Thatching tools

Festival of Britain thatching objects (MERL 52/82-83, 85-91, & 79/64).

Festival of Britain, Thatching tools, 1951 This set of tools was exhibited at the Festival of Britain, where it helped to tell the story of straw in the Country Pavilion. The display also included straw sculptures produced by celebrated maker Fred Mizen. His techniques were derived in part from the art of thatch finials— decorative […]

Man Trap

Man trap (MERL 62/403)

This is a trap designed to catch people. Landowners sometimes resorted to man traps in order to catch people trespassing on their land. People trespassed for a variety of reasons; sometimes for poaching – the illegal killing of animals on private land – or sometimes simply for hunting and gathering food to feed their families. […]

Giant Teapot

Michael Cardew, Large teapot on iron stand, 1940s This enormous teapot was designed and made by Michael Cardew at Winchcombe Pottery, Gloucestershire. It was part of the British Council’s craft collection and is probably the same iconic teapot that featured in the exhibition of Modern British Crafts held at the Museum of Modern Art, New […]


Plaster cast hands (MERL 75/16)
These are plaster casts of Joseph Arch's hands. Joseph Arch (1826-1919) was the first person from a labouring background in Britain to become a Member of Parliament, from 1892-1900. He was also the President of the National Agricultural Labourers Union (1872-1896), the first successful union to be established. He lived in Barford, Warwickshire and worked as [...]
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