Sponsor one of our objects
Wiltshire Museum cares for almost one million artefacts that tell our county’s story. Some urgently need conservation work and your help to fund specialist care would be greatly appreciated.
* You can support the whole cost or donate a smaller sum towards the restoration.
* You could leave a sum to us in your will.
* It’s also a perfect gift for that ‘person who has everything’.
Your kind action will be recorded on our documentation system and when the object becomes one of our website 'Collections Highlights', making you part of the object’s story, as well as preserving it for future generations.
Below, you can see some of the items that need care; there are others if you have a specific subject area that you would like to support.
Our curatorial team look forward to meeting you and showing you the object that you would like to help, both before and after its conservation.
Please contact us on email@example.com or 01380 727369
A. C. Smith Presentation Volume
This beautiful hand-written and hand-illustrated book dates from the early days of our Society (DZSWS:MSS.4528) and was donated during lockdown - having been rescued from a skip in the 1960s/70s!
It was presented to the Rev. Alfred Charles Smith as “a memorial of his exemplary and valuable labours on behalf of the Society”. At that time he had been “for nearly thirty years a most indefatigable and industrious honorary Secretary of the Society and Editor of its Magazine”.
The album actually records WANHS members who contributed to a present for his daughter, Jane Emilia Smith, on the occasion of her marriage to the Rev John Penrose (curate of Potterne) in Yatesbury on 22 April 1884. The presents were a ‘magnificent silver tray and four candlesticks’ - we wonder if they’ve survived?
Smith was Rector of Yatesbury and compiled the ‘Guide to the British and Roman Antiquities of the North Wiltshire Downs in a Hundred Square Miles around Avebury’ and wrote Pilgrimage and Attractions of the Nile, the latter being of such interest it was reprinted in 2018. The end boards of the presentation volume are “made from wood from the Holy Land and Egypt”. The volume is bound in plain black boards with a thin gold border, but inside are colourful pages of calligraphy, a watercolour of Stonehenge and black and white photographs of many of those who contributed to the wedding gifts. Research into the individuals listed is ongoing, with the aim of creating a small display in the Long Room in due course.
It is a vitally important document about our history but urgently needs rebinding and conservation cleaning to protect it for the future. We will also scan the photographs so that we can research and highlight the stories of our early members.
‘The Melksham Ox’, Thomas Barker, 1838
Showing a skull of bos primigenius found in the Avon at Melksham 1838.
Bos primigeniusis is a species of ferocious widl cattle, better known as aurochs, which became extinct in the Mesolithic period, some 7,000 years ago.
This oil painting (DZSWS:1983.6142) requires extensive conservation work to restore it to its full glory.
Height 865 mm; width 1550 mm
Estimated cost: £4,000
Medieval gilt-bronze spur from the Royal Castle at Ludgershall
Dated to 1350-1400, the tumultuous years of the War of the Roses and the decade afterwards.
This item (DZSWS:1990.2.2950) is normally on display in the Museum, with your help we can conserve it so it can return it to the gallery.
Cost : £750
Unknown artist, c1760
Oil painting featuring Lucretia Withers, wife of Devizes goldsmith Ralph Withers and daughter of Ralph Good, goldsmith and mayor of Devizes (DZSWS:2000.1002).
Requires conservation and cleaning.
Width 605 mm; height 730 mm
Estimated Cost: £3,000
Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, Third Marquis of Lansdowne
This characterful portrait (DZSWS: 2000.1004) requires conservation and cleaning.
Width 650 mm; height 730 mm
Estimated cost: £3,000
We are grateful to our supporters who have already sponsored these items.
Shepherds’ hut with Stonehenge on the horizon Unknown artist
Atmospheric nineteenth century oil painting (DZSWS:2015.1004) requiring conservation and cleaning.
Height 295 mm; width 445 mm.
Find out more about the painting here.
Cost: £1,000 plus VAT.
Sponsored in memory of Andy Knight, 1961-2022
Volume of Kemm watercolours of Wiltshire, c.1860
This compilation of watercolours (DZSWS: 1982.1077- 2338) is a fascinating architectural record of Wiltshire’s churches in the 1860s. It contains 1261 pages, which urgently need rebinding.
This page shows a stained glass window at Amesbury.
Height 235 mm; width 348 mm
SPONSORSHIP RECEIVED MARCH 2022. Thank you to the Donor who has now made it possible to rebind this volume of Victorian watercolours.
Letters from key pioneer archaeologists to William Cunnington, 1798-1810.
This bound volume of letters (DZSWS:MSS.2598) was in desperate need separating, cleaning and re-binding. An associated letter book was conserved in 2020, with great results.
The volume contains letters on archaeological and publishing matters from of correspondents including John Britton, Rev Edward Duke, Rev James Douglas, A B Lambert, H. Johnson, William Martin, Rev Thomas Leman, James Sowerby, William Owen and others. The volume also includes a few drawings and copies of some of Cunnington's replies.
Cost : £6,600 + VAT
Sponsorship achieved with help from the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, December 2021. Thanks to the donor and the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, these important letters have now been conserved.
Late Roman Irchester bowl
This type of bowl (dates from 284 - 476 AD) was usually part of a dinner service or perhaps for handwashing and was designed to hang from the ceiling. Found in Lacock in 2017, roughly a third of the bowl is missing and requires conservation (DZSWS 2018.6).
Cost: £400 plus VAT. Collections Trust