Welcome back to an A to Z of discovery at Kiplin Hall and Gardens. Today we explore S is for… slipper. In this case, just the one, not a pair. A single slipper, that came as quite a surprise to new Curator, Alice Rose, and her volunteer team.
In 2020 Kiplin Hall and Gardens acquired the Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection. Annie was an antique dealer with a large private collection. She sadly died at just 68 years old and left instructions in her will for her collection to go a charitable organisation. It’s now found a home at Kiplin.
While the collection is being catalogued and plans are made for a permanent display, a temporary exhibition has been created. “Introducing… The Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection” is currently on display on the top floor of the museum, and explores how and why museums acquire collections, and how they are taken care of.
We know from Annie’s friends and photographs of her home that her collection was very much entwined in her everyday life. She used Victorian items as decoration in her own home, and as functional objects. This led to some usual discoveries once the collection was unpacked at Kiplin Hall.
As objects have been unpacked to be cleaned, checked, and prepared for storage or display, elements of Annie’s everyday life have come to light. A large brass milk churn contained a number of wine bottle corks and one modern velvet slipper! Perhaps it was hidden as a joke by friends enjoying a glass or two of wine with Annie? Surprises were found in other items too. Antique caddies containing modern sugar and tea, clearly items used by Annie in her own kitchen. The contents of the objects have been documented in the museum’s records, as their presence informs how best to clean and take care of the objects, as well as giving an insight into Annie as a person and her collection. A display case has recently been installed in the exhibition housing the modern surprises that have been discovered inside antique items.
Visitors can find out even more about the collection at an exclusive event this October. “A Celebration of Yorkshire Cheese” takes place on Thursday 7th October at 6:30pm and includes a talk from Curator, Alice Rose, exploring the tradition of dairying at Kiplin Hall and objects linked to milk from the collection. As well as a cheese tasting experience from Andy Swinscoe from The Courtyard Dairy, as seen on the BBC’s ‘Remarkable Places to Eat’. Booking is essential for this event as places are very limited. Tickets are £45.00 and can be booked HERE.
The temporary “Introducing… The Annie Marchant Kitchen and Dairy Collection” exhibition is open now, on the 2nd floor of the museum. There is no lift so visitors do need to be able to climb the stairs. The long-term plans for the collection’s display will be fully accessible, as part of a £1.2million project to build a new welcome centre, café and exhibition space at the site. Kiplin is open 6 days a week, closed on Thursdays.