A surprisingly eclectic mix of curios has been unearthed by Archive Assistant, Karen Jacques, from the E.L. Burney Collection. The Burney Collection, donated in 1975–77, comprises of a large number of printed items, but also includes letters, notebooks and other papers associated with Mrs George Linnaeus Banks (1821–97), née Isabella Varley, the Manchester schoolmistress and authoress of The Manchester Man (1876) and her husband George Linnaeus Banks. However, the subject coverage is wide, with items of local history, women’s literature, general and popular fiction, book illustration and juvenilia, but one of the most interesting parts of the catalogue contains more than 40 items listed as relics, which were collected by Mr & Mrs Banks.
These are a few of our favourite things:
This item is listed in the catalogue as a silk purse made of two scallop (pectin) shells. Unfortunately there isn’t any information to explain how it came into the possession of the Banks’ or when it dates from.
This photo shows a brightly coloured pair of unmade slippers worked in a mission house in Shanghai. These were bought by Isabella Banks in 1890 from Mr Gibbons.
This single glove was dropped by Queen Victoria in a corridor at Windsor Castle and was acquired by Mrs Banks.
Amongst the other items collected by the Banks’ is a lock of hair of a Fiji Islander given to George Banks in 1849, two mother of pearl pieces one with floral inset and glass from a button on the dress of a ‘Chinaman’ who came over in a Chinese Junk in 1884.