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Shakespeare collection items to go under the hammer

Wellesbourne Airfield
Wellesbourne Airfield

Monies raised from the sales will be used to care for the core collection and acquire objects which better represent Shakespeare’s work, life and times.

Rosalyn Sklar, Museum Collections Officer at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said: “Over the past two years we have carried out research into the large collection of furniture held by the Trust. We hold some incredibly well preserved pieces which date from the late 17th up to the 20th century and although these can be support pieces for displays, they are more often kept in storage and not available for visitors to enjoy. As such, some of these items will be leaving the collection.”

The collection, which is designated by Arts Council of being of outstanding resonance, includes over 1 million documents, 50,000 books and 10,000 other objects. The Trust is working to extend other parts of the furniture collection, specifically 16th and early 17th century items.

Rosalyn added: “We are looking for more 16th and 17th Century artefacts and those which represent Stratford’s history. We’re keen to see objects which show off the construction methods and decorative features that typified that time period. For example, a decorative feature known as a 'caryatid' which is a standing figure (male or female) forming a support either to a cupboard mantle or other such supporting component.”

Alongside improving and extending the collection, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is working on new and innovative ways to allow greater public access to the extraordinary array of documents. This includes collaborating with British Library, the National Archives and the Folger Shakespeare Library on ‘Shakespeare Documented’ which launches this month.

This free and publicly-accessible online exhibition will allow even more people around the world to enjoy objects in the collection including manuscripts and printed references. http://www.shakespearedocumented.org/

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