Oil paintings and royal robes make A Few of my Favourite Things at Colchester Castle

By Ben Miller | 18 February 2011
A photo of a pair of blue and gold slippers
Embroidered slippers from the 19th century at Colchester Castle
Exhibition: A Few of my Favourite Things, Colchester Castle, Colchester, February 19 – June 26 2011

The broadness of exhibits in this show is staggering. Ordered under the umbrella of collecting through the ages, you can see oil paintings of Flemish villages, ceremonial robes worn by the 1st Baron of Colchester in 1817, the bones of Chinese gold pheasants and their extinct New Zealand cousins, flint arrowheads from 15,000 years ago and toys.

A photo of a jar containing leaves and plantlife in water
Discover the natural history gems held by Colchester and Ipswich Museums
The archaeology, community history, fine art, costume and natural history vaults of Colchester and Ipswich Museums provide these beauties, and there’s a distinctly local angle to their artefacts.

A supposedly extinct Cherry Weevil insect was rediscovered by Assistant Curator Nigel Cuming at a nearby reservoir in 2005, and prehistoric objects found by a pair of amateur collectors who sailed along the coast in their own boat are also on display.

“Many of us collect objects, whether these are postage stamps, cuddly toys or even family photographs,” says Heritage Manager Philip Wise, who has even managed to include the tale of a woman who used lipstick to communicate with her visually impaired daughter.

“This exhibition looks at why museums collect and how the nature of collecting has changed over time.”

“It demonstrates the wealth and breadth of Colchester’s history,” adds Nick Barlow, the culture leader of the town’s borough council.

“It is a fantastic opportunity to give access to parts of the collections that are not normally on display.”

  • Open 10am-5pm (11am-5pm Sunday). Admission £3.80-£6 (free for under-5s, group tickets available).
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