Wednesday, 17 December 2014

A miscellany of things on an Assistant Curators desk!

From left to right; two Mexican ceramic heads; 1977.15.1& .2; mummified ibis 1894.40.11894.40.1; figure of Buddha, Myanmar 1894.27.167; tattooing apparatus, Myanmar 1884.27.41; mummified ibis in pottery vessel 1901.30.1 & .2; zither in the shape of a crocodile, Myanmar; 1938.34.58 © Pitt Rivers Museum

As a member of the collections department I often have a number of interesting objects for cataloguing and photography on my desk. The objects out on this particular day were so for a number of reasons. The Mexican pottery heads were for a photographic request. Scholars often require studio images of objects for publication and research. I retrieve the object from storage/display and get the object to our professional photographer. The mummified ibises were out for a request to be sampled. Sampling requests for scientific research have to be considered very carefully in consultation with the conservation department. The zither, statue and tattooing implement from Myanmar will go on loan for exhibition to The Linden Museum Stuttgart, Germany for the exhibition 'Myanmar - The Golden Land'. Before objects can be loaned we have to assess if they are suitable for travel before the loan is approved they then have to be catalogued and condition checked. These are just some of the elements of work, highlighted by the objects on my desk on one particular day that goes on in the collections department of the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Faye Belsey 
Assistant Curator

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