Explorers and Collectors Case Contents

The explorers and collectors gallery consists of nine display cases containing a range of items from the museum collection. Some cases display archaeological finds ranging from pottery, glassware, tools, coins and jewellery were discovered by Explorers of Kent, such as the Anglo Saxon artefacts discovered by Canterbury Archaeological Trust and metal detectorists, in the 20th and 21st centuries. Other cases were collected in varying circumstances by individuals connected to Canterbury who travelled and collected from countries around the world.
  • Profile head crowned with laurel Perhaps 5th to 4th century BC; found in Rhodes, 1824

‘Spangle’ Pendant

Mid 6th-Mid 7th Century AD

Metal

Trapezoid “spangle” made of white washed metal sheet, with punched dots around the edges. This may have been worn on a necklace, or it could have been mounted on another object as decoration.

Aboriginal hammers

Aboriginal hammers

Early to mid-19th century

Stone, wood and gum

These are practical tools made from local materials. The stones are fixed to the wooden handles with gum from trees.

Aegis amulet

Aegis amulet

Aegis

Green glazed amulet with three row pearl border. Card for Egyptian IV states “Amulet in fused green enamel”.

Reference: CANCM: 2428
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Afghan embroidered trousers 19th century; made in Afghanistan, bought in Tashkent

Afghan embroidered trousers 19th century; made in Afghanistan, bought in Tashkent

Cotton

Described by Lansdell as from ‘Chambar’, a place in Afghanistan. The colourful embroidery is typical of Afghan work. Lansdell bought them at a bazaar in Tashkent, a Russian trading city north of the Afghan border. He thought they would ‘be warm and both useful, when tied at the bottoms’ during his journeys on horseback across the continent.
Lansdell had his photograph taken wearing these trousers.

Presented by Mary Landsdell in memory of her late husband, 1922, and conserved with grant-aid from the Kathy Callow Trust, 2012
Reference: 2006.56.15
Can be found: Henry Lansdell in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African dagger in scabbard

African dagger in scabbard

18th to early 19th century; Fernando Po, West Africa

Wood and metal

Small dagger in gold-covered scabbard collected in 1821-26.

Presented by Captain Thomas Boteler, RN, to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1827-28, and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: 4613
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African dagger in scabbard 18th to early 19th century; Fernando Po, West Africa

African dagger in scabbard 18th to early 19th century; Fernando Po, West Africa

Wood and metal

Small dagger in gold-covered scabbard collected in 1821-26.

Presented by Captain Thomas Boteler, RN, to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1827-28, and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: 4612
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African hair pin

African hair pin

19th century

Bone

This hair pin has four long prongs and a spoon-shaped handle, which has been described as a snuff ladle.

African headrests

African headrests

19th century; Ashanti, Ghana

Painted wood

The smaller headrest is typical of the Ashanti people in the former Gold Coast, now Ghana. It is decorated with a wash of blue pigment. The larger headrest follows the Ghanaian shape but has elements of southeast African decoration. Cross-cultural styles like this were used in South Africa. The original black paint has worn with use.
Headrests were used by African men of fairly high status and were significant personal objects, protecting the owner’s head and hairstyle.

African sculpture, Qur’anic board, cap and gourds

African sculpture, Qur’anic board, cap and gourds

20th century; Yoruba, Hausa and Ashanti peoples, Nigeria and Ghana

Wood and bronze

Two of the Yoruba sculptures are ritual ‘deceased-twin substitute’ carvings. The third is a small figure with distinctive hairstyle. Such African sculptures, with bold abstract features, have had a huge influence on modern artists. The doll is Ashanti from Ghana and would be carried by a pregnant woman to promote beauty in her unborn child.
Ghana is a centre of gold mining and the Ashanti are best known for their intricate tiny brass sculptures used to weigh gold. Dried and decorated gourd rinds are from the Hausa people, northern Nigeria, as is the Qur’anic writing board of the Hausa people has been decorated to celebrate a pupil’s achievement at school, and the embroidered cap.

Lent by Dr David Heathcote, 2012
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African spear and shield

African spear and shield

19th century; Mahdi people, Sudan

Wood, metal, animal hide

Captain J Graham brought back three spearheads and two spears described as ‘small’ but with shafts so long they had to be broken for transport. One spearhead was said to have belonged to the Khalifa, the Mahdi’s successor.

Collected by Captain J. Graham, 1898, and presented by General Sir James Graham, KCB, 1902
Reference: 3007, 3009
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African sword

African sword

19th century; Akan Gold Coast (Ghana)

Metal and wood

The weapon with double-balled handle and openwork decoration on the blade is from the Akan area of the Gold Coast and probably an Ashanti sword.

Probably presented by Captain Thomas Boteler, RN, to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1828, and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African sword

African sword

19th century; Congo

Metal and wood

This is a Congo ceremonial sword used among the Ngombe, Ngbandi and Lokele peoples.

Probably presented by Captain Thomas Boteler, RN, to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1828, and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African sword and scabbard

African sword and scabbard

19th century; Mahdi people, Sudan

Metal and wood

A souvenir with broken blade. It belonged to a fighter in the Islamic Mahdi army massacred by British troops.

Collected by Captain J Graham, 1898, and presented by General Sir James Graham, KCB, 1902
Reference: 3004
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

African water pot and water juj

African water pot and water juj

20th century; Hausa people, Northern Nigeria

Earthenware, gourd rind

The pot was formed by pressing clay into an earthen hollow, making two half-rounds then joining them together and smoothing by hand. It sits on a ring when carried on the head. The jug is used for washing before entering a mosque.

Lent by Dr David Heathcote, 2012
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Africa, Asia, America, PacificHeroes and Villains in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Albuhera relics

1811

Flint and lead

Framed relics from the battlefield of Albuhera presented to the 1st Battalion of the Buffs by the Mayor of Albuhera in 1926.
The number of musket balls collected for this gift gives some idea of the thousands that must have been fired during the battle. The flint pieces were part of the musket firing mechanism and would strike a spark that fired the gunpowder and propelled the musket ball.

Donated to the National Army Museum, London by the Trustees of the Buffs Regimental Trust 2001
Reference: 2001-04-71-1-B
Can be found: The Buffs in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amber Beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Amber

Necklace of 12 amber beads, of various shapes and sizes. Amber was likely imported from the Baltic, and would have been expensive to purchase; these beads would have belonged to someone very wealthy.

Found at Eastry, Kent, by Mr. Irby. Presented to the museum by Dr. W.G. Urry
Reference: CANCM:7509
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amethyst beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Amethyst

String of 14 amethyst beads. Amethyst beads, mainly from trade routes that led through Germany, are more commonly found in Kent than elsewhere in the country.

Found by Mr. J. Brent.
Reference: CANCM:2139
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Small ornament in red stone/sun disc amulet of carnelian.

Reference: CANCM: 2122
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Faience amulet of a pregnant woman / taweret. Hole for cord, broken at bottom.

Amulet

Amulet

Green amulet in the shape of an eye.

Amulet

Amulet

Glazed amulet in the shape of a collar or Bes.

Amulet

Amulet

Bes, grotesque amulet figure for suspension with blue glaze

Reference: CANCM: 2126
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Faience amulet, possible obscene. Hole for cord has broken off the back.

Reference: CANCM:6009
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Large amulet in the shape of the cat goddess.

Amulet

Amulet

Small bird amulet.

Reference: CANCM: 6014
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Cat amulet.

Reference: CANCM:6013
Can be found: Ancient EgyptMiddle Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Faience amulet in the shape of a djed pillar; the Egyptian symbol of stability. Hole for cord.

Amulet

Amulet

A green faience amulet depicting a Ram, an animal significant to more than one deity in Ancient Egypt. It possibly represents either Amun-Re, king of the Gods, or Khnum the potter.

Reference: CANCM: 6016
Can be found: Ancient EgyptBottom Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Faience amulet in the shape of a lion. Hole for cord should be on the back but has been broken off.

Amulet

Amulet

Faience amulet in the shape of a ram-headed sphinx. Hole for cord above back.

Amulet

Amulet

Faience amulet in the shape of a standing goddess. Hole for cord above head.

Amulet

Amulet

Faience glazed bead in the shape of an eye.

Amulet

Amulet

Egyptian Sacred eye/Wadjet eye amulet.

Reference: CANCM: 2019
Can be found: Ancient EgyptBottom Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Wedjat eye amulet.

Reference: CANCM: 5995.1
Can be found: Ancient EgyptBottom Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Green bead in the shape of a dog-headed ape/standing baboon.

Amulet

Amulet

Faience green bead. Rabbit/hare.

Reference: CANCM: 6011
Can be found: Ancient EgyptBottom Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Amulet

Amulet

Faience bead in the shape of Bes.

Amulet

Amulet

Anubis amulet made of stone. First two fingers from mummy’s stone placed on left side of pelvis inside the body to ward off evil.

Reference: CANCM: 2014
Can be found: Ancient EgyptBottom Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Anklets

Anklets

19th century; collected in Jaipur, India, 1889

Metal

Tagged with a green label, like most of Lansdell’s collection, describing where acquired.

Presented by Mary Landsdell in memory of her late husband, 1922
Reference: 2006.56.48.1-3
Can be found: Henry Lansdell in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Ansate Brooch

5th-8th Centuries AD

Copper Alloy

Brooch. This type of brooch is sometimes called a ‘caterpillar’ brooch on account of their shape.

Presented by Canterbury Archaeological Trust
Reference: CANCM:1980.12.719
Can be found: The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of KentTop Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bark cloth

Bark cloth

19th century; South Sea Islands

Bark

Bead

Bead

Orange stone bead with six indentations.

Bead

Faience bead.

Bead

Faience bead with a hole for cord.

Bead

Semi-precious stone bead with a hole for cord.

Bead

Glass bead.

Bead

A blue glazed bead.

Bead

A blue glass bead.

Bead

A green glazed bead.

Bead

A green glazed bead.

Bead

Bead

A blue faience bead.

Bead

Bead

An inscribed cylindrical green bead with a hole for cord.

Bead

White scarab bead.

Bead

Bead

Pink stone bead. Scarab.

Bead

Bead

A blue bead in the shape of a bull.

Bead

Bead

Green bead in the form of a cat.

Bead

Bead

Amulet. Bast green bead in the form of cat goddess.

Bead

5th – 8th Century AD

Glass

Glass Bead.

Reference: Found in Canterbury in 1979 by Mr A. Waters. No accession number
Can be found: The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of KentTop Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Beads

Blue Egyptian beads strung on a modern string and clasp with a Roman lock.

Beads

Beads

Beads on modern string.

Beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Glass and Copper Alloy

Brass wire strung with two opaque yellow ‘annular’ beads and one unpolished cobalt blue ‘annular’ bead. This may have been a breast ornament – it would have been pinned onto a piece of clothing.

Beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Glass and stone

String of beads.

Found at Westbere Anglo-Saxon cemetery, Kent. Bequeathed by Osborn Dan
Reference: CANCM:6425
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Glass and stone

String of 69 beads of various colours.

Found in a grave at field coll place, Grove Ferry, Kent.
Reference: CANCM:1976
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Beads

5th – 8th Century AD

Glass and stone

Necklace containing four cylindrical (bugle) beads and what were originally quadruple pearl-like beads, some of which have since separated into single, double and triple beads.

Found at Eastry, Kent by Mr. Irby. Presented to the museum by Dr. W.G. Urry
Reference: CANCM:7511
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bell Beaker

6th Century AD

Glass

Carinated glass Bell-Beaker with fine white trials below the rim, and on the base. As this glass has no base, it has been suggested it was used for toasts at feasts; the drink would have had to be downed in one go.

Found in Westbere (Anglo-Saxon cemetery) Kent, UK. Bequeathed by Osborn Dan.
Reference: CANCM:6430
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bird Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Silver Gilt

Bird brooch, silver gilt, garnet inset in eye and tail, niello inlay.

Found in Bekesbourne, Kent, UK. by Mr. P.G. Wilson.
Reference: CANCM:7523
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bird Brooch

Bird Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Silver Gilt

Bird brooch, silver gilt, garnet inset in eye and tail, niello inlay.

Found in Bekesbourne, Kent, UK. by Mr. P.G. Wilson.
Reference: CANCM:7524
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bird Brooch

5th-8th Century AD

Gilded Copper Alloy

Bird shaped brooch of a Frankish type, with traces of gilt on the exterior.

Found at Eastry, Kent in 1792. Presented to the museum by Dr. W.G. Urry after a loan from Mr Irby
Reference: CANCM:7496.
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bird or seal

Bird or seal

Terracotta

Black and red glazed lamp

Black and red glazed lamp

Earthenware

Black bowl

Black bowl

Black two-handled pottery

5th to 1st century BC; found in Greece and Turkey

Earthenware

Cups for drinking wine or water, of a type called a skyphos.

Presented by Viscount Strangford to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1844, and acquired through purchase of the museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Viscount Strangford in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Black two-handled vase of unusual shape

Black two-handled vase of unusual shape

Found 1821

Blunt-ended sword

Blunt-ended sword

18th century; South India

Steel

This double-edged sword was used for cutting. The hilt (sword handle) has a bell-shaped pommel (end) and little protection for the knuckle.

Presented by Stephen Lushington to Canterbury Philosophical and Literary Institution Museum, 1825-68, and acquired through purchase of the Museum by Canterbury Corporation, 1846-47
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Stephen Lushington in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Body of vase with band of Greek key pattern

Body of vase with band of Greek key pattern

From Megara, 1821

Bracteates

5th – 8th Century AD

Gold

Kentish bracteates. Bracteates, thin single-sided gold medals, were worn as pendants on a string around the neck. They may have been seen as a protective amulet.

Bequeathed by Mr. J. Brent.
Reference: CANCM:2159, 2160
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brigadier General Van Straubenzee and Officers of The Buffs

about 1855

Copy of photograph by Roger Fenton (1819-69)

This photograph shows soldiers of the Buffs in the Crimea with a Brigade commander: from left, an Officer, Major Maude, a Sergeant Major, Brigadier-General Charles Thomas Van Straubenzee (seated), a Corporal-Bugler and an Adjutant. Roger Fenton went to the Crimea as the first official war photographer. Cameras needed a long time to create a picture and he was only able to take posed group shots like this one, or landscapes. Despite the poor conditions he produced 350 photographs, which were published in the Illustrated London News.

Image courtesy of the National Army Museum, London
Reference: 1964-12-151-6-14
Can be found: The Buffs in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bronze Cat Head

Bronze Cat Head

Bronze Sekhet.

Bronze Patera Bowl

7th Century AD

Copper Alloy

‘Coptic bowl’. Bowls of this type have been found in several other Anglo-Saxon cemetaries in Kent. They were made in Egypt, and probably were imported from Alexandria in the seventh century AD, arriving to Britain via the river Rhine.
Thought to be from Wickhambreaux (1886).

Bequeathed by Lt. Col Copeland.
Reference: CANCM:1107
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy

Equal arm brooch, set with garnets in gilt copper.

Found in Bourne Park, Kent, UK. by Mr. T. Sewell.
Reference: CANCM:1991.80.1
Can be found: The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of KentTop Shelf in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Silver

Rare Kentish silver brooch of cruciform shape.

Found by Mr. J. Brent.
Reference: CANCM:2660
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy

Bronze gilt brooch of Jutish type without a pin.

Brooch

Early 6th Century

Copper Alloy

Electroform copy of bronze gilt brooch - the original is at the British Museum. The earliest Saxons regularly used almost abstract animal designs on their jewellery.

Found in Martyr’s Field in 1900.
Reference: CANCM:nono
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy, silver and garnet

Circular silver jewelled disc brooch of Kentish work set with garnets; cloisonee work and gold wire filigree.

Collected by Mr. J. Brent. Found in Anglo Saxon cemetery at Stouting, Faversham.
Reference: CANCM:2614
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy

Bronze brooch of foreign type, possibly from Belgium or the Lower Rhine region of Germany.

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Silver Gilt

Silver-gilt brooch with garnet and greenstone.

Found at Eastry, Kent in 1792. Presented to the museum by Dr. W.G. Urry after a loan from Mr Irby
Reference: CANCM:7497
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper-Alloy

Square brooch set with garnets at each corner.

Found at Mersham, Kent in 1828.
Reference: CANCM:2631
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper-Alloy

Jeweled brooch of Jutish type, set with garnets.

Found at Mersham, Kent in 1828.
Reference: CANCM:nn
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooch

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper-Alloy

Circular brooch set with garnets, one is missing.

Found at Merhsam, Kent in 1828
Reference: CANCM:2632
Can be found: Bottom ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brooches

Brooches

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy

Two radiate-headed brooches with five inlaid garnets.

Found by Mr. J. Brent.
Reference: CANCM:2192
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Brown Ware Mug

Brown Ware Mug

5th – 8th Century AD

Brown Ware

Handmade, burnished, handled pottery mug with round base, brownish ware. Found close to the head of a child. Burnishing (rubbing a pot with a leather cloth) would make the mug watertight and also a lot smoother to the touch.

Found in Bekesbourne, Kent, UK. by Mr. P.G. Wilson.
Reference: CANCM:7588
Can be found: Middle ShelfThe Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in Explorers and Collectors Collection

Bucket

Bucket

5th – 8th Century AD

Copper Alloy

Bucket/vat with handle, fragments inside.