First lines are all alike, except when they aren’t.

 “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”.

                 -from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
19th c Writting Desk      Mobile phone & sealing wax

Doctors Bag

A member of the public donated this fascinating Doctors Obstetrics Case to the museum collection today. It was used by a local Doctor based at the old Doctor Lees Surgery at the ‘Rowans’ Tottington Road, Bury. The case dates from the late 1940’s. Here are some photos of just some of its contents.

Steralisation pan  Silkworm Gut

Silkworm Gut tube  Needle case

It’s a glass fire extinguisher

Thank you Facebook friends for taking part in our challenge and well done to Maria who guessed correctly.

This type of extinguisher was designed to be thrown on a fire and to break easily and spew the contents at the base of the fire and quench the flames. Because of this unique use, the grenades were designed to be light and easily handled. These grenades were to be found in homes, hotels, factories, schools, trains and other commercial buildings at the beginning of the 20th century. Many grenades are embossed with the name of the manufacturer such as Harden’s, Hayward’s, Babcock, Harkness. These beautiful and useful glass products have been gradually replaced by the metal fire extinguisher as we know it today.

Fire Extinguisher

Brown Bear, paws only.

Part of Bury Art Museum's Natural History collection

Part of Bury Art Museum’s Natural History collection


I came across these knitting patterns today in our craft collection. They span from the 1940s through to the 1970s and are a fascinating insight into knitwear fashions of the time.

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Arts N’ Crafts – John Cooper Clarke

…..form and function in a line

The rudiments of good design

From the oaken leg to the fine wine

To table tops of melamine.

Stainless steel and a rock hard aura

The marble glance of a lost explorer

A heavy heart for the love of Nora

Chains of flowers on a draped amphora

Time, time, time to slay

Each crowded hour of every day

Where indolence is kept at bay In an arty-crafty kinda way’.

2 pages from a Victorian scrapbook part of our ‘Craft’ collection.

Wrigley Sisters Scrapbook page 72Wrigley Sisters Scrapbook page 12

Werner’s White

Abraham Gottlob Werner’s Nomencalture of Colours has inspired a major new exhibition which will take place in the museum in 2013 to coincide with Bury Light Night. The exhibition looks into Werner’s classification of the colour white, hundreds of white museum objects will be displayed and an artist will be projecting an artwork onto the museum display case, effectively turning it into a large white canvas for the evening.

White collar White mortar White Cotton Apron White Bra


A friend recently emailed me the following quote which I wanted to share with you all: Terence McKenna was an American writer & philosopher, when asked “so what’s the answer” his reply was – “Art, art and more art, create as much art as you can, because it is the job of the artist to save the soul of humanity, art is our expression of the wholeness of our being, and is not subject to rules and regulations, or even language. It is the artist who journeys into the realms of consciousness and brings us the keys to the jailhouse of our egoic mind, or at least that’s how I see it, art must be about the story of the human spirit, anything less is a mere dithering while Rome burns”.



Lotus Shoes ‘Will you walk a little faster?’ said a whiting to a snail, ‘There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail’. (Lewis Carroll)

Woman's Lotus Shoes

Art_Fund_Logo 2Hairwork Embroidery

Just been to London to collect ten beautiful and unusual 18thc hairwork embroideries they have been gifted to our collection from the Art Fund. This style of embroidery was popular in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Ladies would very skilfully reproduce engravings of the most popular paintings of the day. The embroideries were often worked with human hair in a palette of black and dark ground stitches of various sizes onto silk. This gives the impression of a stipple engraving; lots of teeny, tiny dots.

Hairwork Embroidery


Birds ‘How about Cloudcuckooland?’ (Naming the capital city of the birds – Aristophanes, c444-c380 B.C.) 




Bonnets & Brooch ‘Listen. It is night in the chill, squat chapel, hymning in bonnet and brooch and bombazine black, butterfly choker and bootlace bow’. (Dylan Thomas – Under Milkwood)

Black Bonnet White Bonnet Mourning Brooch


Japanese Photograph Album c.1890 – 1900 This album is part of our ethnography collection one of our oldest collections. It contains 98 images of scenes of Japanese life. The subject matter depicted includes villages, towns, rivers, bridges, temples, religious statues, different aspects of working life and geisha girls. Produced by K. Kimbei Photographers, Yokohama

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