Needlework sampler made by 12 year old Elizabeth Brazier at Lyminge National School in 1882. Elizabeth was one of 8 children living with her parents, Robert and Jane Brazier at Etchinghill,.
Mounted specimen of a red kite. Red kites are birds of prey whose diet includes mice, voles, shrews and rabbits. They grow up to 70cm high with a maximum wingspan of 1.79m. When flying, they are recognisable by their large size, red-brown colour and distinctive forked tail. Red kites were a protected species in medieval times, as they kept the streets free of rotting food, but by the 1870s had been hunted to extinction in England. Successfully re-introduced in recent years, they can again be seen in Kent, including on the white cliffs near Folkestone.
20 Ancient Egyptian scarab beetle amulets. Amulets were magic charms worn by the Ancient Egyptians to ward off evil spirits, or for good luck. They were worn in life, but also wrapped into the bandages of mummies to protect them on their journey to heaven. Most represented gods or sacred animals. The blue and green ones are made of pottery, covered in a glassy glaze called faience. The brown ones are carved from stone. You can see Ancient Egyptian picture writing (hieroglyphics) on the bottom of the amulets.
Tesserae from the Mosque of Omar, Jerusalem. The Mosque of Omar is an important Islamic site in Jerusalem, famous for its minarets and intricate mosaics. Built in 1193 by Saladin, it replaced an earlier mosque of the same name, constructed by Caliph Omar (AD 579-664) which was located nearby. These colourful mosaic tiles (tesserae) are believed to come from one of these two sites. Made from coloured stones, green and blue glass. Some of the tesserae are covered in gold leaf.
Biddenden cake, imprinted with the image of Mary and Eliza Chulkhurst, a pair of conjoined twins, supposedly born in Biddenden, Kent in the year AD 1100. Income from land they bequeathed to the village paid for a dole of food and drink to the poor every Easter. The legend became popular in Victorian times when thousands of rowdy visitors flocked to the village, and sometimes kept a Biddenden cake as a souvenir. Complete (with post card, explanatory poster and tin).
This is the Bouverie Shield which was fixed above the entrance of Folkestone’s old Town Hall until it was demolished in 1858. The current town hall, which includes Folkestone Museum was built on the same site. William Bouverie, 2nd Viscount Folkestone and his family were important in the development of the town. He was made 1st Earl of Radnor in 1765. The shield is carved with the coats of arms of the Playdell and Bouverie families, with 28 ancestor families represented. The shield includes eagles, choughs, lions, swans and a dragon. The motto in Latin translates as ‘Dear is my homeland, but liberty is dearer’ (freedom is more important).
Emblazonment of (watercolour painting of/key to) the Bouverie Shield which was fixed above the entrance of Folkestone’s old Town Hall until it was demolished in 1858. The current town hall, which includes Folkestone Museum was built on the same site. William Bouverie, 2nd Viscount Folkestone and his family were important in the development of the town. He was made 1st Earl of Radnor in 1765. The shield is carved with the coats of arms of the Playdell and Bouverie families, with 28 ancestor families represented. The shield includes eagles, choughs, lions, swans and a dragon. The motto in Latin translates as ‘Dear is my homeland, but liberty is dearer’ (freedom is more important).
William Harvey was a famous doctor and scientist who discovered the circulation of the blood. He was born in Folkestone in 1578. This is the bronze pestle and mortar he used to grind up ingredients for his medicines. It was made by Michael Burgehuys in 1625. Inscription: MICHAEL BURGERHUYS ME FECIT 1625 SOLI DEO GRATIA. Patients included King James I for whom he was Physician Extraordinary.
A lidded porcelain cup for drinking hot chocolate.Decorated with flower sprigs and gold swags around rim. When chocolate first came to Britain as an expensive, exotic, luxury product in the 1600s, the only way to taste it was by drinking it… as hot chocolate. Cacao beans were ground up and melted in hot water. Sugar, milk and spices were added, and the mixture frothed with a stirring stick called a molinet. At home, the fashion was to sip hot chocolate as an early morning or bedtime drink.
This is a rare Tudor dish, made by the French potter Bernard Palissy (c1510-c1589) or one of his followers. He is best known for his rustic wares – highly decorative platters featuring small raised animals among vegetation, which were sometimes moulded from the casts of dead specimens. The animals, including fish, crabs, reptiles, ferns and flowers, were inspired by those Palissy found in the Saintonge marshes. Look closely at this dish to spot a lizard, a snake, a frog, a crab, butterflies, seashells and several small beetles, inside a grape vine border. This dish was bought by William Jabez Muckley (1829-1905) in about 1850. Muckley was a noted Victorian artist, best known for his paintings of fruit and flowers and the dish was a much-prized piece in his personal collection. It came into the Folkestone Museum collection through his son Angelo Fairfax Muckley (1859-1920) who was also an artist, and who served in the First World War as a Captain in the East Kent Regiment (The Buffs).
These tiny books, some no more than 1cm wide, include the New Testament, Bijou’s Illustrations of Christ’s Life, Poems Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect by Robert Burns, and Hampton’s ABC Railway Guide. They were possibly made for a Victorian dolls house, along with a miniature working magnifying glass to help read them.