Match the object with ten London museums ahead of the CultureLine Mystery Weekend tour

By Culture24 Staff | 02 August 2010
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CultureLine, the partnership of ten museums along the new London Overground East London Line, is hosting a Summer Discovery Weekend between August 6 – 8 to highlight the wonder and diversity of the thousands of objects they hold between them.

The action-packed weekend takes in everything from a talk about contemporary artists at the Whitechapel to an exploration of the Elephant Man at the Royal London Hospital Museum. In between are a range of guided walks, temporary exhibitions, object handling sessions, nature trails, music and food days and even a subterranean fair.

To whet your appetite we have lined up a series of mystery objects and pictures from each of the museums – see if you can match them with the CultureLine museums listed below (answers at the bottom of the page).

Hackney Museum
Geffrye Museum
Wesley’s Chapel
The Royal London Hospital Museum
Whitechapel Gallery
The Women's Library
Brunel Museum
Horniman Museum
Crystal Palace Museum
Museum of Croydon

What are these mystery objects and can you match them with a CultureLine museum?

a photo of a fish like dried and semi fossilised object with a human head

1. (Above) Half man half fish? Who would hold such a bizarre object?

a photo of a chalice held within a shaped leather case

2. Clearly a cup in a shaped case, but what kind of cup and who did it belong to?

a photo of a long rail tunnel

3. Hang on a minute… that looks like a tunnel. What kind of museum has a tunnel as an exhibit?

a photo of a banner with the words: Shorthand Writers. Speed! Fight on

4. A banner for Shorthand writers? Part of a fascinating exhibition at one of the CultureLine museums

a photograph of two ceramic dishes

5. Gaudy souvenir ceramics from Crystal Palace – there’s a clue in there somewhere.

a photograph of a gold plated urinal

6. A bling urinal? Elton John’s loo? I think not... What's it all about?

a photograph of a red bubble car

7. It’s a bubble car – the smart car of its day – obviously. But which eclectic museum collection holds it?

a photograph of a domed glass display case with several colourful birds within it

8. A jar full of birds – but what was its function and where does it now reside?

a black and white photograph of a set of dentures

9. Anyone seen my teeth? Evidently an important set of gnashers but whose were they and where are they now?

a photo of a shop frontage with the words Fresh Live Eels Always Available

10. Fresh Eels Always Available? Where? Billingsgate Fish Market? Leighton High Street?


1. It's a Japanese Merman - actually a 19th century fake made from a monkey's torso and a fish's tail at the Horniman Museum - home to many more bizarre and fascinating objects.

2. It's a portable chalice with tolled leather carrying case, owned by John Wesley from the collection of the Wesley Museum - a step back into eighteenth century London and the birth of Methodism.

3. The Thames Tunnel - believe it or not this is accessible from the Brunel Museum. The world’s first underwater tunnel was built beneath the River Thames in London between 1825 and 1843 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and his son Marc Brunel. When it opened it was known as ’The Eighth Wonder of the World’.

4. A ‘Shorthand Writers’ Suffrage Banner’ from The Women’s Library, which is currently exploring how the Suffragettes used the postal service as part of their votes for women campaign. Guerrilla marketeers take note!

5. End of the pier-style 19th century souvenir ceramics - just a pair from the fine ceramic collection to be found at The Crystal Palace Museum.

6. This is Sherrie Levine’s 'Fountain (Buddha)' – a gold plated urinal after Duchamp’s 1917 original from the The D. Daskalopoulos Collection currently on show at the Whitechapel Gallery.

7. A Trojan bubble car from the surprising and boldly thematic collections held by Museum of Croydon.

8. A Victorian Ornament containing eight assorted stuffed birds mounted inside a glass dome from the wonderful period rooms and gardens of the Geffrye Museum.

9. This fine pair of gnashers are in fact George Washington’s dentures - one of countless fascinating objects held at the Royal London Hospital Museum.

10. A pie, mash and eel shopfront - one of the many surprising East End London treasures featured in Hackney Museum.

For more treasures and the full programme of weekend events don't forget to check out

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