VIDEO: Bringing together the curious and astonishing

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Contributed by Storrington Museum, School Lane, Storrington

When we appealed for anyone with a Quirky Collection of any description to let us borrow it for the Museum exhibition, we had no idea what to expect.

JPCT 150713 'Quirky Collections' at Storrington Museum. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 150713 'Quirky Collections' at Storrington Museum. Photo by Derek Martin

Then some months ago we were given a big basket of items which had belonged to an elderly lady – dozens of handbells, honeypots tiny china animals, and teddybears – and we were off!

Gradually other items started to arrive: there are secateurs, and coathangers - quirky enough certainly - thimbles and feeding cups, curious teapots and Coalport pastille burners, miniscule books and buttons, and decorative little candles still unlit after fifty or sixty years. Some are impressive: the exquisite Nyon china, and the lovely display of silver button hooks and the antique tools for letter-writing, and for curling and drying hair. Some are astonishing, like the little engraved silver box holding beauty patches, and the long candle snuffer to blow out candles across a wide table, creating a powerful sense of a very different past; and some are redolent of a distant country – the model elephants, the beautiful seashells from the West Indies and the mid-19th century soapstone statuettes from Jaipur.

And some have still to be identified!

Sue Setford has created a display of articles ranging from ‘that’s really beautiful’ to ‘why on earth keep that!’. But that’s what makes it such a Quirky Collection, and we are grateful to the many people who have trusted us with their ‘treasures’.

The exhibition continues until September.