A regular column by Patricia Buck of Spalding Gentlemen’s Society museum in Spalding.
What artefact could I find for the fast approaching festive season?
‘... the amulet was made around 1,500 years before Christ and that the owner would have had it as a New Year’s gift.
Works by Dickens? Yes, we’ve got some.
Victoriana? That era of traditional costumes and fayre that still influences us today; or fine sparkling glassware that would grace any festive table?
Actually a rather special New Year’s gift caught my eye and so I am musing on genteel 18th century Grand Tours, and travellers to Egypt such as Richard Pococke, who corresponded with Maurice Johnson.
Such early antiquarians and collectors were gentlemen able to underpin their classical learning by visiting places of historical fame.
They brought back a good deal of education through their writings, mapping or philosophising about the pyramids and wonders that they saw.
They relished illustrating their finds and picked up keepsakes from the dust beneath their feet to be brought back and added to their collections.
Among a myriad other things once collected and now left in our capable care, I invite you to notice the little Egyptian amulet pictured here above.
The legend card tells us that the amulet was made around 1,500 years before Christ and that the owner would have had it as a New Year’s gift. It’s a magical token of their wish to live for thousands of years. Although I cannot know their name or anything about them I like to think that a little bit of them has survived in this personal possession for these 3,515 years.
And, thanks to the collectors and to the museum, long may we keep that essence alive in our occasional thoughts.
The next SGS Museum and Library Open Day is in January. If you would like a guided tour then contact us. Individuals and parties welcome by arrangement. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or telephone us on 01775 724658.