SUBHEADINGEND# 1 pt for the 'flat' side; 3 pts for the 'concave' side; 4 pts for the convex side; 6 pts for the 'twisted' side. #SUBHEADING#Dealing with Dice in History#SUBHEADINGEND# The ancient Egyptians and Romans also used dice for gambling and many board games, knucklebones developed into dice and they were made of antler and bone for the most part but there are examples of them being made from other materials. Dice have also not always been made in the shape of a cube. Stone dice used in Egypt in about 250BC were 10 sided. Roman coin depicting Fortuna #IMAGE# In ancient times the throw of a dice was not just considered to be luck, the outcome was believed to be controlled by the gods and casting dice was a way of predicting the future. The Roman goddess, Fortuna, daughter of Zeus (known to gamblers as Lady Luck), was believed to determine the outcome of a throw. In English, dice are sometimes colloquially referred to as "bones", as in "shake them bones" but ivory, amber, wood, metal, and stone materials have been commonly used. Although the use of plastics, including cellulose acetate and bakelite is now nearly universal. In Medieval times many games involved betting, even games such as Chess, Backgammon and Bowls. Gambling with dice was the most popular in England particularly in London in the 1500's, and was played in all ranks of society, even the clergy. In England, Richard the Lion Heart and King John both gambled with dice and King Henry VIII lost the bells of old St Paul's church on a throw. #IMAGE# Dice games were played in many English inns and sometimes dice were used to fool gullible gamblers. Many dice that have been excavated and x-rayed have revealed small mercury weights inside them so they would deliberately fall on one number. In medieval times loaded dice like this were called 'Fulhams', presumably Fulham in London was notorious as the haunt for dice cheats.


John Lee and his family

This happy and relaxed group portrait shows the Hull businessman, John Lee (d.1809) with his family. John Lee was a Hull factory owner who had a tar and turpentine distillery on the banks of the River Hull near Sculcoates. He was a member of the Council of the Hull Subscription Library, 1799-1803.


Slipware Cup Made by Belle Vue Pottery, Hull, c.1826-1841

Drips of liquid have been used to make the brown, moss-like pattern on this cup. It is said that the liquid contained tobacco juice and urine! Many people called pottery decorated like this ‘tobacco-spit ware’. Its proper name is Mocha. Mocha is named after a semi-precious stone called moss agate or mocha stone. Mocha stone contains green minerals. Mocha ware was first made by William Adams at Cobridge, Staffordshire in the late 1700s. Its manufacture for cheap, utilitarian wares is said to have continued until 1914. Mocha was also made at Burslem and Tunstall, Staffordshire; Newcastle-upon-Tyne; Scotland; Swansea; Sunderland; Leeds and Derbyshire. Mocha is a type of slipware. Slipware is pottery decorated with coloured liquid clays, known as ‘slip’. On this cup dark brown, light brown and cream slip has been piped onto a blue background to make a plant pattern. Slipware was once very popular. It was made in huge quantities at Hull’s Belle Vue Pottery and was aimed at the cheaper end of the market. Unfortunately the popularity of slipware didn’t last and by the 1840s it was very unfashionable. This cup was made at the Belle Vue Pottery, which existed on the Humber bank in Hull from 1826-1841. The pottery site was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. Merchant William Bell owned the Belle Vue Pottery. He bought the site for £1700. Bell named his pottery after a street recently built nearby called Belle Vue Terrace. As well as making slipware, Belle Vue produced many pots decorated with printed patterns. Others had hand painted floral designs, or were decorated with brightly coloured glazes.


Slipware Mug Made by Belle Vue Pottery, Hull c.1826-1841

Three different coloured liquid clays have been applied to this mug using a piping bag – just like icing a cake! Pottery decorated in this way is known as slipware because the liquid clays are called ‘slip’. Slipware was once very popular. It was made in huge quantities at Hull’s Belle Vue Pottery, and was aimed at the cheaper end of the market. Unfortunately the popularity of slipware didn’t last. By the 1840s this style of pottery was very unfashionable. This mug was made at the Belle Vue Pottery which existed on the Humber bank in Hull from 1826-1841. The pottery was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. Merchant William Bell set up Belle Vue. He bought the site for £1700. Bell decided to name his pottery after a street recently built nearby called Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell’s father was one of the men in charge of building Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell must have chosen the name for his pottery because of its family connections. William Bell began making ceramics on a large scale from 1826. He extended the factory that already existed on the site and employed as many as thirty apprentices. Bell had no previous experience as a potter but he made his pottery a success. His employees brought recipes with them from former employers. Copper plates for making printed decoration were bought from engravers. The pottery’s location next to the River Humber was essential for its success. It had its own wharf where ships tied up to unload clay for making the pots. Other ships brought coal to power the kilns. The wharf was the only place for ships to collect finished pots for export, mainly to Germany. Disaster struck at Belle Vue in 1840. The Hull and Selby Railway Company opened a railway line along the Humber Bank. The railway cut off the pottery’s access to the river and it became difficult to export pots. The pottery closed in 1841.


Belle Vue transfer printed tea cup

Even the inside of this tea cup is printed with flowers, fruit and moths. People drinking from the cup would not have been able to see the design inside until they finished their tea. Perhaps the decoration was intended for show, so the cup could be ornamental when it wasn’t in use. This tea cup’s bulbous shape is typical of Hull’s Belle Vue pottery. The pottery made cups of many different shapes and sizes, but this shape was a favourite. The Belle Vue Pottery was run by a merchant called William Bell. It manufactured ceramics on the Humber bank from 1826-1841. The pottery site was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. A group of archaeologists excavated the Belle Vue pottery site in 1970. The archaeologists found hundreds of pieces, including this teacup. The teacup was broken into several pieces and had to be pieced back together. Most of what we know about Belle Vue pottery comes from this excavation. Most Belle Vue pots, including this one, were made from good quality white earthenware. The majority were decorated with transfer printed patterns. These were quick and cheap to produce as the same engraved copper plate could be used to print hundreds of pots. Despite its location near the centre of Hull, most Belle Vue products were destined for foreign markets. Because of its location on the Humber bank, the pottery had its own wharf. Ships tied up there to unload raw materials, and to take aboard finished products for export. In the first seven months of the pottery’s existence alone William Bell exported 78 000 potter’s dozens of ceramics. A potter’s dozen was the number of pots that the potter’s carrying boards would hold at once. Bell operated a warehousing business in Hamburg with his brother Edward, so most of his products were exported there. Other destinations included Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Spain.


Belle Vue hand painted tea cup

The painted flowers adorning this teacup may be faded, but the yellow glaze covering it is still bright and shiny. The glaze has survived more than 160 years because it is tough and waterproof. In fact, glaze is a form of glass. Glazing is essential for earthenware pots like this one, which would otherwise be porous and unable to hold liquids. This bright yellow glaze is also decorative. Without it the teacup would be a bland cream colour. The Belle Vue Pottery was run by a merchant called William Bell. It manufactured ceramics on the Humber bank from 1826-1841. The pottery site was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. A group of archaeologists excavated the Belle Vue pottery site in 1970. The archaeologists found hundreds of pieces, including this teacup. The teacup was broken into several pieces and had to be pieced back together. Most of what we know about Belle Vue pottery comes from this excavation. Most Belle Vue pots, including this one, were made from good quality white earthenware. The majority were decorated with printed patterns. These were quick and cheap to produce as the same engraved copper plate could be used to print hundreds of pots. It would have been more expensive and time consuming to produce a hand painted piece like this one. Despite its location near the centre of Hull, most Belle Vue products were destined for foreign markets. Because of its location on the Humber bank, the pottery had its own wharf. Ships tied up there to unload raw materials, and to take aboard finished products for export. William Bell operated a warehousing business in Hamburg with his brother Edward, so most of his products were exported there. Other destinations included Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Spain.


Belle Vue 'Garden Scenery' platter

Before the Second World War Hull Museums collected several pots made at Hull’s Belle Vue Pottery. Most of these were destroyed in 1943 when the Albion Street Museum was gutted by fire caused by incendiary bombs. This platter is a lucky survivor. The platter is also special because it is one of the few surviving examples of a named Belle Vue design. The printed decoration is called ‘Garden Scenery’. The name of the pattern is stamped on the platter’s base. The Belle Vue Pottery existed on the Humber bank in Hull from 1826-1841. The pottery was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. Merchant William Bell set up Belle Vue. He bought the site for £1700. Bell decided to name his pottery after a street recently built nearby called Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell’s father was one of the men in charge of building Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell must have chosen the name for his pottery because of its family connections. William Bell began making ceramics on a large scale from 1826. He extended the factory that already existed on the site and employed as many as 30 apprentices. Bell had no previous experience as a potter, but he made his pottery a success. His employees brought recipes with them from former employers. Copper plates for making printed decoration were bought from engravers. The pottery’s location next to the River Humber was essential for its success. It had its own wharf where ships tied up to unload clay for making the pots. Other ships brought coal to power the kilns. The wharf was the only place for ships to collect finished pots for export, mainly to Germany. Disaster struck at Belle Vue in 1840. The Hull and Selby Railway Company opened a railway line along the Humber Bank. The railway cut off the pottery’s access to the river, and it became impossible to run the pottery. The pottery closed in 1841.


Writing Desk and Bookcase by Mordecai Kitching, Hull, 1828

The story behind this bookcase and writing desk is revealed by the plaque attached to its front: ‘This secretaire was made by Mordecai Kitching and presented to his much loved sister Lucy Archer Kitching on the occasion of her marriage to George Francis Bristow at the Holy Trinity Church Hull, July 24th 1828’. The plaque allows us to discover more about the people who made and used the secretaire. It is rare for furniture to have such detailed information. Mordecai Kitching ran a small furniture making business in Hull in the early 1800s. His father Thomas had moved to Hull from Barton on Humber in the 1790s. Thomas married Mary Archer at Holy Trinity Church in 1796. They had at least eight children. Mordecai was born in 1805, and his sister Lucy followed in 1807. Mordecai is first listed in local trade directories in 1826, as a cabinet maker in Blanket Row. Later trade directories show that he moved his workshop several times. The last time Mordecai is mentioned in trade directories is in 1839, when he was working at Humber Dock Walls. He died on 22 February 1839, aged 33. The quality of this secretaire shows that Mordecai was a very skilled furniture maker. In many ways the design is typical of mahogany secretaire-bookcases from this period. This suggests that Mordecai kept in touch with fashionable styles and techniques by subscribing to published pattern books. However, the top of the bookcase – known as the pediment – is an unusual shape. This shape may have been characteristic of furniture made in the Hull area. Mordecai made the secretaire as a wedding present for his sister Lucy. The Bristow family, who Lucy married into, were respectable but modest tradesmen. Lucy’s husband George owned a grocery shop in Queen Street. High quality pieces of furniture were usually owned by very rich families. The ownership of this secretaire shows that craftsmanship of a high standard could also be available to less wealthy people.


Mayor's Chair by Richardson & Sons, Hull (c.1863)

This was the Mayor’s chair in Hull’s old Victorian Town Hall. The Town Hall no longer exists but some of its furniture survives. The Town Hall was built in 1862 and largely furnished by Richardson & Sons of Hull. They were a very successful furniture firm in Hull using the timber imports at the docks. Thomas Richardson started the business in 1812. By 1840 the business had major workshops on Bond Street in Hull. This chair was used by Hull’s Victorian mayors with a footstool. It can be seen in a portrait of Sir Alfred Gelder who was Mayor of Hull between 1898-1903. This painting is in the Banqueting Hall of the Guildhall. The title of ‘Lord Mayor’ was awarded to Hull in 1914 by King George V. Consequently this was always the ‘Mayor’s’ chair. Hull’s Victorian Town Hall was design by Hull architect Cuthbert Brodrick. It was opened in 1866. The larger part of today’s Guildhall was originally intended to be an extension to this Town Hall. However, once the extension was complete they decided to carry on building. The Town Hall was demolished to make way for the Guildhall when it was only 40 years old. Richardson & Sons were an extremely successful furniture firm in Hull. Thomas Richardson founded the business in 1812, working in Castle Street. By 1840 the business was based on Bond Street. They had additional showrooms in Albion Street and Waltham Street and a timber yard in Baker Street. When Queen Victoria visited Hull in 1854, Richardson & Sons made a special set of chairs to be used by the Royal Family. These are in the Guildhall collection as well.


Hélène Cixous, 2003

Hélène Cixous, 2003
by Jane Bustin (b.1964- )

In contrast to conventional portraiture’s focus on outer appearances, Bustin is concerned with the psychological identity of her sitters and in making visible that which is unseen. 
 
This portrait of the French feminist experimental writer, Hélène Cixous (b.1937) is one of a series of 8. In them Bustin explored the idea of inner ‘blackness’ in relation to her sitters, including a self portrait, a composer, a scientist and a theologian, amongst others.  
 
She likened the process of making them as a correspondence between herself and her subjects, exploring their personal perceptions and sense of blackness through the exchange of conversation and letters.
 
Despite the apparent lack of reference to outer appearances there are specific links to traditional portrait norms in the life-size scale Bustin chose. Each of the series was made to match the exact height and shoulder width of the sitter, forming a diptych of two long, vertical panels. Through subtle variations of support material, colour of black, and the finish chosen for each work, she attempts to convey the sitter’s feelings about their inner blackness.

Oil on wood and oil on cotton.

Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2004.


Self Portrait Upside Down

Self Portrait Upside Down, 1992
by John Coplans (1920 – 2003)

Coplans, a writer and curator by profession, only started to take photographs and exhibit his work in 1980. After experimenting with a range of subject matter for four years he decided, aged 64, to focus exclusively on shots of the male nude, using himself as the model.
 
Notably, Coplans always leaves his head out of the picture in an attempt to neutralise his identity and depersonalise the image. In this way he strives to present the general rather than the particular and relates the body to type, rather than an individual.  
 
The enlarged body parts are always shot on black and white film and provide direct and painfully honest images of the ageing process. There is also a high degree of ambiguity in many as here, where it is unclear if he is lying on his back or standing on his head?

Black and white photograph

Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2001


Survival Kits: Shipwreck, plane crash and nuclear war


Survival Kits: Shipwreck, plane crash and nuclear war, 1997
Alan Currall  (b.1964)

Currall’s work takes the form of straight, documentary- style videos which explore the transfer of knowledge, often in a humorous way.
 
In this piece he asked his parents to provide their advice for him in the advent of 3 potential disaster scenarios. The domestic setting, complete with wonky Christmas tree and Border collie, helps to set the scene.
 
One possible reading of the work is as a commentary on human relationships, particularly the parental role. Here though, this relationship is turned on its head. The questioning ‘child’ is a grown man and the parents’ genuine attempts to make useful suggestions, ironically serve only to reinforce our powerlessness in the face of life-threatening disasters.


Three monitor video art work with sound
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005


Detail from Rodmell poster (image/jpeg) A Preface to the Transport Poster

Early posters were very similar to a newspaper page. By the seventeenth century this format had begun to include a woodcut illustration, either a general image or one which illustrated the text directly. #IMAGE# It was not until the second half of the nineteenth century that posters started to resemble those familiar to us, with the image dominating the space in order to attract the attention of passers by. #SUBHEADING#Leading the way#SUBHEADINGEND# The modern poster originated in Paris and stems from the work of Jules Cheret who in 1866 began to produce full lithographic posters. Lithography enabled the creator to make many copies of the image without the quality of the final image being compromised. Some of the most striking posters of the 1890s were those designed by Toulouse Lautrec. He used bold lines, caricature and simple flat shapes as well as beautiful colours and bold lettering. There was a poster boom in this period with many exhibitions and the production of limited editions for collectors. There were many poster artists to follow, some producing work similar to the bold designs of Lautrec and others opting for more realistic styles. There are advantages and disadvantages to both approaches but it is safe to say that the best in poster art was, and is, original and eye-catching so that it serves its purpose (advertising, publicity, propaganda). #SUBHEADING#Companies catch on#SUBHEADINGEND##IMAGE# By the turn of the century, posters were being made to the order of railway and shipping companies. The content of a shipping poster was to give an impression of exciting destinations, speed and comfort as well practical information. Images of the ships, bystanders (exotic natives, passengers, lookers-on) and the destination all became familiar elements in the design of a shipping poster. Railway companies throughout Britain employed artists to advertise the delights of visiting the seaside, mountains, moorlands and historic cities. Unfortunately the outbreak of the Second World War put an end to the production of all shipping and railway posters. The vehicle's movements now had a vital strategic importance rather than being means to visit places, whether exotic or local, for pleasure. The period between the two World Wars was undoubtedly the heyday for the full colour illustrated poster. After 1945 posters began to return but their impact seems to have been increasingly lost. Less and less space is allotted to them in favour of television or magazine advertising.


Detail from floor tile (image/jpeg) Medieval Decorated Floor Tiles

This decorated floor tile features the inlaid stylised crowned head of a king and was found at Watton Priory in East Yorkshire. It was made during the thirteenth century. Most tiles that were made in Britain before this were fairly plain. Decorated tiles became more popular by the thirteenth century as craft skills increased and making costs became less. #SUBHEADING#Early Tiled Floors#SUBHEADINGEND# The earliest tiled floors were mosaics that were made up of many small tile pieces. These were costly to produce and so were mainly used for paving palaces, monasteries and cathedrals. Designs were often quite complicated and time-consuming to lay. Because of this, tiles started to be made that had decoration on them. Sometimes small decorated mosaic tiles were used within larger mosaic schemes. This example is hexagonal and features a lion's head. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Making Decorated Tiles#SUBHEADINGEND# Many tiles were decorated with an 'inlaid' pattern. Tile-makers firstly carved a wooden mould of the design. This was then pressed this into the unfired soft red earthenware tile body. This made an indented impression of the design. This was filled with a white liquid clay mixture (called 'slip') and then allowed to dry. Once dried, the slip was scraped off the surface to reveal the pattern. It was then covered with a lead glaze and fired in a kiln. The glaze darkened the red body colour and yellowed the white slip during firing. Copper could be added to the glaze to produce a green colour instead. Alternatively, some tiles were made that had a raised pattern on their surface. These are known as 'embossed' tiles. They were made in a similar way except that the mould was carved in reverse. Sometimes tile sections were made to connect together to form a mosaic tile. These were sometimes square but were more often triangular, multi-sided or irregular in shape. The pieces themselves were usually un-patterned. The decorative design was instead formed by their arrangement together. This roundel came from a pavement in Meaux Abbey, East Yorkshire, and depicts a floral motif. It consists of six petal-shaped tiles and six tiles in between that have concave sides. #SUBHEADING#Materials and Makers#SUBHEADINGEND# Most usually, local clay was used for the main body of the tile. The clay was worked by hand into a flattened shape and cut into blocks. The tile makers were often journeymen who travelled around the country making tiles close to where they were required. It is likely that at most parishes would have had a brick or tile kiln at some stage and some monastic buildings even had their own kilns. #IMAGE# #SUBHEADING#Decorated Tile Designs#SUBHEADINGEND# Tiles were decorated with designs that feature stylised flower and plant forms including 'fleur-de-lis' and also animals, birds and the human figure. They sometimes simply feature a geometric pattern which imitates mosaic. Others contain heraldic motifs or crests such as this one. It bears an armorial consisting of a shield bearing three stylised lions. It was found on the site of Holy Trinity Church in Hull. Decorated tiles continued to be made in the same vein until the sixteenth century. Much patronage of the trade was lost with the dissolution of the monasteries. By this time also, the wealthier classes were starting to favour brighter coloured tin-glazed ceramics and tiles from Europe.


The Transfiguration

Guiseppe Cesari, known as the Cavaliere d'Arpino, was the favourite artist of the Church of Rome during the last years of the 16th century. He was one of the last representatives of the true Renaissance tradition. The Transfiguration is an example of the artist's later, highly stylised technique. The figures appear frozen in unnatural and theatrical poses. The Transfiguration occurred shortly before Christ entered Jerusalem. He took the disciples Peter, John and James to the top of a high mountain to pray. Whilst there, Christ's face suddenly 'shone like the sun, his garments became white as light' (Matthew 17:2) as he revealed his divine nature to the disciples. Visions of Moses and Elijah then appeared on either side of Christ, and God's voice was heard from a bright cloud overhead saying, "This is my beloved Son." Some of the earliest depictions of this scene date back to Byzantine manuscript illustrations of the 6th century. The Transfiguration is often depicted symbolically as a blue circle with gold stars.


Table by G.L. Feetam, Trinity House Lane, Hull, c.1860-1870

The rich, dark wood used to make this table is called mahogany. Mahogany was one of the hardwoods shipped to Hull from South and Central America for furniture making. The design of this table shows clearly that it was intended to stand against a wall. Its straight back edge and plain back legs contrast with the wavy front and ornately carved front legs. The decoration of these areas was more important as they would have been much more noticeable. This table was made by George Leonard Feetam. George was probably the son of Thomas Feetam, who was a furniture maker at 5 Trinity House Lane, Hull. In 1861 George took over his father’s workshop. G.L. Feetam is listed in the 1861 Hull trade directory, the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages. The directory describes him as a cabinet maker, upholsterer, undertaker and plate glass maker. It was common for small furniture makers to practise other trades to support themselves. Many furniture makers used their carpentry skills to make coffins. Hull was an important regional centre for furniture making in the 1700s and 1800s. The town’s success was founded on its role as a timber port. Imports of wood from northern Europe and the Baltic had been part of Hull’s commerce for centuries. By the 1600s, Hull was second only to London as a timber port. The availability of timber in Hull encouraged furniture makers to settle there in the 1700s. This in turn changed Hull’s timber trade. From the early 1720s mahogany for furniture making had been shipped to London from Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras. It was difficult to buy mahogany in Hull, with most consignments coming north from London via the coastal trade. From the 1770s increasing demand for mahogany from local cabinet makers encouraged Hull merchants to import it directly. These merchants traded mahogany throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire. Trade was carried out via the network of waterways flowing into the Humber. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Chairs by G.L. Feetam, Trinity House Lane, Hull, 1860-1880

We know this chair was made in Hull because ‘From G L Feetam Hull’ is stencilled inside the seat frame. This mark was added by the maker to identify his products. Makers’ marks allow us to find Hull furniture today. This is one of a set of four matching chairs in Hull Museums’ collection. The chairs are made of mahogany, a rich, dark hardwood. Mahogany for furniture making arrived at Hull’s port from South and Central America. This chair was made by George Leonard Feetam. George was probably the son of Thomas Feetam, also a furniture maker. Thomas Feetam had a workshop in Mytongate, Hull, from around 1823 to 1842. By 1858 he was based at 5 Trinity House Lane. In 1861 George took over his father’s workshop. G.L. Feetam is listed in the 1861 Hull trade directory, the old-fashioned equivalent of the Yellow Pages. The directory describes him as a cabinet maker, upholsterer, undertaker and plate glass maker. It was common for small furniture makers to practise other trades to support themselves. Many furniture makers used their carpentry skills to make coffins. Hull was an important regional centre for furniture making in the 1700s and 1800s because of its timber port. Wood imports from northern Europe and the Baltic had been part of Hull’s commerce for centuries. The availability of timber in Hull encouraged furniture makers to settle there in the 1700s. This in turn changed Hull’s timber trade. From the early 1720s mahogany for furniture making had been shipped to London from Jamaica, Cuba and Honduras. It was difficult to buy mahogany in Hull, with most consignments coming north from London via the coastal trade. From the 1770s increasing demand for mahogany from local cabinet makers encouraged Hull merchants to import it directly. These merchants traded mahogany throughout Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and parts of Derbyshire. Trade was carried out via the network of waterways flowing into the Humber. Purchased by Hull Museums with assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund.


Washerwomen at the foot of the Torre delle Milizie

Wijk began his career as an Italianate landscape painter, but also painted genre and marines. He spent some time in London, where he produced a series of pictures depicting the Great Fire of 1666, indulging a fascination with the effects of shadows. This picture is typical of un-idealised Dutch Italianate townscape. There is little regard for compositional conventions. Instead, the tower dominates. It can be identified with the Torre delle Milizie, a building of Roman origin near Rome. The washerwomen in the foreground add anecdotal detail to this bold and daring composition.


Portrait of William Constable

Henry Walton is a rarity among English 18th century painters in that he had a private income and was not forced to paint for a living. He was primarily a portraitist and shows a quality of 'finish' in his work that sets him apart from his peers. A great deal is known about William Constable's activity as the re-builder of the great country house, Burton Constable, near Hull, and of his collecting and refurbishing activities. In this respect he emerges as an energetic patron concerned with sound craftsmanship rather than the complexities of neo-classical taste. His sister Winifred is a more obscure character.


Jupiter and Ganymede

This entirely monochrome picture must have formed part of the decoration of the interior of a Dutch house. Sadly it is not known which house or even which Dutch town the picture came from. Indeed, relatively few of de Wit's decorations survive in situ as so many of them were removed when they went out of fashion in the 19th century. It is now difficult to visualise the austere yet sumptuous effect of these monochrome decorations surrounded by plasterwork painted cream or white. The subject of Jupiter and Ganymede was popular from Renaissance times onwards. In the early Greek sources, the story was rather vague as it was not clearly stated by what method the beautiful young Ganymede was carried off by Jupiter.


Coast Scene

Vernet's marines were immensely popular with English collectors in the 18th century. This is an unusually small work, almost a cabinet picture. In spite of the small scale the artist has been preoccupied with a variety of weather effects within this one picture and with the dramatic effect of the receding rocky coast. The contrast with the English, and more specifically Hull, marine tradition could not be greater. Vernet is entirely concerned with atmosphere and compositional effect. This is true even when the artist was painting topographical views of specific ports.


The barque 'Andromeda' in two positions

Walters lived and did much of his painting in Bootle. Although self-taught he became a prolific painter of ships and shipping and the skill and accuracy with which he worked meant that he was in considerable demand, particularly from shipping companies and ship owners. He painted mostly pure marine pictures, but occasionally produced coastal subjects. The 'Andromeda' was built at Sunderland for William Ward of Hull in 1819 and sailed under the command of Captain Pearson. She traded between Hull and Sierra Leone, and had a burthen of 409 tons.


The paddle-steamer 'Waterwitch'

Little is known about the Tudgay family. It appears that they were London-based and the 'Waterwitch' carries the flag of the London Company to whom the ship was sold from Hull in 1841. It is likely that the picture is by the oldest member of the family.


Whalers in the Arctic

Willoughby may well have learnt his craft from Thomas Fletcher (flourished 1789), the earliest identifiable marine painter active in Hull and the probable founder of the local school. By his early 30s Willoughby was already an accomplished artist. Like the work of many Hull marine painters, this picture draws upon the city's thriving whaling industry in the early 19th century. Willoughby was not concerned with depicting the sea and sky in a realistic manner. He was preoccupied with making a detailed and honest visual record of the ships, closely observing their masts and rigging. However, there is a sense of improbability in the way the vessel sits so horizontally in a turbulent sea.


Westerdale's Yard and Savile Street, Hull and And Westerdale's Yard and the 'Wellington' from the New Dock

Willoughby may well have learnt his craft from Hull's earliest identifiable marine painter, Thomas Fletcher (flourished 1789). By his early 30s Willoughby was already an accomplished artist. These two views of Westerdale's Yard have all the detail and elegance associated with paintings of the Georgian period, and include busy figures whose presence gives us an exciting glimpse into working life around the docks. Like the work of Robert Thew (1758-1802) they show the area around the New Dock, focusing here on the premises of William Westerdale, a mast-block and pump maker who occupied a workshop at the north-west corner of the dock from about 1803-1830. The busiest scene shows a mast being hauled across Savile Street. The companion picture depicts the newly fitted-out ship, the 'Wellington', with a group of ladies being welcomed aboard. To the left in the background is St. John's Church, erected in 1791-2 but demolished in the 1920s to make way for the Ferens.


Grotto with statues and numerous figures worshipping an idol (St. Simeon Stylites)

Although living in Amsterdam all his life, Troyen sits outside the mainstream of Dutch 17th century painting. His groupings of figures, handling of paint and eccentric approach set him apart. Precise details of his life are entirely lacking and he seems to have escaped mention in all early literature. His subject here is obscure. It is possible that the figure on the plinth around which the people gather is St. Simeon Stylites who spent his days on a pillar. He sought solitude on pillars of increasing height but his wisdom and the spectacle he created served only to attract ever-increasing numbers of pilgrims seeking advice on spiritual matters.


The Supper at Emmaus

Volmarijn's painting shows the interest in candlelight effects that were popular particularly with artists in Utrecht during the 17th century. This style was developed in Italy by Caravaggio (1573-1610) and was brought back to Holland by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656), a Utrecht painter whose work was a great influence on Vomarijn. The Biblical subject is the Supper at Emmaus, depicting two pilgrims sharing bread with a man the eventually realise to be Jesus (Luke 24:28ff). They are identified by the scallop shell, a traditional symbol of pilgrimage. The scene's revelatory nature is heightened by the exaggerated contrast of light and dark on the figures' faces and by the artist's simple, almost geometric figures with their pious gestures and expression.


An east view of the bridge and New Dock at Kingston upon Hull and A west view of the bridge and New Dock at Kingston upon Hull

These oil paintings of Hull's first enclosed dock, opened in 1778, are thought to be the basis for two aquatinted prints of the dock produced by Robert Thew in 1786. We are not certain just who painted these views. The view of the entrance at the east end of the dock shows the intricate bascule bridge, whose two counterpoised ends rose to give access to the lock pit. On the right is the original Dock Office, demolished and replaced by a larger building in 1820 at the north end of High Street. The west view of the New Dock shows in minute detail a great array of ships including the 'Molly' and 'Manchester' of the Hull Whaling Fleet; the latter was the first vessel to enter the dock and the venue for the grand celebration dinner. No other oil paintings by Thew are known.


The Four Days Battle, 1666 (The Dutch ships with their prizes returning to Goeree after the battle)

This picture forms part of a series of scenes depicting a Dutch naval victory over the English, painted some years after the event. It seems to have been one of the artist's most popular subjects, hence the numerous repetitions from the artist's studio, of which this is one.


The Fishdock Oiler

A fishdock oiler was the little boat which collected cod liver oil from the trawlers for delivery to the 'Seven Seas' factory in Marfleet.


No’s 1,5,7,8 from the series ‘Alina’

No’s 1,5,7,8 from the series ‘Alina’, 2004
Bettina von Zwehl  (b.1971) 

Unlike traditional portraits these photographs reveal little about the individual identity of the sitters.  The women are anonymous and presented in a deliberately neutral setting, posed identically and wearing white vests.
 
As this hints, Von Zwehl’s main interest lies not in physical appearances but in the emotional, or inner state of her subjects.  This has led one critic to refer to her work as ‘psychological portraiture’.
 
Like many contemporary artists she tends to work in series. What is unique is her imposition of sets of controlled conditions on her subjects such as photographing them whilst holding their breath, or woken after a deep sleep.
 
These 4 photographs are part of a series of 12 and were taken whilst the women listened to a piece of music. Written by the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (b.1935), ‘Fur Alina’, was a gift for a young Estonian woman living alone in London. The piece can be heard on the headphones.
 
In this way, these introspective and melancholy portraits demonstrate universality and shared experience.


C-type print mounted onto aluminium
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2005 


Self Portrait as my Uncle Bryan Gregory

Self Portrait as my Uncle Bryan Gregory, 2003
Gillian Wearing  (b.1963)

‘A great deal of my work is about questioning handed-down truths…I’m always trying to find ways of discovering things about people, and in the process discover more about myself’.
 
Is this a conventional portrait of a man?
 
On closer inspection there is something unnerving about this photograph. The slightly waxy complexion of the skin and the synthetic hair are clues but the eyes are the real give-away.  
 
In her recent series, ‘Album’,Wearing duplicates images of family members as they appear in old photograph albums. Here, using a prosthetic mask and men’s clothing, she adopts the identity of her Uncle, Bryan Gregory, in a formal 1950’s pose.
 
By masquerading as members of her family, Wearing explores the impact of the family on an individual, both genetically and psychologically. For many of us, investigating who we are and where we come from is fundamental to our understanding of ourselves, as well as informing our relationships with others.

C-type print mounted on foam board
Purchased through the Contemporary Art Society Special Collection Scheme with Lottery funding from the Arts Council England, 2004


Lion and Globe of Hull

The artist has given special attention to light in this painting to highlight the crests of the waves and sails of the Lion.


In a Bar, 1943

Elwell made his reputation as a portrait painter undertaking many commissions, including some for the Royal Family. However, it is often in his more private portraits - those done for his friends or for his own pleasure - that his great skill in capturing the character of his sitters comes to the fore. 'In a Bar' shows Muriel Fox, Elwell's tenant, posed on her regular seat at the Beverley Arms Hotel. She was then aged 28 and worked as a cook. Shortly before this portrait was painted Muriel had given birth to a daughter, who has since speculated she might have been tucked up in her basket behind the bar. Muriel's nonchalant gesture and confident gaze show her as an independent woman, very characteristic of the war era.


The War Worker, 1919

The War Worker, an appealing, light-filled interior, depicts a woman serving breakfast to her daughter, who sits in a four poster bed, before setting out to work as a 'land girl'. Of particular interest is the inclusion of an electric lamp, which bathes the scene with a warm, yellow glow. The setting is Bar House, the Elwells' home, and it is known that they had purchased their own electricity generator the year before this painting was made. It is likely that Elwell was inspired by the potential this offered to his work, enabling him to contrast the clear, natural winter light entering through the window with the cosy, artificial light of the interior. The model for the young woman in the bed is Phyllis Downham, Mary Elwell's (1874-1952) god-daughter. In the same year, 1919, Phyllis also modelled for 'The New Frock', which is now in the collection of Sheffield City Art Galleries. Prior to its purchase by the Ferens, the painting, which came from a private collection in Scotland, had probably not been seen in public since it was painted in 1919. At the time of the Ferens' 1993 exhibition of Elwell's work the picture was known to exist but its actual whereabouts were unknown. Elwell expert Wendy Loncaster, whose research formed the basis of the exhibition, recognised 'The War Worker' from a description given to her by Phyllis Downham.


The Last Purchase, 1921

'The Last Purchase' (also called 'The New Purchase' and 'The Last Lot)' is significant in Fred Elwell's career as being the moment of synthesis, in a single painting, of all the strongest elements of his portraiture, still life and room interiors. All are handled meticulously in this, probably Elwell's most important single work. At the age of 85, James Elwell, the artist's father, is portrayed amongst his spoils from the latest antique auction, which he has set out for inspection. The painting captures the intensity and joy of the connoisseur as he repairs a vase with the craftsman's dexterity, and even tenderness. The scene is instilled with the artist's empathy for his subject. His respect for his father's skills leads him to give prominence to the tools of conservation; the paste, brushes, paints and magnifier are in the foreground in a composition which echoes Elwell's earliest still lives of fish. Fred's own fascination for curios is reflected in the almost Pre-Raphaelite sharpness of definition and the juxtaposition of complex patterns. The figure of James is astonishingly lifelike, with finely worked hairs and wrinkles on the hand. Wendy Loncaster, an expert on Elwell’s work, has suggested that he may have been influenced by the increased naturalism and attention to detail of an artistic movement called ‘The New Sculpture’. 'The Last Purchase' also reveals the height of perfection to which Elwell would strive. He insisted that even the thinnest of plates cast a shadow of some sort, which the artist must paint. On one occasion Elwell spent three full hours working on a sitter’s thumb. Much of Fred’s work is imbued with its own strong sense of place, and many of his paintings were set in specific and identifiable parts of his native town. When 'The Last Purchase' was painted in 1921 James was living with Fred and Mary at Bar House, their Beverley home. The setting is its book-lined study. Sadly, it was only five years after this painting that James died, at the ripe old age of 90. Poignantly, Elwell then changed one word of its title from ‘New’ to ‘Last’.


Self Portrait, 1911

In the course of a prolific career as a portrait painter, during which he undertook commissions for the Royal Family, Elwell produced many self-portraits that span the whole period of his life. These culminated in his best-known and most complex self-portrait, of 1933, in which he depicts himself at his easel, brush poised and ready to paint (part of the collection now at Beverley Art Gallery). With the exception of a watercolour study painted when a student, this is Elwell’s earliest known self-portrait. Its existence was not known of at the time of the Ferens’ 1993 exhibition of his work. By the time he painted this portrait in 1911, Elwell was becoming a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. His growing success in this period is reflected in his confident and relaxed expression. His somewhat dapper appearance made him a well-known figure around the market town of Beverley. Strong contrast of light and dark in the portrait reflect Elwell’s early studies of 17th century Dutch portraiture in Antwerp.


The Last Beverley Pipe-maker, c.1903-10

The Beverley pipe-maker was John Goforth Junior, who traded in the town until 1910 in a small workshop in George & Dragon Passage (since re-named Monk’s Walk.) The sense of nostalgia for ‘the last’ of a kind also recurred in Elwell’s later work. Elwell shows Goforth forming the stem of a clay pipe. The twelve pipes he has already moulded rest upon the ‘dozening board’ in the foreground. Tobacco pipes were traditionally sold in dozens. Their placing in the foreground of the composition suggests the depth of space in the scene, and draws attention to the figure of the pipe-maker working at his bench.


Interior Study, c.1937

Interior Study, c.1937 Mary was born Mary Dawson Bishop in 1874. She was the daughter of a shipping merchant in Liverpool. Mary married a Hull oil broker, George Holmes, and together they lived at Bar House in Beverley. Following Holmes’ death in 1913 Mary married Fred Elwell (1870-1958) and the couple remained at Bar House until their deaths. Like Fred, Mary was a very talented artist. She exhibited no less than 58 paintings at the prestigious Royal Academy exhibitions in London. Amongst her best paintings were her sparkling and colourful interiors, often set in the homes of friends living near the North Bar Gate in Beverley, and at Bar House itself. The sitter and the room featured in this interior are uncertain, but could be Fred’s Father, James, in the study of Bar House.


Plate Made by Belle Vue Pottery, Hull, c.1826-1841

This plate is pottery but has been cleverly designed to look like it’s made from real vine leaves. You can feel as well as see the design because the plate has a raised texture. This makes the leaves’ edges and veins stand out. The plate is covered with bright green glaze to bring the pattern to life. You can see the glaze has gathered in dark pools around the edges of the leaves, making them stand out even more. This plate is in perfect condition but is over 160 years old. It was made at the Belle Vue Pottery, which existed on the Humber bank from 1826-1841. The pottery site was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. The Belle Vue Pottery was set up by merchant William Bell. He bought the site for £1700. Bell decided to name his pottery after a street recently built nearby called Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell began making ceramics on a large scale from 1826. He extended the factory that already existed on the site and employed as many as thirty apprentices. Most Belle Vue pots, including this one, were made from good quality white earthenware. The majority were not given a maker’s mark to identify where they were made. This plate is unusual because it has a stamped mark. The mark includes a picture of two bells, which William Bell probably used as a reference to his own name. Most of the pots made at Belle Vue were decorated with printed patterns. Others had hand painted floral designs or were decorated with different coloured liquid clays called ‘slip’. Pieces covered with brightly coloured glaze like this one are quite rare in comparison. These pieces were often moulded to create textured patterns, rather than being turned on a wheel. Rather than being painted or printed on afterwards, the decoration is part of the structure of this plate.


Tea Set Made by Belle Vue Pottery, Hull c.1826-1841

The unusual design of this tea set holds clues to its Hull roots. The teapot and milk jug have very high necks, which are highest at the front. This style is normally very rare but is common in ceramics made at Hull’s Belle Vue Pottery. The saucer holds another clue. Unlike most other pottery, it has no cup ring to hold the teacup in place. Belle Vue made many saucers like this. The Belle Vue Pottery was run by a merchant called William Bell. It manufactured ceramics on the Humber bank from 1826-1841. The pottery site was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. Despite its location near the centre of Hull, most Belle Vue products were destined for foreign markets. Because of its location on the Humber bank the pottery had its own wharf. Ships tied up there to unload raw materials and to take aboard finished products for export. William Bell operated a warehousing business in Hamburg with his brother Edward so most of his products were exported there. Other destinations included Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Quebec, Nova Scotia and Spain. Most Belle Vue pots, including this one, were made from good quality white earthenware. The majority were decorated with printed patterns. These were quick and cheap to produce as the same engraved copper plate could be used to print hundreds of pots. It would have been more expensive and time consuming to produce a hand painted tea set like this one. The bold floral design decorating this tea set was painted directly onto the pot before it was glazed. This was the most common technique for applying painted decoration at Belle Vue. There are a few surviving pots with decoration painted on top of the glaze.


Meat Platter Made by Belle Vue Pottery, Hull c.1826-1841

This platter’s willow pattern decoration is still a familiar style today. The decoration shows an imaginary Chinese scene. Willow pattern is a European interpretation of Chinese style. The printed maker’s mark underneath the platter tells us that it was made at the Belle Vue Pottery in Hull. Thousands of pots were made at Belle Vue, but fewer than one in a hundred received a maker’s mark. This makes it very hard to identify Belle Vue pottery today. The platter’s willow pattern decoration looks very intricate but it would have been easy to produce. This is because the plate has been transfer printed. The transfer printing process uses the same engraved copper plate to print thousands of pots. Transfer printing is much quicker and cheaper than painting pots by hand. This is why the majority of pots made at Hull’s Belle Vue Pottery were transfer printed. The Belle Vue Pottery existed on the Humber bank from 1826-1841. The pottery was near to where Kingston Retail Park is today. Merchant William Bell set up Belle Vue. He bought the site for £1700. Bell decided to name his pottery after a street recently built nearby called Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell’s father was one of the men in charge of building Belle Vue Terrace. William Bell must have chosen the name for his pottery because of its family connections. The pottery’s location next to the River Humber was essential for its success. It had its own wharf where ships tied up to unload clay for making the pots. Other ships brought coal to power the kilns. The wharf was the only place for ships to collect finished pots for export, mainly to Germany. Disaster struck at Belle Vue in 1840. The Hull and Selby Railway Company opened a railway line along the Humber Bank. The railway cut off the pottery’s access to the river, and it became difficult to export pots. The pottery closed in 1841.


The Negress Lying Down

Rembrandt and Frans Hals were contemporaries and are recognised as the supreme portraitists of the Dutch Golden Age. Rembrandt was in addition one of the greatest of all printmakers and made over 300 etchings exploring the full expressive range of the print from self-portrait etchings to large-scale prints. During his lifetime his etchings were acclaimed throughout Europe as an individual contribution to art and were more widely collected and admired than his paintings. His reputation was more easily spread by prints than by paintings and in 17th century England it was the former that were widely known. This print was given its title by the first cataloguer of his work in the 18th century. Rather than portraying a black model it was a life study made in semi-darkness as an exercise in exploring the effects of light and shade, seen in the dark, rich tones that envelop the figure. The same pose of a female nude seen from behind, lying on her bed had been explored a decade earlier by Velazquez in his painting The Toilet of Venus (1647-51). Whilst the similarities are striking, Rembrandt can never have seen the Spanish master’s work but it’s likely that both artists were familiar with a common source. Etching, drypoint and burin on paper. Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Ferens Art Gallery, 2007.


Needlework Panel

This needlework panel was bought by Hull Museums from Mrs K.T. Rooms, a Hull resident, in 1968. Mrs Rooms had owned the panel for some time, and its previous history is unknown. The panel may either have been made as a complete picture, or may be a panel from the top of a box. The fabric is white satin embroidered with silks, and adhering to the back of it is the paste with which it was stuck onto a hard surface in the past. The satin has a green selvedge, which is often found on fabric from the 1600s used for small pieces of embroidery such as bags, cushions and covered boxes. It isn't easy to date this piece accurately, but the motifs used and the style of the girl's dress suggest it may be c.1640-1650. Many pieces of needlework similar to this one were made using 'stump work', where figures and objects were made separately and padded to give a 3D effect. The vogue for stump work began around 1630 and continued until about 1680. However, not all embroideries of this kind used stump work, and sometimes a flat surface was preferred. This piece has some of the motifs of a typical stump work picture, but is actually worked mainly in satin stitch, as many box panels were. Embroideries of this kind were usually the work of young girls from wealthy families, who could afford to have their daughters educated by resident tutors and special needlework instructresses. Girls used the stitches first practised on a sampler to make small but ambitious works like this one. Having learned to sew different stitches and motifs by making samplers, they were anxious to show off their skill by filling every available space of their designs with the popular motifs of the day. Figures of royalty, palaces, hunting scenes, Biblical characters, animals, plants and insects crowd together in their work with complete disregard for scale or unity. The inventiveness, fine workmanship and very human qualities shown by the design (or lack of it) in these pieces is what makes them appealing. The child who made this piece obviously had considerable skill and patience. The motifs used in these embroideries were often inspired by the popular herbals of the time, or taken from books such as Richard Shorleyker's 'The Schole House of the Needle' (second edition 1632). Sometimes satin could be bought with pre-drawn patterns that could be worked separately, cut out and applied. The final arrangement of the embroidery was therefore dictated by individual taste. The daughters of well-to-do households enjoyed their task of snipping, arranging and stitching the bright and sometimes precious materials at their disposal. This needlework panel is of the plainer sort, with only one padded motif and no metal threads or pearls. Each motif has been drawn onto the silk with pencil and covered with a fine black outline in silk thread. Some of the thread has perished over time to reveal the black lead marks underneath. The circular centre of the panel shows a girl standing in a garden containing an apple tree and several plants including a tulip, a pansy and a large strawberry. A variety of birds and insects hover and perch in the background. A border of scrolls encloses the circle. The outer corners and edges of the design are filled with a hunting scene showing a talbot chasing a stag, and individual plants, interspersed with insects and birds, including caterpillars, an owl and a butterfly. The small figure in the centre of the panel is not likely to be a self portrait, but has been sewn with great care. The bodies of several of the insects have been enriched with shreds of peacock feather, and a tiny bead makes a caterpillar's eye. The identifiable plants in the border are an oak tree, borage (which was used in cool drinks), daffodil, rose, vine, marigold and hazel. These are all useful plants that were prized in the 1600s for their medicinal properties, and illustrated in contemporary herbals. It is likely that the wood block illustrations in herbals inspired the designs that were translated into embroidery. Some of the motifs used in this panel have a long tradition in English embroidery. The stag pursued in the forest, represented by an oak tree, is frequently found in hangings made in the 1500s. In this piece the spotted dog, a Talbot, seems more interested in chasing a newt at the water's edge than in chasing the stag, which is bounding off the the left. The large rose, which is in tent stitch, has been worked separately and applied. It may well have been bought as a professionally drawn pattern rather than copied freehand. It is possible, though not certain, that some of the flowers and insects are Stuart emblems. Many different stitches have been used to make this panel. Satin stitch in carefully shaded colours gives a flat effect for the circular border, most of the plants, the sky, the more distant grass, the animals and the girl's dress. Split stitch, which is even smoother, has been used for her face and hands. Contrasting with the shiny finish of these two surfaces are patches of Surrey and twisted Surrey stitch. Surrey stitch has a cut pile like velvet, and twisted Surrey stitch is composed of close twisted loops. These stitches have been used for the grass in the foreground. The tent stitch of the large rose is echoed in the needle-made wings of two butterflies, a padded ladybird and the applied needle-made flower immediately behind the girl. French knots give an appropriate texture to the acorn cups and the stamens of the rose. The colours used in the panel are naturalistic and well-distributed over its surface. Many shades of green predominate. The brilliant pinks and reds of the circular border, the girl's dress, the apples and the butterflies have faded, but the blues, browns, yellows and greens have kept their brilliance.


Marcus Tullius Cicero

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106.BC-43.BC) was an orator and statesman of Rome, and is generally considered the greatest Latin prose stylist. Cicero was surprised when Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC. However, Cicero and Mark Anthony, (Caesar’s subordinate), became the two leading men in Rome. Caesar’s heir, Octavian, later arrived in Rome and Cicero planned to play him against Anthony. Cicero’s plan failed and Mark Anthony and Octavian later joined Lepidus to form the Triumvirate for the Constitution of the Republic. Cicero had fallen foul of them and was numbered amongst the many enemies of the state who would suffer persecution. Cicero was beheaded by pursuers in 43BC and his head and hands were displayed in the Forum Romanum. Mark Anthony’s wife, Fulvia, is said to have taken Cicero’s head, pulled out the tongue and jabbed it with her hair-pin, taking final revenge against Cicero’s gifts of speech.


Sampler

Shirley Chubb: ' 'Sampler' was made after my visit to Wilberforce House in 1996. The museum focuses on the history of African slavery, one of the strands of African history addressed in the exhibition 'Hold'. Throughout the collection objects are itemised with factual restraint within a genteel setting, an acutely English response to an inhuman trade. Many items were of interest to me, but I was most attracted to the abolitionist memorabilia. I found the sampler particularly affecting. It is naive yet deeply melancholy. 'Sampler' is a direct copy of the original object, but with important changes. When I photographed the original my reflection was also captured in the glass vitrine. The layering of my own silhouette over the sampler is now woven into the new work, conveying the sense of distance yet involvement that I felt when confronting the object. The original inscription has been replaced by two dates. The date abolition came into effect and the date I visited the museum 162 years later. The decorative border has been replaced by repeated strokes depicting human involvement, an element which appears throughout my work, and in this case also referential to the "cargo" plans of numerous slave ships. The new 'Sampler' is mounted to mimic the function of the original, which according to museum records was used as a seat cover. The padded work comments on the irony of the original - describing events which literally and metaphorically supported the 'viewer' without having to be seen.


Bronze Bust of Amy Johnson by Siegfried Joseph Charoux (c.1944)

This is a bronze bust of Amy Johnson. Amy was a famous pilot who was born in Hull. She was famous for flying alone from England to Australia. Amy was the first woman ever to do this and broke many world records. When Amy left England on her round the world flight not many people had heard of her. She flew 10,000 miles through sandstorms, monsoons and extreme temperatures. When she arrived in Australia she had become world famous. Amy Johnson was born in 1903 at 154 St.George’s Road in Hull. She studied at Sheffield University and later became an air pioneer. She is most famous for her lone flight from Croydon, England to Port Darwin, Australia (5th May – 24th May 1930). She was only 26 years old when she did this. The Australia flight was done in her Gypsy Moth aeroplane called The Jason. As part of this journey, Johnson took the record time for England to India and then flying to Australia. She was the first woman to accomplish both feats. Amy served with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) in the Second World War. She went missing while flying a mission over the Thames Estuary in 1941. This bust was commissioned by the Women’s Engineering Society to commemorate Amy Johnson. It was presented to the Ferens Art Gallery in 1945. Siegfried Joseph Charoux was the sculptor of this bust. He was born in Austria and worked in Vienna as a political cartoonist. In 1935 Charoux had to leave for England as a political refugee from the Nazis.


'Woman and Child in Ladderback Chair' by Henry Moore (1952)

In his lifetime Henry Moore was one of the greatest sculptors in the world. He was born in Castleford in Yorkshire and his dad was a coal miner. Henry did lots of sculptures of mothers and children. It was a theme he liked to try and capture. With this sculpture he worked with wax first. This helped him to develop tricky bits like the back of the chair. Once finished in wax it would all be cast in bronze. Henry Moore is recognised as being one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century. He was born in 1898 in Castleford. Henry Moore served in British Army during World War I and later trained at Leeds School of Art. He then won a scholarship at the Royal College of Art. He died in 1986. Henry Moore began by carving his sculptures and only later worked in bronze. Mother and child relationships are one of Moore’s favourite themes. He explored how we can be together and alone at the same time. The reclining figure was another favourite theme. This sculpture was given to the Ferens Art Gallery by the Contemporary Art Society in 1956. In an interview in 1960 Henry Moore discussed how the lost wax process helped his work: “Working direct in wax has many possibilities, since wax has a toughness about it that will allow you to do very thin forms – for example take that rocking chair sculpture of mine in which the back of the chair is in struts like a ladder. You could not make that construction in clay, nor in plaster without awful trouble, whereas that was modelled directly in wax, easily and straightforwardly. Then all one had to do was to cover that with plaster and ground up pottery and melt the wax out and cast in bronze.”


Nigerian Bronze Plaque (c.1550-1650)

The people of Benin city in Nigeria were very skilled in making items in bronze. Traditionally only men were allowed to work with metal. A lot of the bronze they used came from Europeans as part of trade. In return the Nigerians provided goods like ivory, pepper and slaves. Expert craftsmen lived inside the palace of the Oba or king. Outside the palace people lived in villages. Some villages also specialized in crafts and made items for their own communities. There are hundreds of bronze Benin plaques like this in museums around Europe and America. The British Museum has a large collection that were acquired during the British Punitive Expedition in 1897. Some people say that these were looted. There are no records existing of how these plaques were originally arranged. It is thought they were made in pairs and fixed to pillars in the king’s palace. The figures on this plaque are both wearing typical Benin court dress. The figure on the right is playing a double gong. This instrument was struck to signify the pleasure of the Oba (king). Benin had been in contact with Europeans since the Portuguese contacted them in the 1400s and became trade partners. Later interest and demand for bronze items led to some being made for Western markets. Guilds of specialists lived within the Oba’s palace. This included craftspeople, astrologers and drummers. In the palace and the villages craft specialists were usually men. There were strict religious rules that meant only men could handle metal. However, women could work with textiles and pottery. This particular plaque was retrieved from the bomb wreckage of Hull’s old Albion Street Museum. This museum and its records were destroyed by enemy bombs during the Second World War.


Plymouth

Newcastle-born Hemy is regarded as one of the greatest painters of maritime subjects of the Victorian and Edwardian eras. His friend the painter Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) wrote of his unique skills as a draughtsman of wave forms and of his having a rare ability to interpret the sea. Hemy's subjects included the picturesque charm and monstrous power of the sea, and the fishermen of the south west coast who struggled to make a living from it. As a child Hemy made several adventurous voyages with his family. In 1856 he ran away to sea as an apprentice on a collier brig but eventually gave up the sailor's life to pursue his true vocation as a painter. Settling in Falmouth in the 1880s he converted an old pilchard boat to a floating studio which he stabilised with three tons of granite ballast. He later converted a yacht into a studio, enabling him to spend days at sea studying shipping. He settled in Falmouth in 1881 and his paintings after that date, including Plymouth, record the south west coast with accuracy and affection.


Portrait of Mrs Dawson of Retford

Ever since these two pictures were bought by the Ferens in 1959 from a descendant of the original sitters they have presented an enigma. Their quality as mid-18th century portraits has never been questioned and they hang easily in the company of the masterpiece by Arthur Devis (1711-1787) which comes from the same period. Mrs Dawson is altogether more free in touch, especially in the landscape background. As the pictures have always been hung together as a pair it has always been assumed they are by the same artist from the same time, even though there is a difference in their size. It has been suggested that these two pictures are possibly by George Stubbs through comparison with the few other early works currently identifiable. The closest resemblance for the Mrs Dawson is the Portrait of young Sir John Nelthorpe at Scawby Hall, Lincolnshire. The treatment of the hands in both pictures is particularly distinctive and the backgrounds in the three pictures are treated in a very similar manner.


Portrait of Mr Dawson of Retford with his servant

In the current state of research these two pictures are attributed to Stubbs with reservation. The facts are easily ascertainable. If the inscription on the Mr Dawson is authentic, and examination with the naked eye suggests that it is, then the implication is that the picture was painted in or after 1749. Stubbs is then recorded as a portraitist in Leeds, York, Hull and Lincolnshire. However from this period, which spans fifteen years, we are left with the two Nelthorpe portraits at Scawby Hall, the Portrait of Mr Stanley in the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool and the newly attributed Portrait of George Fothergill at the Ferens. There are therefore no securely identified equestrian portraits by Stubbs from the 1740s/50s, nor are there any female portraits at all. The identification of the sitters as the Dawsons of Retford is by tradition.


The Village Genius

James Smetham's work is often small in scale, in his youth he made a living as a travelling painter, making portraits and recording scenes of everyday life. He is also known for his writings, such as his 'Knowledge Books' which reveal an almost obsessive desire to record the world he saw about him. The snatched glimpse of a country scene in The Village Genius is typical of Smetham's perception of life; like the boy in the picture, he seizes the opportunity to sketch figures. The graffiti are not quite so 'innocent' as they might first appear. The crow on the wall bears an uncanny resemblance to the approaching figure of authority, perhaps a schoolmaster? The mouse hole and the strange use of shadows contribute an enigmatic element to this lively sketch.


St. Sebastian tended by the Holy Irene

Renieri moved to Venice in 1626, where he was in great demand as a painter of religious scenes. It is here that the Ferens' St. Sebastian was probably painted. The style of the painting follows that of Caravaggio (1573-1610), the famous and influential Italian artist, with its realistic portrayal of physical suffering and the strong light-dark contrast, enhancing its dramatic appeal. St. Sebastian was an officer of the Roman Imperial Guard, punished for his belief in Christianity. He was nursed back to health by St. Irene (removing the arrow) but was later clubbed to death, his body thrown into Rome's main sewer. The models for the female saints are two of Renieri's daughters who were well-known for their beauty. They wear the lavish, billowing costume of their day.


A Zeeland States yacht Firing a Salute off the Oude Hoofdpoort, Rotterdam

A picturesque scene of a bustling port, it illustrates well how Dutch life was inextricably linked with the sea for both trade and defence. The painting is filled with every class of marine vessel, ornamented with flags; the stems and sterns of several are enriched with carving. The port is peopled with lively figures which are particularly well drawn. The colouring is rich without being gaudy. Jacobus Storck was probably the elder brother of another marine painter of similar scenes, Abraham Storck (c.1635-1710). While little else is known of Jacobus' life, Abraham is known to have become one of the leading marine painters in Holland after the departure to England of the van de Veldes in 1673.


Wooded landscape with cornfields

The landscape of Holland was a constant source of inspiration for the 17th century Dutch artist. Ruisdael is considered to be the greatest of them all. His style was tremendously influential on English landscape painters of the early 19th century. This painting is one of the artist's earlier landscapes and is lighter in mood than his darker, more sombre, late paintings. Typical of Ruisdael and his contemporaries, the people here are of secondary significance. Dominating the landscape are the trees, each invested with their own character. It is said that Ruisdael never painted a sunny day. This picture is as close as he ever came to showing bright sunlight.


View of Leuvehaven, Rotterdam

Salm is usually considered to be one of the last artists to practice the unusual and highly skilled technique of drawing with a reed pen on a specially prepared white ground. Almost all the surviving examples in this medium are seascapes and although ships are just visible in this picture it is essentially a townscape. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the later townscapes by Hull artists and it is likely that they were inspired by such work. The canal itself is lined both with houses and warehouses, as was to be mirrored in 18th century Hull.


Beach Scene with Figures

Robert Le Prince was a painter of historic subjects, portraits and scenes from everyday life. He was also a landscape painter and made his reputation in this field, showing his works at the prestigious Paris Salon between 1822 and 1844. He received a medal in 1824. This modest and freshly painted landscape has more importance than it effortless naturalism would suggest. French painting, especially landscape, was to acquire a new liberation after the Salon of 1824. Here Constable's (1776-1827) approach to nature opened the eyes of many Frenchmen and this picture's appearance at the same Salon shows how far French artists had developed in the pursuit of naturalism. The incidental figures in this picture, enjoying the sea air, are rustic and not townspeople.


Landscape, peasants and houses

A very small number of pictures are currently attributed to Pieter Stevens the Younger and they conform to the Netherlandish tradition in the wake of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569). Stevens was highly esteemed in his lifetime as he worked for the Court of Rudolf II at Prague. These two fragments can be placed precisely at the lower right-hand and lower left of a much larger composition, Landscape: February. It is not known when these two pieces were cut from the larger composition and the rest discarded but they preserve the human interest of the composition rather than the landscape elements. The light exaggerations of these figures follow in the tradition of Peter Bruegel the Elder and reflect the taste of the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague who favoured artists with eccentricities. In Northern art, right from the beginning, there was an interest in realism and the details of everyday life. This is particularly evident in the scene of the peasants moving their household belongings, including a plump bolster, on a heavily-laden cart.


Portrait of a Lady of Elizabeth's Court

Segar was a portrait painter in an age when life-sized portraiture was less in demand than the miniature. Portraits were rarely signed and often produced by a workshop, making it difficult to differentiate between artists or to isolate the work of one particular painter. Highly decorative and two-dimensional, Portrait of a Lady of Elizabeth's Court is less of a likeness than a statement of the lady's immense wealth and social position with her extravagance of jewellery, sumptuous embroidered gown with 'blackwork' embroidery and elaborate ruff. Her identity is as yet uncertain. In her right hand she holds a 'flea fur', probably of marten fur. These were extravagant and costly accessories, valued for their decorative qualities, rather than for their success in apprehending fleas! Our portrait is one of very few depictions of such furs. So far the sitter has resisted identification, in the 19th century she was called Queen Elizabeth I and more recently The Countess of Worchester. She was definitely a woman of some importance with ostentation in dress.


What You Will

Unusual beginnings as the proprietor of a successful London drapery shop earned Smith the nickname 'Old Drapery Face'. He devoted his spare time to miniature and portrait painting and before long took up engraving - it is as a printmaker that his reputation is greatest. Our picture is one of a set of four, of which Smith produced printed versions in 1791. They were called A Maid; A Wife, A Widow and What You will. In this picture, not strictly a portrait, the artist has used a model to illustrate the fashionable, flirtatious type of woman he wanted to portray. Smith's subject matter here reflects a change in society's attitudes towards the women in the 18th century whose roles were considered less socially acceptable. While the morals of those who were actresses or well-known mistresses were still publicly frowned upon the outrage declared was often pretence, expressed to define the upright morals of the rest of society. In reality, such women were often fêted, many becoming subjects for the most fashionable portrait painters of their day.


Lady Holland

Richardson was an English portrait painter, writer and collector. Although regarded as one of the leading portraitists of his generation, he is today better remembered for his writings on art than for his paintings. The identity of the sitter in this portrait has never been formally confirmed. Research from the National Portrait Gallery proposes that she is Rebecca, the second and youngest daughter and co-heir of William Paston, last Earl of Yarmouth. She married John Holland in 1699. He succeeded his grandfather as 2nd Baronet in 1701. An alternative source, however, suggests that Lady Holland is the daughter or niece of C. Cornell of Castleton, Eire, who served as M.P. for Westminster in the late 18th century.


Portrait of John Kirby Picard Junior

John Kirby Picard (1766-1843), the sitter's father, was a Deputy Recorder of Hull and a prosperous lead importer who issued lead trading tokens in Hull. J.K. Picard Junior (1797-1836) joined the Horse Guards and fought at Waterloo, resigning his commission in 1822. He later became a partner in his father's business. The painting was probably done just before he left home to join the army. The stone monument upon which he sits is presumably imaginary - as the son of a civic dignitary rather than a country squire, there was no extensive estate in which he could be represented. James Ramsay achieved considerable success as a portrait painter. He also exhibited history and genre scenes. He lived and worked for much of the time in London, but frequently returned to the north, eventually settling in Newcastle upon Tyne. There, he painted the famous wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), who recorded in his memoirs that Ramsay, 'gives the character as well as the likeness so correctly that they look like the person alive - they ought indeed not to be called likeness but Fac similes.'


Idealised portrait of Linnaeus

The artist was appointed animal painter to King George III and later to the Prince Regent. This portrait of the botanist Linnaeus was probably painted in Leeds on the occasion of the opening of the Hull Botanic Gardens to a commission from the Hull Botanic Gardens Committee. The artist would have had little or no direct evidence of what Linnaeus looked like. Linnaeus (1707-1778) founded the modern system of botanical classification. His long career was spent at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. The flower shown in the portrait is Linnaeus Borealis and the Order is that of the Polar Star.


Holy Family

Giulio Procaccini began his career as a sculptor working on the dome of Milan Cathedral. He soon abandoned sculpture in favour of painting, following in the footsteps of his father and teacher, Ercole Procaccini the Elder. Giulio was at one time also a pupil of Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), the most gifted member of the famous Italian Carracci family of painters. Procaccini's early work is characterised by a graceful elegance most notable in the numerous paintings he produced depicting the Holy Family. This piece, possibly by a close follower of the artist, may well eventually prove to be a lost original by him. This painting presents a more natural depiction of the Holy Family. The Virgin Mary is typically shown holding the Christ Child, with a much older Joseph in the background. The female in the top left corner is possibly St. Anna, Mary's mother, who appears frequently in depictions of the Holy Family.


Holy Family with St. Simeon and St. John the Baptist

Santa Croce came from a Bergamese family of painters whose work was influenced by Venetian painting, and especially Giovanni Bellini (c.1430/40-1516). He is also believed to have been a follower of Francesco di Simone (d.1508). Almost all Santa Croce's known works consist of Virgins and saints set against landscape backgrounds. The Ferens' picture is the only work by the artist in a UK public collection. This is an adaptation of a painting by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), held at Castle Ashby. Its depiction of the Holy Family is a subject that Rizzo painted numerous times. The Holy Family are depicted on the left with St. Simeon holding St. John The Baptist as an infant on the right. In the New Testament God promised an old Holy Man called Simeon that he would see the Messiah with his own eyes before he died. Led to the temple by the Holy Spirit, Simeon found Mary and Joseph presenting the baby Jesus, as was required by the law. Simeon then held Jesus in his arms and gave thanks to the Lord.


Holy Family with two female figures

The artist spent much of his career in Rome, where he made many adaptations of the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, and where this picture was probably painted. He combined a heightened use of colour with a meticulous technique. The treatment of the subject here is unusual since the Holy Family is rarely depicted with female companions. It is possible that one of the figures in the background is St. Anna, who frequently appears in paintings of the Holy Family. The Virgin and the infant are posed in the traditional manner of 'the Pieta', foreshadowing the lamentation of the dead Christ after the descent from the cross. In this painting, the child is unusual in covering his face with his hands. However, the fact that his genitals are clearly displayed is unsurprising, since this is commonly interpreted as an allusion to his earthly descent into manhood and to the circumcision. In Counter-Reformation Catholicism, paintings of the Holy Family were sometimes thought to be the earthly or terrestrial counterpart of the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost).


Portrait of George Birkbeck

George Birkbeck was the founder of London University. He also played an important part in establishing the Mechanics Institutes during the 19th century. These aimed to bring further education to the working classes. The first one was the London Mechanics Institute founded in 1824 with Birkbeck as its president. This Institute is now known as Birkbeck College, part of the University of London. George Birkbeck was funded to teach in Hull in 1805 by the Hull Subscription Library. This portrait was painted during his stay in Hull.


The paddle-steamers 'Monarch' and 'Packet'

Griffin was apprenticed to Thomas Meggitt, a house painter in Hull with a side-line in pictures. The 'Monarch' was built by Pearson's of Thorne, Yorkshire, in 1830 for William Batchelor Brownlow and William Hunt Pearson of the Hull Steam Packet Company. The 'Packet' was built c. 1830 and acquired by Joseph Gee in 1835.


The Ass

A highly innovative artist, Duncan Grant was partly responsible, along with others of the Bloomsbury Group, for introducing the radical ideas of French Post Impressionism into a firmly traditional Britain. The ‘Bloomsberries’ as they were nicknamed, centred around Roger Fry (1866-1934), Clive (1881-1964) and Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) and her sister Virginia Woolf (1882-1941). It was Roger Fry who had arranged the highly influential Post Impressionist exhibitions in London of 1910 and 1912, which included work by both Picasso (1881-1973) and Matisse (1869-1954), who Grant particularly admired. The Ass, the second of two versions of the same subject, shows Grant using Picasso’s style of a violent flattening of space.


Les funerailles d'Atala'

Girodet was one of the star pupils of David (1748-1825). Girodet’s success in his lifetime was followed by a spectacular fall from grace. This painting is taken from one of Girodet’s most successful compositions that inspired a host of copies by numerous artists. The subject of Atatla is taken from the novel of the same name by Chateaubriand, published in 1801. The moment chosen is the burial of Atala in the grotto, where a hermit winds linen round the body. The characters are the heartbroken Chactas, the noble savage, the corpse of Atala and the Père Aubry. This copy has every appearance of dating from the period of the original, 1808.


Portrait of a lady

Gheeraerdts is often said to be the last of the great Elizabethan portraitists and the first of a new wave of Flemish immigrant artists. He was perhaps the most successful and prolific of painters to the Elizabethan and Jacobean courts. His style was unmistakable and particularly suited to Queen Elizabeth I in her last years when she preferred to be depicted in stylised elaboration without any of the realism then prevailing in the Netherlands. Her demand that shadows be eliminated from the face set a fashion that continued into the Jacobean period. Although an inscription on this portrait identifies the sitter as Isabella Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain and Governess of the Low Countries, this is thought to have been added at a later date. Her true identity remains unknown.


The East Indiaman 'General Coote' in three positions off the Downs

This painting of the ship in three positions is a complete ship portrait in which there was a necessity to paint from more than two angles to make a full record of the proportions and design of the vessel. This undoubtedly reflects the owner’s pride in ownership. Unfortunately it is not known who owned the ship but the date on the painting of 1782 suggests that it was painted soon after it was built.


Interior of an artist's studio

Surprisingly few paintings of the interior of artists’ studios survive from before the 19th century. Not many artists seem to have been interested in painting their own surroundings. Jeaurat was very skilful in his handling of an astonishing variety of elements. We see most prominently the step-ladder required for the painting of large pictures, in this instance a vast Assumption of the Virgin which would have been intended as an altarpiece. In the foreground are three collectors looking through a portfolio. No genre paintings are visible even though Jeaurat is still appreciated for this subject. It may be that this studio belongs to a fellow artist rather than Jeaurat himself.


The Apotheosis of Nelson

For a picture of such a modest size the composition is extremely complicated. The differing elements were described at the time, bringing the Nelson subject into the mainstream off European painting. Nelson’s victory over the French and death at the Battle of Trafalgar were regarded as momentous events, especially as most of western Europe was under Napoleonic control. Following the French Revolution’s abolition of the Christian religion, this liberated Swiss artist could therefore translate the hero Nelson into a subject from Classical antiquity rather than depicting him being received into a Christian Heaven. Artists had always had great difficulty in depicting the arrival of ordinary mortals into Heaven as it was very difficult to personify God giving favour, other than to saints.


An Unknown Lady

Ever since its acquisition by the Ferens in 1968 this painting has been regarded as one of the most beautiful and enigmatic in the collection. It is now re-attributed, on stylistic grounds, to the French painter, Ingres, one of the most important artists working in this highly finished style. The painting has been cut along the bottom and reduced from its original size and it is possible that this has contributed to years of debate surrounding its attribution. Comparison with other female portraits certainly by Ingres shows that the treatment of the features, particularly in such areas as the lips and the glossy hair, appear very close to the Ferens’ portrait. The painting is intriguing in portraying a languorous yet sensuous young woman who may be suffering from goitre as her neck appears swollen and her blouse has been unfastened at the collar. The date can be established from the skilfully depicted costume with its frilled, layered collar and the long sleeves with their successive gatherings.


A Bishop Saint

This small panel belongs to a much larger complex of which only a small part has been identified. It was never meant to be appreciated in its own right but ‘read’ as part of a sequence of small panels which were positioned under a large altarpiece. As the figure of the still unidentified bishop is facing towards the left the convention would be that he would be placed on the right looking inwards towards the central panel of The Nativity. The painting is in egg tempera, the most common technique in 15th century Italy, consisting of a gesso ground of prepared plaster on a wooden panel onto which the paint, made from powder colour bound with egg-yolk, was applied.


The steam-packets ‘Lion’ and ‘Calder’ of Selby off Goole

Griffin was apprenticed to Thomas Meggitt, a house painter in Hull with a side-line in pictures. This is one of many works Griffin painted for T. Meggitt & Co. It depicts the ‘Lion’, built in Hull in 1834 and sold abroad the following year. Griffin’s pictures are largely derivative, showing passages identically cribbed from his fellow apprentices and other artists associated with the Hull School of marine painting.


Windermere from Troutbeck

At the age of twelve Ibbetson was apprenticed to Thomas Fletcher, the Hull ship painter, with whom he would have learnt about pigments and varnishes. He later moved to London, and from there made numerous journeys, including to the Far East. On his return to England he travelled extensively, especially around Wales, Scotland and the Lake District. He specialised in painting landscapes in the Dutch 17th century manner, but with his own distinctive style. The Lake District was the source of inspiration for many artists, writers and poets in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The intense emotional responses created by the wild scenery, dramatic light and changing weather were an important part of the movement known as Romanticism. This painting was one of a pair commissioned by Ibbetson’s patron William Danby. Comparison with a study sketch reveals that whilst he has painted the lake and islands accurately he has rearranged the foreground elements to create a more attractive composition. Ibbetson’s letters to Danby indicate that the artist felt this painting to be amongst his best.


Cottages at Clappersgate near Ambleside

Part of Ibbetson’s career was spent in London, copying or forging Dutch landscapes and the works of English painters like Richard Wilson (1714-82). After 1800, however, his personal inspiration was the sweeping landscape of his native Yorkshire, to which he returned. His travels around England, especially to Wales and the Lake District, were to shape the rest of his work. Willy Hill, Clappersgate, was his home 1800-02. The visual possibilities of tumbledown barns and farmyards - their shape, colour, crumbling walls and creeping vegetation - excited artists. This particular composition explains Ibbetson’s popularity as ‘the Berchem of England’. The debt to the Dutch 17th century is seen especially in the way the figures and animals are arranged.


Portrait of Rebecca Feltham

Part of Harlow’s artistic training was spent copying works in the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). Although the two ‘fell out’ after two years, the influence of his style on Harlow’s work was lasting. Harlow made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1804 with a Portrait of Dr. Thornton and thereafter concentrated on portraiture. He also attempted, but failed, at history painting, due to his lack of a proper art education. In 1818, to improve his skills, he travelled to Italy to study the old masters. There he became well known and respected for his artistic talents. He died from a throat infection in 1819. We know very little about the sitter, other than the following information recorded in ink on the back of the painting: Rebecca Feltham, Born March 1st 1785 Departed this life – May 7th 1858 Married in Gorleston April 18 1810 This Portrait taken in Yarmouth 1811


Romantic Landscape

Johnson was first recorded as a draughtsman in Bristol in 1819. By 1823 he was working with Samuel Jackson (1794-1869) and Francis Danby (1793-1861), the latter to whom this painting was formerly attributed. He first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1822 and by 1825 had moved to London and was living around the corner from Danby. He moved back to Bristol in 1826, where he remained for the rest of his life. As a drawing master in Bath he produced some of the finest architectural drawings and watercolours of the period. The main reason for the uncertainty in attributing this painting (past and present) lies in the presence in Bristol in the 1820s of a group of artists, centred around Danby, who worked closely together producing a remarkable group of paintings. Their subject matter was highly Romantic and they were very popular amongst London collectors. This deep, highly stylised gorge, adorned by dramatic ruins, is possibly a contemporary conceit, that of a vision of the future after the last man has perished.


Portrait of Anna Isabella Milbanke (later Lady Byron)

Hoppner trained at the Royal Academy, London’s foremost art institution during the 18th and early 19th centuries. His work, modelled to an extent upon that of Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92), flattered fashionable society with its light, free brushwork and delicate colour range. Fêted by many, Hoppner was appointed portrait painter to the Prince of Wales in 1789. Anna Isabella Milbanke (1792-1860) married the poet Lord Byron in 1815. Their marriage was notoriously unsuccessful. In this portrait, datable by the costume, she would have been about eight years old. Her childish innocence is symbolised by the fresh blues of the scenery, and the picture shows an up-to-date romanticism in dress, pose and background. The portrait was commissioned by her father, Sir Ralph Milbanke.


Christ blessing the children

Haydon was an English painter of historical and religious works, in a style strongly influenced by Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-92). A very opinionated character, he spent much of his life in opposition to the art establishment, continually fighting for personal recognition and for social patronage of the arts. He was passionately committed to the concept of a National Gallery in England. Tragically, frustration and disappointment led to his eventual suicide. This painting recalls a chapter in the Bible where a group of children rushed to greet Jesus only to be hushed away by the disciples. On noticing this Jesus was angry and ordered his disciples to let the children near him. He told the disciples that only those who were humble like a child would be great in the eyes of God, saying, “whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” (Mark 10:15) Christ blessing the children is a sketch for a much larger painting by Haydon now at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and painted in London, to commission, for the Liverpool Asylum for the Blind.


The dismissal of Hagar

Fabritius’ output has always been overwhelmed by the art of his brother, Carel (1622-54). Most of Barent’s pictures betray a variety of influences, notably Rembrandt’s (1606-1669). In Barent’s early years he was close to his brother in style and this has caused dispute over who painted some of the pictures. This painting shows the sad expulsion by Abraham of his concubine, Hagar, and their son, Ismael, follwing the birth of a child to Abraham’s wife Sarah (Genesis 21:9-21). The main characters are in the foreground, sharply lit and cut at the waist - devices that Rembrandt used frequently. Fabritius employs more colourful tones, a trend common in the latter half of the century throughout Holland. The intrinsically Dutch realism, most evident in the depiction of the bread, is typical.


A young woman

While Thomas de Keyser (1596/7-1667) preceded Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) popularity in Amsterdam, Helst replaced him as the city’s most fashionable portrait-painter. His appeal lay in a robust and realistic style that brought him many commissions, particularly for group portraits. This very polished portrait of an unknown girl lacks the endearing facial character of Frans Hals’ (1580-1666) sitter. Instead, it is the precise technique and attention to detail that attract the eye. The shadow on the wall and the hand resting on the chair are intended to define space. The inscription, upper left, AETAIS SVE 19/AN 1643, tells us that the sitter was aged nineteen in 1643, when the portrait was painted. The Ferens’ painting is regarded as an especially good example of Helst’s art, which is rare in British collections.


Faith

At the very end of his life Goltzius took up oil painting reputedly because his failing eyesight prevented him from working as a draughtsman and engraver. In this genre he was supreme in his time both for his skills and inventive compositions. This picture relates to Goltzius’ drawing of Faith from a series of Cardinal Virtues. Its approach is unusual as Faith is normally shown with Hope and Charity. Here, Faith holds a crucifix and chalice symbolising the Sacrament. Painted in Haarlem, it is a good example of Dutch Mannersim of the early 17th century, owing everything to Italian models and nothing to the northern tradition.


Portrait of Christopher Goulton of Beverley

Hudson’s long career made him one of the most prolific and influential portrait painters of his time. He excelled as a teacher, counting Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) among his pupils. Much of his work followed standard patterns of pose, drapery and even facial expression. Christopher Goulton was born c.1700 in Walcot, Lincolnshire. One of his daughters, Sarah, married Thomas Constable in 1769. He is shown formally dressed with coat, waistcoat and shirt.


The Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Several versions of this ambitious composition are recorded in the early sources although the status of this one awaits classification pending cleaning and restoration. This painting has all the characteristics of the late French Baroque, and owes much to the influence of Rubens (1577-1640) in its liveliness, and Poussin (1594-1665) in its colouring. This reflects the rivalry between the followers of Rubens and Poussin in the French Academie in the later 17th century. The sacrifice of Iphegenia was a popular subject in the 17th century. Iphegenia was the daughter of Agamemon who was obliged to sacrifice her to the gods. Legend has it that at the last minute a hind was substituted for the unfortunate Iphegenia.


A Father Reading the Bible to his Family

This piece of Dutch-inspired narrative genre painting is by an unknown artist copying Greuze. Greuze’s reputation remained high throughout the 19th century, not only as a painter of sentimental young ladies but also as a painter of serious moralising genre. Such a worthy activity as shown in this picture would have had wide appeal in the early 19th century in England and it is likely, on grounds of style, that the copy is English. The original by Greuze was exhibited in the Paris salon of 1755. Jean-Baptiste Greuze made his name in the Paris Salon of 1755 with the original of this painting. Much of his fame derived from the popularity of engravings after his works, fully exploited by a number of engravers and, less profitably, by the artist, whose wife embezzled most of the proceeds. Our painting is reversed from the original, which was at Dresden, and now appears lost. This is almost certainly a copy made from the engraving. The subject matter is typical of Greuze, who specialized in depicting the daily life of the middle classes. Religion in the past played a central part in everyday life, more so than today. All but the poorest families would own a Bible, which they would not only read and study together, but would use to record births and deaths. In the days before schools, radio and TV, the bible would be of the utmost importance as a source not only of religious instruction, but learning and entertainment.


The Death of Dido

Haringhs was essentially a portraitist who adopted the fashionable manner much used in the later 17th century, especially in The Hague and Amsterdam. The formula was to represent the sitter in some form of elegant undress rather than in the more formal clothes that were popular earlier in the century. The artist’s subject pictures appear to be much rarer. Haringhs was the pupil of the portraitist Arnold van Ravestyn in 1644 and later of Caspar Netscher (1639-1684) whose manner he followed. In his later years Haringhs became Director of the Academy in The Hague, which demonstrates the official esteem in which he was then held.


Still life in a garden

This delicately painted still life in a garden is a good example of the new fashions introduced into Netherlandish painting in the years around 1700. The precise barriers between the genres were beginning to break down and patrons could be satisfied by the combination of still life and landscape. This had the effect of giving the painting a greater decorative appeal and at the same time taxing the artist’s skill and ingenuity to the limit. The way all the elements are rendered is also evidence of the increasing emphasis on skill for its own sake. Patrons were less interested in the vanitas elements of still life and naturalistic landscape. Instead all was to be combined into a harmonious and essentially decorative whole.


Portrait of William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce remains today the single most important figure of historical significance associated with Hull, the city for which he was M.P. His successful campaign for the abolition of the slave trade is commemorated in detail in his birthplace, the Wilberforce House Museum, and a comprehensive display about his life and the slave trade. Hayter was a particular favourite of Queen Victoria. For its time Hayter’s style was very old fashioned.


A skirmish of cavalry

Throughout the 17th century there was a demand for a wide variety of military subjects in painting, ranging from soldiers pillaging through actual battle scenes to guardrooms and soldiers brothels. This picture is relatively rare in showing a cavalry skirmish where the interest of the picture is equally divided between the military event and the landscape setting. The picture could therefore be appreciated on different levels. The artist is known to have been in Delft in the first half of the 17th century. His career has to be constructed from a handful of surviving battle scenes and military pieces. He may have worked in other genre that have not survived or been identified.


Westminster Bridge (Evening)

William James is said to have been an assistant to Canaletto (1697-1768) when he was working in London in the early 1750s. The eminent art historian Ellis Waterhouse noted, however, that the majority of James’ works are derived from the work of Samuel Scott (1703-72). This view of London is in the style popularised by Caneletto. It depicts the new Westminster bridge, reflecting the modern picturesque aspect of London’s river front.


Somerset House (Morning)

Such picturesque views of London were popularised by the work of Canaletto (1697-1768), for whom James is reputed to have been an assistant. Matching pairs of river views were particularly collectible, and this view of Somerset House is accompanied by James’ view of Westminster Bridge. There are numerous other versions of this composition. The Ferens’ work corresponds most closely to those in the Royal Collection, in which there are three versions. The main building on the left is the medieval Old Savoy Palace. In the centre, partly obscured by trees is Old Somerset House with the tower of St. Mary le Strand. On the right is the tower of St. Clement Danes. James has been described as ‘a rather pedestrian imitator’ of his contemporary Samuel Scott (1703-72).


Church Landscape

A member of the London Group for twenty years, Fitton was also a founder member of the Artists International Association. This was a largely political art body that believed art could be used as a weapon in the class struggle. Many of its founder members were supporters of Communism. At this time Fitton was producing very popular caricatures of political figures. As an established figurative painter, graphic designer and illustrator, Fitton received numerous commissions. He undertook graphic work for London Transport and painted murals for the Festival of Britain. His later work was more illustrative and humorous in style, as conveyed in Church Landscape with its naïve use of perspective and charming depiction of animals and humans.


Signing on in a Hull Mercantile Marine Office

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Hailstone joined the Auxiliary Fire Service. Here, he made drawings of his colleagues and scenes of the Blitz. In 1941 he was commissioned by the War Artists’ Advisory Committee to paint civil defence subjects. In 1943 he was appointed as a Ministry of War Transport Artist, recording convoys in the Atlantic. Near the end of the war Hailstone was assigned to the South-East Asia Command, painting Lord Louis Mountbatten and key members of his staff. These pictures now reside at the Imperial War Museum.


A Farm in Sussex

A landscape painter in oils and watercolour, Holding came late to painting having worked as a businessman for much of his life. He exhibited throughout England and at various times served as President of the Royal Watercolour Society, the Society of Sussex Painters and a member of the Art Workers’ Guild. A Farm in Sussex draws upon the relationship between the hard-edged, angular forms of the farm buildings and the open, sweeping hills surrounding them.


A Good Little Model

Gogin painted genre and figurative subjects, portraits and landscapes. He exhibited mainly in London and showed fourteen works at the Royal Academy between 1874 and 1894. His mother Alma (fl.1895-98), who presented this painting to the gallery, was also an artist. Nothing is known of the somewhat sullen sitter in this sketchy portrait other than that she was ‘a good little model’!


Miss Ivy Lilian Close

Hacker entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1876 where his fellow pupils included Stanhope Forbes (1857-1947) and Henry La Thangue (1859-1929). He went on to study in Paris, where an emphasis on plein-air realism influenced much of his early genre subjects. Throughout his career, Hacker’s interests shifted from depicting genre scenes, to religious and imaginative subjects, and townscapes. Nevertheless, Hacker remained a popular society portrait painter. This particular example was painted a year before Hacker’s style underwent radical changes, abandoning this smooth, fluid finish in favour of a much thicker, painterly style. Hacker was one of the former Academicians who founded the New English Art Club in 1886.


The Standidge Whaling Fleet

The Standidge Whaling Fleet (Berry, Britannia and British Queen) in the Arctic, 1769 Oil on canvas Bequeathed in 1938 by Mrs. Lucy Helena Habershon This highly descriptive painting of the whaling fleet of Sir Samuel Standidge is actually a copy, with little alteration other than it is reversed, from the engraving made by Boydell (1719-1804), after the painting by Charles Brooking (1723-59) of the Greenland Whale Fishery. The latter now hangs at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. It was painted long after these ships had ceased sailing as a companion to another canvas showing the fleet, of 1788, to grace the walls of the Standidge home and counting house in High Street. Standidge sent the Berry from Hull in 1766 to fish for whales. She returned with only one whale but also brought 300 seal-skins. The skins provided him with the capital needed to make him a successful whale-ship owner.


December

Hall first gained recognition as an artist working in Newlyn, Cornwall from 1883-98. There he adopted the plein-air principles of working outdoors and the square brush technique associated with the painters of the Newlyn School in their response to French Impressionism. Throughout the 1890s Hall concentrated on landscape and pastoral subjects. His use of warm, atmospheric colour and the relationship between figure and setting drew close comparisons at that time with the work of painters such as Clausen (1852-1944), also represented at the Ferens. The theme of December symbolises the wane of life through the figure of the old man. Snow on the ground also indicates the end of the year.


Still-Life with Antique Head

Fedarb’s studies took her to the Slade School of Art in London before attending Westminster School of Art under the tuition of the artists Mark Gertler (1891-1939) and Bernard Meninsky (1891-1950). She later married the watercolourist and art teacher, Ernest Fedarb (b.1905). Daphne was most active as an artist during the period between the 1940s and 1960s. She was a member of the Royal Society of British Artists and the National Society of Painters, Sculptors and Gravers as well as a regularly exhibitor at the Royal Academy. Still Life with Antique Head bears strong surrealist qualities with its strange indoor/outdoor setting, the tilted, distorted perspective and ambiguous, worm-like branches with their peculiar heart-shaped leaves. There is a sense that the draperies, music score and plant life are becoming an ancient ruin.


Back Yard, Park Avenue

The artist studied architecture at Hull and after that joined Hull Artists' Association for a brief period of time. His work is concerned with 'human proportions and the dynamics of form'. Colour plays an important part in his studies. Back Yard, Park Avenue was painted directly onto board, without preparatory sketches, during the early sunny weather enjoyed in the Spring of 1992. It took three consecutive afternoons to complete. The painting was exhibited at the Ferens winter Exhibition, following which the Gallery staff decided to acquire it for the collection. Fitzgerald, who works in Hull, also undertakes commissions.


Portrait of Lady Duveen

Flameng was born in France and lived in both Paris and London. He made his reputation as a portrait and historical painter. Society portraits, such as this one of Lady Duveen, were symbols of power and wealth and more than just a physical likeness was required. Unlike photography, the painted portrait offered the opportunity for sitters to be idealised. The most successful portraitists were those who achieved the most flattering representations of their sitters. This somewhat sentimental picture is executed in Flameng’s loose and sketchy manner, but with a highly finished face. This style was highly popular at the time. Lady Duveen was Elsie Salamon of New York before her marriage in 1899 to Hull born Lord Duveen. Duveen was in the antiques trade, and became one of the greatest benefactors to the fine arts in this country. He presented four paintings to the Ferens. A further fourteen were presented by his Executors. Lady Duveen presented one in memory of her husband. This portrait was given by her Executors after her death.


Newlyn

The central figure in the Newlyn School of painters, Forbes was committed to working directly from nature in the plein-air (open air) manner of the French. He settled in Newlyn, attracted by "a mild climate suitable for out of doors works, [and] a grey-roofed village overhanging a lovely bay." Like other Newlyn artists, Forbes painted everyday subjects which offended the tastes of highbrow critics who considered them vulgar. Typical of Forbes' work, the Ferens' painting is a nostalgic view of a way of life that had changed little over the years. It is thought to have been painted in Sandy Cove, Newlyn and uses local people as 'models'. Mistrustful of modernity, Forbes saw himself recording visual documents of changing scenes and customs.


A Game of Patience

Meredith Frampton was a notable portrait painter of the inter-war years who regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy, and received many commissions. This painting, one of his most enigmatic, combines the clarity and precision of a classical composition with a sense of the mystery of appearances which could only belong to the 1930s. The side lighting defines the architectural mouldings of the background as clearly as the sitter's features and the fluted folds of her gown. The dress was specially made by the artist's mother, using linen bands at the neck left over from a previous ecclesiastical sitter. The mysterious stillness of this painting is achieved by the austere gaze of the woman, and by the careful and deliberate placing of objects on the table; the ears of corn, the apples, the exposed King of Spades - all of which add to the enigma of the never-ending game of patience. The model is Margaret Austin-Jones, who featured in an earlier full-length portrait by Frampton now owned by the Tate Gallery.


The Selkie

Following study in Oxford and Aberdeen, Fraser spent time as the official artist on an Arctic Lapland expedition. He has a particular fascination for the sea, and for the myths and legends which surround it. Here, his semi-abstract style evokes the sea and mists of the Northern Isles, where the grey seals which crowd the rocky 'skerries' were called the Selkie Folk - humans under a spell who resumed their true form on Midsummer's Eve, when they cast off their seal skins and danced upon the shore. Fraser's approach to magic and mythology makes an interesting contrast to that of Alan Davie (b.1920) also represented in our collection.


Force 8

Frost spent much of the war held prisoner in a concentration camp where he met the artist Adrian Heath (b.1920) who encouraged him to paint. After the war he studied art at St. Ives and Camberwell. In 1950 he settled in St. Ives, having painted his first abstract picture the previous year. He worked for a short period as assistant to Barbara Hepworth (1903-75) before concentrating on his own work. Certain shapes and symbols recur in Frost's work of all periods, often suggesting the rhythmic shapes of boats, masts and water that surrounded him in Cornwall. In particular, he used a semi-circle motif which he frequently returned to, and which appears in Force 8. Force 8 is bold and expressive. Of the painting, Frost says he "simply wanted to do something in terre verte black and white on that large canvas." The title comes from a radio announcement about a force 8 gale; Frost associated the pressure of the gale bashing against his studio window with the forceful image he had created.


Night Crossing

Originally one of the Kitchen Sink school of painters which also included John Bratby (b.1928), Fullard's interests changed considerably in the late 1950s. His work became open to a wide range of influences, most notably that of primitive and children's art. Much of his work was based on childhood memories. Night Crossing is a construction mixing found objects with a specially fashioned brass propeller. Its child-like quality lends poignancy to its sensuous undertones. During the 1960s onwards, images of war and destruction of the innocent recur obsessively in Fullard's work. Fullard himself was severely wounded during the Second World War.


Nathanial Cholmley

The splendour of this portrait owes much to the sumptuous coat of black silk, decorated with threads of Venetian gold and silver upon which the artist has lavished such attention. In his hand, the sitter holds a sheet of paper which bears the inscription: This is for Nathaniall Cholmley Esqr. Cholmley was related to the family at Boynton Hall, Bridlington, and this painting came from the collection there when the contents of the house were sold in 1950. Previously attributed to the English artist John Riley (1641-91), this painting is now thought to be by the Italian Gennari, whose own inventory of his work refers to ‘a pair of Cholmleys’. Gennari shares with Riley a sensitive and perceptive depiction of character, but rather stiff and awkward composition.


Clarence Gardens

Like his contemporaries, Gilman’s work was influenced by the developments in French art at the turn of the century. He developed a bright palette, working from sketches with a deliberate and careful handling of paint. Clarence Gardens dates from Gilman’s period as a member of the Camden Town Group. Like Walter Sickert (1860-1926), the central figure within the group, Gilman aimed to capture the colours and urban poetry of North London in everyday scenes, representative of the age. After the influential Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London of 1910 and 1912, and a visit to Paris, Gilman’s painting started to show a strong influence of Van Gogh (1853-90) in its use of bright colours and application of thick paint.


The Winged Faun

A leading member of the Camden Town Group, Ginner particularly admired the work of the Post-Impressionists Paul Gaugin (1848-1903) and Vincent Van Gogh (1853-90). Born and brought up in France, Ginner developed a familiarity with such styles and his direct knowledge of both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism later made him a respected figure amongst his English contemporaries. After studying in Paris, Ginner settled in London in 1910. He joined an informal group of artists including Spencer Gore (1878-1914) and Lucien Pissaro (1863-1944), who met in Sickert's (1860-1942) studio, and whose works can also be seen in this Gallery. With Harold Gilman (1876-1919), another artist from this group, Ginner evolved the theory of 'neo-realism', 'The objective translation into paint of the artist's intimate research into nature.' By studying life and nature closely they believed they could get to the very essence of its spirit. Ginner is chiefly known for his urban street scenes. His highly ordered brushstrokes that emphasise the structure and solidity of the objects, as in this sombre interior, whilst creating an interesting impression of pattern are also a very distinctive part of Ginner's style.


Odds and Ends

Born in Hull, Walter Goodin went on to study art at the Royal Academy Schools in London with the financial backing of Fred Elwell (1870-1958) and his wife Mary (1874-1952). Goodin kept a studio beneath Elwell's in Trinity Lane, Beverley. He and Fred's nephew Kenneth (d.1944) were close friends and both enjoyed Fred's encouragement and supervision. Still lifes, portraits and land and seascapes were amongst Goodin's most common subject matter. Odds and Ends was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1939 and was also shown at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, U.S.A. On its return to the Goodins' home the painting was used by Walter, face up, to protect the bath from splashes of paint while he was decorating the bathroom! The painting, probably Goodin’s finest, features a collection of objects that he and his friends assembled from attics and junk shops. The still life subject matter and close attention to detail reflect clearly the influence of his mentor Fred Elwell.


Still-Life

Born in Lancashire, Goodwin studied in Liverpool before teaching drawing and painting at Hull College of Art. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960 at Hull University, although his work featured in a number of group shows prior to then, including an East Riding Artists exhibition of 1950, from which this work was acquired. This is one of two works by Goodwin in the Ferens’ collection. Both were purchased during the 1950s which suggests that at this time Goodwin was preoccupied with painting still-lives and the study of light and form.


Still-Life with White Jar and Onions

Goodwin was a tutor at Hull College of Art during the 1950s. Following this he carried out research into art education and went on to become Head of Fine Art at Exeter College of Art. His interests also extended to the history of art, poetry, philosophy and history, all of which played a more influential part in his later style of work. Following his move to Exeter, Goodwin’s work seems to have changed radically from the still-life paintings he produced when living in Hull, of which this is a good example. His work became more experimental, incorporating collage as opposed to paint and placing less emphasis on observational studies. It was a semi-abstract print based on the theme of a crucifixion that inspired an article about him in The Guardian newspaper in June 1964. Goodwin is also noted for working on mural commissions, executed in mosaics.


Study of a Young Woman

Looking at this portrait it is perhaps hard to believe that Gotch was one of the first artists to visit Cornwall and become part of the Newyln School, best characterised by the work of Stanhope Forbes (1857-1947). After a visit to Italy in 1891, Gotch's work changed dramatically under the influence of the colourful, sumptuous and jewel-like portraits of the early Renaissance painters. Produced during that later period, this highly decorative portrait contrasts the smooth fragility of the unknown sitter's face with the more loosely painted, rhythmic patterning of the background.


Haystacks

Duncan Grant studied at Westminster School 1902-5 and at the Atelier La Palette in Paris under J.E. Blanche. He made many visits to France throughout his life and worked regularly in the South of France. He showed with the New English Art Club, with the Camden Town Group in 1911, at the second Post-Impressionist Exhibition in 1912. The influence of the Post-Impressionist exhibitions caused him to develop an innovatory style with rapid brushstrokes establishing a pattern of bright, clear colour. Haystacks was possibly painted near Charleston, the country retreat in Sussex Grant shared with his life-long companion, the artist Vanessa Bell (1879-1961). Very different in style to his painting, The Ass, also in the Feren's collection, Haystacks shows Grant's interest in representing three-dimensional form through pure colour.


Interior with Boiler

John GRAY studied art at Sutton, Cheam, Guildford and Hull, during which time he became a regular exhibitor in the Ferens' annual Winter Exhibitions. His polished and realistic images are very carefully planned and considered, in contrast to the spontaneous nature of much abstract painting. The artist has stated that, 'My work is to do with an exploration of the formal problems of painting, such as colour/space and surface/illusion, as well as painting an object, and certain problems to do with edges of the canvas.' Gray works from photographs, usually set up by him, and says that, 'the subject of the painting is the photograph. The subject of the photograph is objects and figures.' In Interior with Boiler, the subject of the painting is taken from an illustration in The Readers Digest D.I.Y. manual, Book 2, Projects, Sheet 58, 'Improving a Fireplace'. He re-orders the photographic information into a disciplined and formal unity on the canvas, resulting in the clear and precise image seen here.


Untitled

Borrowing elements from Old Master paintings has been Jonathan Green's practice for several years. This particular picture is one of a number of large still lives of the early 1990s which feature apparently living heads in the midst of the usual trappings of the still life genre. The raspberries themselves come from a heaped plate of raspberries in a still life by the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin (1699-1779). The head is taken from a self portrait by Rembrandt (1606-69), although Green says is also looks like his own father. The juxtaposition of the fruit and head on a platter echo numerous paintings of the theme of Salome with the head of John the Baptist: the Ferens has one of these, currently on show in Gallery 1, by Benjamin West (1738-1820). Green studied art in Cleveland and Norwich, and at the Royal College of Art. He has exhibited in London and New York and has won a number of awards, including a Wingate Scholarship (1993/4) which enabled him to make paintings which used the Old Masters as a starting point for original ideas.


Prince's Dock, Hull

Grimshaw is best-known today for his moonlit scenes of towns and docks, so evocative of the Victorian era. His style and subject matter changed very little during his career; he was constantly striving to perfect his own very individual vision. This scene is taken from Prince's Dock Street. The dark silhouettes of the Dock Offices and the Wilberforce Monument contrast with the cheery glow emanating from the shop windows and street lamps. The Dock Offices, completed in 1871, now house the City's maritime collection; the Monument has been relocated and now stands on the other side of Queen's Gardens. The Ferens' painting is one of Grimshaw's late works, executed just six years before his death.


Still Life in a Garden

This prolific artist, the son of a still life painter, became a specialist in still life and game pieces. In the late 17th century he introduced decorative landscapes in the background to keep up with changing public taste and to satisfy the demand for paintings that combined different genre. He spent much of his working life in Antwerp. Artists like Gryeff were keen to demonstrate their skills in realistic depictions of food, pottery, silverware, etc. Bread, fruit and exotic, imported foodstuffs were particularly popular subjects, as were animals and dead game birds. In this painting, Gryeff blends many elements into a complex composition that condenses a remarkable amount into a small panel.


Vanitas

This superbly rich Flemish still-life is of a type known as a Vanitas, a collection of objects assembled to remind the spectator of life’s transience and the folly of worldly pleasures. For example, the hourglass and burnt-out candle represent the passing of time; the will and skull signify death and the bubbles, violin bow and wine glass refer to the superficial pleasures of the present. The portrait remains an enigma and is clearly not the artist himself. Gysbrecht’s style is slick and technically skilled. He delights in depicting the different textures and materials of the objects before him; he carries this to an extreme in the illusion of torn canvas, an effect known as trompe l’oeil - to ‘deceive the eye’.


Street Scene, Amsterdam

Hall studied art at the Royal Academy Schools, and later in Paris. He was a portrait, figure and landscape painter whose work, particularly in its use of warm but sometimes sombre colours, echoes the paintings of the Camden Town Group in London at the beginning of the century, and the Euston Road Group in the late 1930s and 40s. He also shares their interest in themes of everyday life, particularly evident in the work of artists like Malcolm Drummond (1880-1945) and Walter Sickert (1860-1942) in themes of everyday life. His figures, stylised and simple, bear a similarity to those painted by Lawrence Stephen Lowry (1887 1976).


The Vacant Cradle

Little is known of this genre and historical painter who exhibited work at London's Royal Academy between 1854-1867. The sentimental quality of many Victorian pictures of death comes from the artists' representation of sorrow in pitiable contrast to past joy. Death in Victorian art is commonly given a domestic setting as here, in The Vacant Cradle, a poignant reminder of the high infant mortality rate in 19th century England. The precise rendering of detail asks for careful reading. The torn raffia, cracked panes of window glass and sparse furnishings speak of poverty, and the medicine bottles, mourning clothes and gruel dish tell of illness and death. The husband gazes out at the churchyard where his child now lies; the rattle is destined to hang unused on the wall. The sun sets but as it does it illuminates the church spire (placed above the Bible) as a reminder of spiritual hope in earthly loss.


The Student - Madame Dolores Courtney

Uninhibited by convention, Hamnett led a Bohemian life that ended in tragic circumstances. Well-known in artistic circles, both in London and Paris, she painted portraits of her friends and fellow artists. Much of her work was unfortunately been lost. The Ferens’ portrait is of Madame Courtney, known as Moucha, a half-Spanish, half-Russian painter who, like Hamnett, was attached to the Omega Workshops. They were founded in 1913 by the painter and influential art critic, Roger Fry (1866-1934) for the design of furnishings and interiors. The aim was to help provide artists with a living. Our portrait shows the flat, angular patterning that typifies the Omega style, and is executed in Hamnett’s cool, unemphatic colours.


Portrait of Rebecca Feltham

A part of Harlow’s artistic training was spent copying works in the studio of Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830). Although the two ‘fell out’ after two years, the influence of his style on Harlow’s work was lasting. He made his debut at the Royal Academy in 1804 with a portrait of Dr. Thornton and thereafter concentrated on portraiture. He also attempted, but failed, at history painting, due to his lack of a proper art education. In 1818, to improve his skills, he travelled to Italy to study the Old Masters. There he became well known and respected for his artistic talents. Harlow died from a throat infection in 1919. We know very little about the sitter, other than the following information recorded in ink on the back of the painting: Rebecca Feltham, Born March 1st 1785 Departed this life – May 7th 1858 Married in Gorleston April 18 1810 This Portrait taken in Yarmouth 1811


Portrait of a man

This is surely one of the most intriguing portraits in the collection. This painting has long been said to be of the major 17th century poet and politician Andrew Marvell (Hull 1621-78). This now seems unlikely, as by 1658 Hanneman had returned to the Hague, and Marvell's correspondence gives no indication of a visit to Holland in that year. More probably it is of an exiled Royalist visiting the Hague. Hanneman's portraits were strongly influenced by those of Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), the Flemish artist who attained great success in England at the Court of Charles I. In the Ferens' painting, this influence is seen particularly in the use of warm brown tones and in the mannered pose of the hands. However, unlike Van Dyck, Hanneman achieved little success in England, returning in 1640 to The Hague where he became painter at the Court.


Untitled

Ian Hart spent much of his professional life painting and teaching in Hull. His paintings of the 1970s examine the formal properties of abstract painting. A memorial exhibition of Hart's work was held at the Ferens in 1979, at which time his friend and colleague David Sweet (b.1945), whose work is also represented at the Ferens, wrote, 'It may be hard for the layman to appreciate the problems an abstract artist has in deciding about colour, composition and even what sort of things his pictures ought to contain, without any assistance from the world of everyday appearances. It places great strain on the imagination and creative resources.' It was these very problems that Hart sought to explore. In Untitled an illusion of depth, given by the shapes hovering in the centre of the canvas, is set against a latticed background which serves to emphasise the flatness of the picture/canvas surface - a common feature of abstract art.


A Summer Shade

Haughton was principally a landscape painter. He trained under Herkomer (1849-1914), and exhibited works at the Royal Academy from 1893 onwards. He lived for much of his life in the Hull region, also residing in Kent and Devon. Haughton's principal source of inspiration was nature and he often sketched en plein air, in the outdoors. Like A Summer Shade, most of his landscapes were worked on a very small scale, their delicate and jewel-like colours influenced by the Pre-Raphaelites, whose techniques Haughton admired. The dappled effects of the sunlight are also reminiscent of the work of the French Impressionists.


Portrait of a Young Girl

While Thomas de Keyser (1596/7–1667) preceded Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) popularity in Amsterdam, Helst replaced him as the city’s most fashionable portrait-painter. His appeal lay in a robust and realistic style that brought him many commissions, particularly for group portraits. This very polished portrait of an unknown girl lacks the endearing facial character of Frans Hals’ (1580-1666) sitter. Instead, it is the precise technique and attention to detail that attract the eye. The shadow on the wall and the hand resting on the chair are intended to define space, but the girl still seems to lack the solidity of de Keyser’s portrait of Frans van Limborch, also in the gallery’s collection. The inscription, upper left, AETAIS SVE 19/AN? 1643, tells us that the sitter was aged 19 in 1643, when the portrait was painted. The Ferens’ painting is regarded as an especially good example of van Helst’s art, which is rare in British collections.


Hayfield

Hemsley left an apprenticeship as an architect to become a painter. His work follows the English 19th century genre tradition and was probably also influenced by his visits to Germany and Holland. His favourite subject was children at play; he gave his works titles such as A Pinch from Granny's Box and Sunday Morning, a New Hat. Hayfield is a sunny picture of threatened innocence showing a child receiving her first experience of drink from the hands of an adult. Other elements in the picture contribute to a wider theme: the dog's investigation of the lunch basket hints that we are witness to the taking of forbidden fruit whilst the scythe is an ancient symbol of the passage of time.


Sir Albert Kaye Rollit

This painting is one of the many portraits that make up Hull's Guildhall Collection. It was painted for the UK Savings Banks in honour of Sir Albert Kaye Rollit, who was the first Chairman of their Statutory Inspection Committee from1891. He was also a President of the Law Society. The artist, Hubert von Herkomer, settled in London in 1870, and was achieving great acclaim as an artist by the mid 1870s. Initially he concentrated on genre and history painting and it was not until around 1880 that he began to paint portraits. He attained considerable success in France, winning several awards, and in 1879 he became a member of London's Royal Academy. He was influenced in part by the techniques of the Pre-Raphaelites, but evolved his own distinctive style in which he endowed the faces of his sitters with an extraordinary intensity of expression.


Chestnut Horse in Stable

Although this work was executed 8 years after Brown Horse in Stable, shown nearby, the two pictures seem to form a pair with each other, having similarities of size and scale. It is also possible that, compositionally, the horses were designed to face each other when hung. Furthermore, the identical initials on the horses' blankets suggest that they were painted for the same patron, and conceived as companion pieces.


Derelict Lead Mine

Hillier's artistic development fell into three phases: abstract pictures produced as a young man in Paris, followed by a long period of Surrealist painting, and, from 1938, much more representational work. The distinctive style which he evolved as a Surrealist permeated all his later work. In Derelict Lead Mine the deep shadows, the eerie forms of the trees, and the melancholy of the ruined, overgrown buildings and deserted landscape lend to the work the haunting quality of a dream or of an unpeopled wartime bomb site. There are old lead mines on the moors near Priddy in Somerset, which are presumably the subject of this painting. Hillier was a close friend and working partner of Edward Wadsworth (1889-1949). He was invalided out of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1944, the year this painting was purchased from him.


Galway Harbour

A central figure in the British Surrealist movement of the 1930s, Hillier's painting became more romantic and representational in the post-war era. Much misunderstood, Hillier's change of style was regarded as a betrayal of ideals by members of the avant-garde. Hillier's paintings have an enigmatic, arresting quality. Typical of the artist's later work, Galway Harbour with its elaborate dock machinery and jetties is eerily quiet and remote. Surprising for a bustling harbour, the scene is devoid of any activity except for the horse and cart and tiny figures on the dockside in the distance.


Night IV

Having studied art at Leeds and Newcastle, Hillier went on to become the Head of the Art Department at Branston Community College, Lincoln. He has frequently exhibited at the Ferens Winter Exhibition and was part of a four-man show at the gallery in 1976/7. Much of Hillier's work during the 1970s took nature and landscapes as its subject. Night IV is a sculptural relief that creates an illusion of space by overlapping elements from the fore, middle and background.


Dark Form on Yellow

Abstraction in which colour itself is the subject of the painting can been seen in the work of Roger Hilton, who explored the effects of paint, shape and colour across the flat surface of a canvas. Hilton's early abstracts were much more austere, using only black and white and small segments of earth colours. During the period 1954-6 he began making visits to Cornwall; like Peter Lanyon (1918-1964), he was inspired by the Cornish landscape, but the references to nature are far less obvious. Shapes like the 'Dark Form' dominate his work, suggesting natural forms in their absence of hard lines and flat colours. The picture is painterly, that is, it concentrates on the effects of the paint, rather than being draughtsmanlike and descriptive. By allowing the colours to show through one another Hilton creates a sense of light and atmosphere, like the sun through a cloud or dark objects through vapour or water.


Woodland Landscape

Hitchens was an active figure within the London art scene during the 1920s and '30s as a member of the London Group and a co-founder of the 7 & 5 Society in 1919. This latter organisation attracted many significant artists including Ben Nicholson (1894-1982), Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Roland Penrose (1900-1984). As the group's attentions steadily turned towards pure abstraction however, Hitchens' work, by contrast, returned to the subject of landscapes. After the bombing of his studio in 1940 Hitchens moved to Sussex where he eventually bought a tract of woodland and built a house on it. He remained there until his death producing work inspired by the surrounding countryside. Hitchens developed a spontaneous approach to painting using large sweeps of colour to suggest light and shade, distance, atmosphere and seasonal change rather than the actual appearance of a landscape. Hitchens described Woodland Landscape as being in two 'movements' that begin on the left side and progress through to the right, from cool to warm colours.


Portrait of a Lady

This very fine portrait was once thought to be by William Hogarth, one of the most original English artists, famous for his lively, moralising genre scenes. Although this example has a frankness and psychological intensity, characteristic of a portrait by Hogarth, its style is not typical of his work. The sketchiness and loose brushwork of certain areas suggest that this is an unfinished portrait. Portrait busts such as this one were very popular in Hogarth's time. Imitating the three-dimensional qualities of a sculpture, these busts were more affordable than a full-length portrait.


Lace Makers

Hornel was closely associated with the French - inspired Glasgow school of painters, the 'Glasgow Boys'. He was an extensive traveller and the inspiration for this scene came from a trip to Ceylon. Hornel was interested in creating a harmony of colours and the effect achieved is like that of a tapestry. Child labour was employed to make intricate lace trimmings for the tourist trade to be worn by Edwardian society beauties like Lady Duveen and Muriel Thetis Warde. Little of this is evident in Hornel's romanticised scene.


The Auld Man’s Meir’s Dead

Howe was apprenticed to a coach painter in Edinburgh. He later became quite well known in Scotland as an animal painter, and won commissions from the Board of Agriculture. In 1815 he visited Waterloo a few days after the battle, of which he produced a successful invented panorama. This was shown at the British Institution in 1816. It is possible that the Ferens' small and sketchy painting is a study for a larger work. A 1936 article on Howe in The Border Magazine describes the drawing ([sketch]: therefore probably our painting) for a picture of this title as, "though clumsy…fair and in a certain way expressive, but the characterisation is of that exaggerated kind, awakening laughter rather than sympathy…" This does indeed appear to be an apt description of the Ferens' anecdotal composition by Howe.


Mr. Great Heart

Peter Howson is one of Britain's most important contemporary artists and the country's most recent Official War Artist. Although born in London in 1958, Howson is commonly associated with the new 'Glasgow Boys', a group of figurative artists who rose to fame during the 1970s and '80s. Dropping out of Glasgow School of Art in 1997, Howson spent a short time in the army and then worked as a warehouseman and bouncer, living in a gymnasium. Here he met the boxers, dossers, squaddies and drinkers who populate so much of his work. In painting Mr. Great Heart, Howson was inspired, in 1996, by reading Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and the novels of John Buchan, to explore through his works the strength of the human spirit. Mr. Great Heart is also a distillation of the many people Howson holds recorded in his memory through his personal experiences, from the rougher parts of Glasgow to the war-torn towns of Bosnia. The boxer is a recurrent motif - Howson was himself a boxer - and signifies for him the triumph of the underdog. The painting was used by the group The Beautiful South on the cover of their album, Quench. Peter Howson's earlier works have a narrative format, describing episodes which reflect the darker side of human nature. It was only in the late 1980s and early 1990s that he began to focus more closely on the characters who populate his work, presenting single figures whose grossly exaggerated faces and bodies convey a conflicting range of emotions, from anger and despair to pride and hope. Although Mr. Great Heart can be termed a portrait it is very much a representation of a type of person rather than a specific individual. While on the one hand it conjures up the earthy, proud street fighters of Glasgow's Gallowgate it also evokes the threat and violence Howson witnessed in Bosnia and the rawness of human brutality. THE STYLE Howson's painting technique exhibits two distinctly different approaches. One is the free, impastoed and gestural style which lent so much strength to his Bosnia works. The other is a smooth, slick, highly finished technique, demonstrated in Mr. Great Heart, which models the solid, muscular bodies and faces of his characters and heightens their sense of the grotesque. This is enhanced by his working on a large scale with the characteristic use of a monochrome palette and shadow to sculpt and distort the figure. THE INFLUENCE OF WAR Following the outbreak of war in Bosnia, Howson became obsessed with the images of suffering and human devastation reported in the press. Driven by his personal desire for adventure and the need to draw attention to that country's plight, he travelled to Bosnia as Official War Artist (OWA) under the sponsorship of The Times newspaper. The resulting exhibition of his work were met with both controversy and critical acclaim, like those of his OWA predecessor, John Keane (b.1954), whose work is also represented in the Ferens collection. The Ferens has significant holdings of work by Official War Artists, particularly of the 2nd World, together with examples of work by artists whose 'non-war' work still reflects the influences of war. Paul Nash's (1889-1946) Michaelmas Landscape, 1943, and John Piper's (1903-92) Marchlyn Mawr, c.1947-8, are notable examples. Similarly, John Keane's (b.1954) Fairy Tales of London, 1992, offers a further contemporary perspective of the impact of war upon a leading artist.


Lobster Boats

Hubbard was a self taught artist who began exhibiting at the age of 16. His work was very versatile in both style and subject matter; his early paintings depicted romantic landscapes. He later became known as a painter of caravans and circus scenes. He then developed an interest in shipping subjects but went on to specialise in architectural, industrial and interior scenes. As with Lobster Boats, Hubbard's paintings are always strong in composition and have a fresh simplicity that defies his painstaking draughtsmanship. A perfectionist who destroyed more canvases than he exhibited, Hubbard would spend up to 30 hours per painting on preparatory drawings, looking at alternative compositions and developing different colour schemes. The unusual colouring of this piece is a result of the two years that Hubbard devoted to experimenting with colour theories, often 'far into the early hours of the morning'. He had a very singular vision towards his work, being aware of but 'quite untouched by the Modernist movement'. The Ferens purchased Lobster Boats from the artist after he exhibited it at the 1933 Hull Spring exhibition. Hubbard was delighted with the sale, stating 'I am glad that you have chosen one of my favourites'.


Fishing boats in a fresh breeze, evening

Despite being Dutch and producing work heavily indebted to the Dutch masters, Hulk is normally included in the British School since he lived in London for 27 years. During that period he exhibited three works at the Royal Academy. Hulk is mainly noted for his Dutch estuary scenes. The painting shows an influence of the Dutch masters in Hulk's placing of boats at a variety of points between the foreground and the horizon to create an illusion of space, and to lead the eye back towards the sunset. In this work Hulk has also paid great attention to the sky in closely studying its change in colour and the light effects on the clouds. Having lived for almost three decades in England he would no doubt have been influenced by the strong depiction of skyscrapers typical of the British School.


Coastal scene with beached vessels, evening

Hulk was a pupil of the celebrated portrait painter J.A. Daiwaille (1786-1856) before turning to marine painting. He studied at the Amsterdam Academy from 1828 to 1834, visited the U.S.A. and held several successful exhibitions there before returning to Holland. Hulk finally settled in London in 1870 where he worked for 27 years and is therefore regarded as a British marine artist. Despite becoming established in Britain, his work remained typically Dutch in its influence. This painting typifies the work of the seventeenth century Dutch masters in having a shadowed foreground to give added drama to the sunlit sails of the shipping in the middle distance. Also, like many early Dutch marine pictures, Hulk has used an open rowing boat with a fisherman casting his net to add interest to the foreground of the seascape.


The Loss of a Merchantman

Francis Hustwick was a local portrait and scenic painter, who lived for some time in High Street, where several of Hull's museums are situated today. He began his artistic career as a coach and heraldic painter for Robert Hustwick, Coachmaker, who was presumably his father. At the age of twemty-nine he began his own business as a house, sign, ship and furniture painter at Saville Street. Hustwick is known to have executed a portrait of James Acland and some of the mural paintings in St. Charles' Church. A double portrait of Hustwick and James Hay, painted by each other just before Hustwick's death, was exhibited at the Ferens Art Gallery's Old Hull Artists exhibition in 1939.


Dreaming Earth

Winner of the prestigious first prize in the 17th John Moores Liverpool exhibition, Jackowski is an artist of national importance. Of Polish extraction, he was born in North Wales and now lives in Brighton. Dreaming Earth combines two of the main themes of the Ferens Collecting Policy for post-war works - that of the sea and the human form. It is one of a group of large canvasses by the artist devoted to a mysterious female figure lying or standing in a waterside landscape. Perhaps the title, Dreaming Earth, suggests that the large female and faceless figure is the archetypal 'earth mother', a goddess of femininity and fertility. The atmosphere of the speckled sky, and the roughness of the fairground enclosure, convey the richness of the female presence in the sultry atmosphere and sparse landscape, which one critic likened to a never-never land. At the same time, the figure in its enclosure conveys personal isolation. Another critic has suggested that this refers to Jackowski's childhood in a refugee camp.


The Ark

St. James and Wilson have worked together since 1982 in the area of live performance and video. In 1990 they 'invented' the video portrait in order to reconcile both the ephemeral and permanent nature of their work, saying 'as performance artists we were dead'.Their work has played to audiences in Britain, Canada and the USA, and has been broadcast frequently on Channel 4 television. They have found a particular affinity with art galleries, blending traditional themes such as portraiture with new technologies, including computer manipulated imagery. Their work includes a spectacular, multi-screen portrait of the swimmer Duncan Goodhew in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London. The Ark invites the viewer to consider his or her own identity. The animals with which the human faces metamorphose serve as a reminder of our place within an anthropological chain, while the face within a frame suggests the historical and cultural nature of our existence, that which is learned rather than innate. The title The Ark has a biblical connotation; the artists have stated that 'humans invent religion in order to successfully pass through life into death.'


Poppy (after John Hoppner's painting of Anna Isabella Milbanke)

St. James is currently a senior lecturer at Camberwell College of Art in London. His exploration of video as a creative means of expression has led to his work being exhibited both nationally and internationally.The Ferens also has in its collection an earlier video work, The Ark, which is a collaborative work by St. James and the artist, Anne Wilson (b.1955) Poppy is the result of a commission from the Ferens for St. James to produce a video piece inspired by a work in the gallery's historic collection.The piece conveys the artist's response to John Hoppner's (1758-1810) painting, Anna Isabella Milbanke, and focuses on a little girl, full of excitement and expectation but also restricted by the formal conventions of 18th century portrait. The artist has endeavoured to capture the innocence and naivety of both girls, together with the atmosphere of the landscape setting which drew St. James to the Hoppner painting in the first place. The sitter for the video portrait is the artist's six year old daughter, Poppy Wilson-St. James. The artist's empathy for Anna Isabella Milbanke evolves through his own experiences as the father of a young girl. St. James' family - and himself - are often the subjects for his work and on this occasion Poppy was tempted to participate through the promise of a new dress for the occasion.


Canadian Girl

After being a brilliant student at London's Slade School of Art, Augustus, the younger brother of Gwen John (1876-1939), travelled widely and became a frequent visitor to Paris. He was influenced by Rembrandt (1606-69), El Greco (1541-1614) and the Post-Impressionists. His fluency of draughtsmanship and virtuoso handling of paint soon brought him numerous portrait commissions, but his main interest was his figure studies of his family and of gypsy life. He was an individual and innovative painter whose flamboyance gained him notoriety. However, his unique vision declined in later years and with it his popular reputation. Unfortunately the Ferens holds little information on the sitter for this portrait, other than in a letter from John of 1948 in which he states: ' I too would have wished to complete the hands of 'Canadian Girl' and was engaged on them when my sitter left to get married and is now in Canada. I have no doubt I could find someone else to pose for the hands if the original doesn't reappear soon'.


The Seated Woman

Gwen John, like her brother Augustus (1878-1961), was a star pupil at the Slade School of Art, before studying briefly under Whistler (1834-1903) at his Academy Carmen in Paris. She settled there in 1898, embarking upon a traumatic love affair with the sculptor Rodin (1840-1917), for whom she modelled. Gwen was the very opposite, both artistically and in personality of her exuberant brother, Augustus. As with The Seated Woman most of her work consists of single figures, placed in simple, austere poses of quiet self absorption. Although her work was little appreciated during her lifetime, her reputation now stands higher than that of her brother. Augustus described her as, 'The greatest woman artist of her age, or, as I think, of any other.' There are 15 surviving versions of this painting, most known as The Convalescent. The Ferens' is regarded as one of the best for its lighter and more sharply contrasted colouring. It is typical of the highly original technical approach which Gwen John developed. She touched each part of the canvas only once with the brush, depositing a thick layer of paint which dried with a peculiar pitted surface. The subtle tones of delicate greys and pinks are also characteristic of her work.


The Press Gang

Johnston was a successful Scottish painter who produced portraits and historical and genre scenes which were often full of pathos. The Press Gang, is a fine example of narrative art, a type of painting that flourished in the Victorian age. Such pictures are really painted novels; it is no coincidence that the 19th century saw the heyday of the novel. Narrative paintings tell a story through the use of pictorial clues, their characters often posed in a dramatic tableau. Press Gangs were able to seize men, without warning, forcing enlistment into the Navy and were hated in most shipping towns, including Hull - Johnston describes this fear with half-hidden figures and a bridal couple stealing away in the background. A typical scene dominates the foreground as a young man is forced to leave his fiancé or wife. The poster in the painting, which reads GR/Wanted/Spirited/Young Men/for the Navy .... 1798, and the storm-tossed ship on the inn sign contribute to the narrative element.


My painting for myself

One of the most popular and successful living British artists, Hockney, as well as painting portrait and figure subjects, has produced numerous prints, book illustrations and stage designs. He was a leading light in the Pop Art movement with its representations of popular culture. Stylistically, his work has changed considerably since that time, becoming less scratchy and much more formal and slick. In 1962 Hockney had been a brilliant student at the Royal College of Art,but his refusal to produce a life painting meant that he could not be awarded his final diploma. He was persuaded to conform, however, and created a huge male figure resembling the muscled posers in health and fitness magazines. As a sort of 'personal antidote' to this he painted Life Painting for Myself, a study of his friend Mo McDermott, which questions conventional, realistic life drawing. Mo is posed both sitting and standing; on the right his clothes are just appearing. When the painting was drying somebody scrawled 'don't give up yet?' in the corner which Hockney decided to leave as part of the image. Perhaps fellow students agreed that there was more to painting than producing realistic figures!


Beau Site (Margaret Morris the Dancer)

This picture shows Margaret Morris, later to be the artist's wife, seated on the terrace of the Hotel Beau Site at Cap D'Antibes. This was a composition which Fergusson was to rework several times in later years. At the time it was painted, Fergusson knew Picasso (1881-1973), and his influence is apparent in the sculptural forms of the head and torso. It is Fergusson's own style, however, that gives the picture its delightful warm colouring and its relaxed and lyrical quality. Fergusson, with Cadell (1883-1937), Peploe (1871-1935) and Hunter (1877-1931) was one of the Scottish Colourists, whose lively use of colour in imitation of Matisse (1869-1954) and the Fauves, helped to lift Scottish art out of the sombre, academic tradition of the late 19th century.


Head Tilting Forwards II

Claude Heath is a painter and mixed media artist. He studied Philosophy initially and this background has influenced his approach to art. His practice centres on process and in particular explores the act of drawing. This is one of a series of portraits the inspiration for which is rooted in experiments of the mid 1990s. It was then that he first drew a life-cast of his brother's head, blindfold, using touch alone to experience and record the contours of the face. His drawings were made on paper using a small piece of Blu-tack to begin the lines from. Heath describes his tactile approach as, 'closing the gap between feeling and seeing', or, 'making images that are like Braille but for the sighted'. Here the cast was tilted forward and drawn with a multi-coloured biro in random sequence. The tracery of interconnecting lines has been reduced to a series of points and crosses which still retains a sense of the three dimensional form of the face, as well as the movement of the marks.


The Village Genius

James Smetham's work is often small in scale, in his youth he made a living as a travelling painter, making portraits and recording scenes of everyday life. He is also known for his writings, such as his 'Knowledge Books' which reveal an almost obsessive desire to record the world he saw about him. The snatched glimpse of a country scene in The Village Genius is typical of Smetham's perception of life; like the boy in the picture, he seizes the opportunity to sketch figures. The graffiti are not quite so 'innocent' as they might first appear. The crow on the wall bears an uncanny resemblance to the approaching figure of authority, perhaps a schoolmaster? The mousehole and the strange use of shadows contribute an enigmatic element to this lively sketch.


St. Sebastian tended by the Holy Irene

Renieri moved to Venice in 1626, where he was in great demand as a painter of religious scenes. It is here that the Ferens' St. Sebastian was probably painted. The style of the painting follows that of Caravaggio (1573-1610), the famous and influential Italian artist, with its realistic portrayal of physical suffering and the strong light-dark contrast, enhancing its dramatic appeal. St. Sebastian was an officer of the Roman Imperial Guard, punished for his belief in Christianity. He was nursed back to health by St. Irene (removing the arrow) but was later clubbed to death, his body thrown into Rome's main sewer. The models for the female saints are two of Renieri's daughters who were well-known for their beauty. They wear the lavish, billowing costume of their day.


A Zeeland States yacht Firing a Salute off the Oude Hoofdpoort, Rotterdam

A picturesque scene of a bustling port, it illustrates well how Dutch life was inextricably linked with the sea for both trade and defence. The painting is filled with every class of marine vessel, ornamented with flags; the stems and sterns of several are enriched with carving. The port is peopled with lively figures which are particularly well drawn. The colouring is rich without being gaudy. Jacobus Storck was probably the elder brother of another marine painter of similar scenes, Abraham Storck (c.1635-1710). While little else is known of Jacobus' life, Abraham is known to have become one of the leading marine painters in Holland after the departure to England of the van de Veldes in 1673.


Wooded landscape with cornfields

The landscape of Holland was a constant source of inspiration for the 17th century Dutch artist. Ruisdael is considered to be the greatest of them all. His style was tremendously influential on English landscape painters of the early 19th century. This painting is one of the artist's earlier landscapes and is lighter in mood than his darker, more sombre, late paintings. Typical of Ruisdael and his contemporaries, the people here are of secondary significance. Dominating the landscape are the trees, each invested with their own character. It is said that Ruisdael never painted a sunny day. This picture is as close as he ever came to showing bright sunlight.


View of Leuvehaven, Rotterdam

Salm is usually considered to be one of the last artists to practice the unusual and highly skilled technique of drawing with a reed pen on a specially prepared white ground. Almost all the surviving examples in this medium are seascapes and although ships are just visible in this picture it is essentially a townscape. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the later townscapes by Hull artists and it is likely that they were inspired by such work. The canal itself is lined both with houses and warehouses, as was to be mirrored in 18th century Hull.


Beach Scene with Figures

Robert Le Prince was a painter of historic subjects, portraits and scenes from everyday life. He was also a landscape painter and made his reputation in this field, showing his works at the prestigious Paris Salon between 1822 and 1844. He received a medal in 1824. This modest and freshly painted landscape has more importance than it effortless naturalism would suggest. French painting, especially landscape, was to acquire a new liberation after the Salon of 1824. Here Constable's (1776-1827) approach to nature opened the eyes of many Frenchmen and this picture's appearance at the same Salon shows how far French artists had developed in the pursuit of naturalism. The incidental figures in this picture, enjoying the sea air, are rustic and not townspeople.


Landscape, February, Landscape, peasants, horse and cart

A very small number of pictures are currently attributed to Pieter Stevens the Younger and they conform to the Netherlandish tradition in the wake of Pieter Bruegel the Elder (c.1525-1569). Stevens was highly esteemed in his lifetime as he worked for the Court of Rudolf II at Prague. These two fragments can be placed precisely at the lower right-hand and lower left of a much larger composition, Landscape: February. It is not known when these two pieces were cut from the larger composition and the rest discarded but they preserve the human interest of the composition rather than the landscape elements. The light exaggerations of these figures follow in the tradition of Peter Bruegel the Elder and reflect the taste of the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague who favoured artists with eccentricities. In Northern art, right from the beginning, there was an interest in realism and the details of everyday life. This is particularly evident in the scene of the peasants moving their household belongings, including a plump bolster, on a heavily-laden cart.


Portrait of a Lady of Elizabeth's Court

Segar was a portrait painter in an age when life-sized portraiture was less in demand than the miniature. Portraits were rarely signed and often produced by a workshop, making it difficult to differentiate between artists or to isolate the work of one particular painter. Highly decorative and two-dimensional, Portrait of a Lady of Elizabeth's Court is less of a likeness than a statement of the lady's immense wealth and social position with her extravagance of jewellery, sumptuous embroidered gown with 'blackwork' embroidery and elaborate ruff. Her identity is as yet uncertain. In her right hand she holds a 'flea fur', probably of marten fur. These were extravagant and costly accessories, valued for their decorative qualities, rather than for their success in apprehending fleas! Our portrait is one of very few depictions of such furs. So far the sitter has resisted identification, in the 19th century she was called Queen Elizabeth I and more recently The Countess of Worchester. She was definitely a woman of some importance with ostentation in dress.


What You Will

Unusual beginnings as the proprietor of a successful London drapery shop earned Smith the nickname 'Old Drapery Face'. He devoted his spare time to miniature and portrait painting and before long took up engraving - it is as a printmaker that his reputation is greatest. Our picture is one of a set of four, of which Smith produced printed versions in 1791. They were called A Maid; A Wife, A Widow and What You will. In this picture, not strictly a portrait, the artist has used a model to illustrate the fashionable, flirtatious type of woman he wanted to portray. Smith's subject matter here reflects a change in society's attitudes towards the women in the 18th century whose roles were considered less socially acceptable. While the morals of those who were actresses or well-known mistresses were still publicly frowned upon the outrage declared was often pretence, expressed to define the upright morals of the rest of society. In reality, such women were often fêted, many becoming subjects for the most fashionable portrait painters of their day.


Lady Holland

Richardson was an English portrait painter, writer and collector. Although regarded as one of the leading portraitists of his generation, he is today better remembered for his writings on art than for his paintings. The identity of the sitter in this portrait has never been formally confirmed. Research from the National Portrait Gallery proposes that she is Rebecca, the second and youngest daughter and co-heir of William Paston, last Earl of Yarmouth. She married John Holland in 1699. He succeeded his grandfather as 2nd Baronet in 1701. An alternative source, however, suggests that Lady Holland is the daughter or niece of C. Cornell of Castleton, Eire, who served as M.P. for Westminster in the late 18th century.


Portrait of John Kirby Picard Jnr

John Kirby Picard (1766-1843), the sitter's father, was a Deputy Recorder of Hull and a prosperous lead importer who issued lead trading tokens in Hull. J.K. Picard Junior (1797-1836) joined the Horse Guards and fought at Waterloo, resigning his commission in 1822. He later became a partner in his father's business. The painting was probably done just before he left home to join the army. The stone monument upon which he sits is presumably imaginary - as the son of a civic dignitary rather than a country squire, there was no extensive estate in which he could be represented. James Ramsay achieved considerable success as a portrait painter. He also exhibited history and genre scenes. He lived and worked for much of the time in London, but frequently returned to the north, eventually settling in Newcastle upon Tyne. There, he painted the famous wood engraver Thomas Bewick (1753-1828), who recorded in his memoirs that Ramsay, 'gives the character as well as the likeness so correctly that they look like the person alive - they ought indeed not to be called likeness but Fac similes.'


Idealised portrait of Linnaeus

The artist was appointed animal painter to King George III and later to the Prince Regent. This portrait of the botanist Linnaeus was probably painted in Leeds on the occasion of the opening of the Hull Botanic Gardens to a commission from the Hull Botanic Gardens Committee. The artist would have had little or no direct evidence of what Linnaeus looked like. Linnaeus (1707-1778) founded the modern system of botanical classification. His long career was spent at the University of Uppsala in Sweden. The flower shown in the portrait is Linnaeus Borealis and the Order is that of the Polar Star.


Holy Family

Giulio Procaccini began his career as a sculptor working on the dome of Milan Cathedral. He soon abandoned sculpture in favour of painting, following in the footsteps of his father and teacher, Ercole Procaccini the Elder. Giulio was at one time also a pupil of Annibale Carracci (1560-1609), the most gifted member of the famous Italian Carracci family of painters. Procaccini's early work is characterised by a graceful elegance most notable in the numerous paintings he produced depicting the Holy Family. This piece, possibly by a close follower of the artist, may well eventually prove to be a lost original by him. This painting presents a more natural depiction of the Holy Family. The Virgin Mary is typically shown holding the Christ Child, with a much older Joseph in the background. The female in the top left corner is possibly St. Anna, Mary's mother, who appears frequently in depictions of the Holy Family.


Holy Family with St. Simeon and St. John the Baptist

Santa Croce came from a Bergamese family of painters whose work was influenced by Venetian painting, and especially Giovanni Bellini (c.1430/40-1516). He is also believed to have been a follower of Francesco di Simone (d.1508). Almost all Santa Croce's known works consist of Virgins and saints set against landscape backgrounds. The Ferens' picture is the only work by the artist in a UK public collection. This is an adaptation of a painting by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), held at Castle Ashby. Its depiction of the Holy Family is a subject that Rizzo painted numerous times. The Holy Family are depicted on the left with St. Simeon holding St. John The Baptist as an infant on the right. In the New Testament God promised an old Holy Man called Simeon that he would see the Messiah with his own eyes before he died. Led to the temple by the Holy Spirit, Simeon found Mary and Joseph presenting the baby Jesus, as was required by the law. Simeon then held Jesus in his arms and gave thanks to the Lord.


Holy Family with two female figures

The artist spent much of his career in Rome, where he made many adaptations of the works of Renaissance and Baroque masters, and where this picture was probably painted. He combined a heightened use of colour with a meticulous technique. Th treatment of the subject here is unusual since the Holy Family is rarely depicted with female companions. It is possible that one of the figures in the background is St. Anna, who frequently appears in paintings of the Holy Family. The Virgin and the infant are posed in the traditional manner of 'the Pieta', foreshadowing the lamentation of the dead Christ after the descent from the cross. In this painting, the child is unusual in covering his face with his hands. However, the fact that his genitals are clearly displayed is unsurprising, since this is commonly interpreted as an allusion to his earthly descent into manhood and to the circumcision. In Counter-Reformation Catholicism, paintings of the Holy Family were sometimes thought to be the earthly, or terrestrial counterpart of the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost).