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.
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.