This 1914 Princess Mary Tin is part of our War and Weaponry Collection,
It was Princess Mary's express wish that 'every sailor afloat and every soldier at the front' should have the present. The gifts were devised in October 1914 and intended for distribution to all who were serving overseas or at sea, in time for Christmas 1914.
It was intended to contain one ounce of pipe tobacco, twenty cigarettes, a pipe, a tinder lighter, Christmas card and photograph. However, quite early on, the committee in charge received strong representations that an alternative gift should be made available for non-smokers. It was then agreed that non-smokers should receive a packet of acid tablets, a writing case containing pencil, paper and envelopes together with the Christmas card and photograph of the Princess.
This Athenian Tetradrachm coin is part of our Trade and Economy Collection.
The tetradrachm is an ancient Greek silver coin equivalent to four drachmae. It was in wide circulation from around 510 to around 38 BC.
The Athenian tetradrachm was stamped with the head of the goddess Athena on the obverse. The reverse was stamped with the image of the owl of Athena, the symbol of the Athenian polis, with a sprig of olive and a crescent for the moon. It was known as glaux (γλαύξ, little owl) throughout the ancient world. This gave rise to the proverb 'an owl to Athens', referring to something that was in plentiful supply, like 'coals to Newcastle'. The reverse is featured on the national side of the modern Greek euro coin.
The drachma was the currency unit used in Ancient Greece over several centuries. Some economists have estimated that in the 5th century BC a drachma had a rough value of 37 pounds (as of 2015). Historians say that in the heyday of ancient Greece (the fifth and fourth centuries BC) the daily wage for a skilled worker or a soldier was one drachma.
This tells us that a tetradrachm was worth about four times a skilled worker’s daily wage, and could buy luxuries such as jewelry and horses.
We have this beautifully preserved, complete Roman oil lamp in our Design and Technology collection. It appears to have been recovered from a shipwreck and dates between the first and third centuries AD.
Roman lamps were very simple devices, consisting of an oil chamber and a projecting nozzle. Olive oil, the fuel most often used, was introduced through a filling-hole in the top of the chamber and a wick, normally of linen, was inserted into a wick- hole pierced in the nozzle.
This type of helmet is known as a 'Corinthian helmet' by archaeologists because the goddess Athena is shown wearing it on Corinthian coins from its period of use (7th - 3rd Century BC). This style of helmet was also frequently featured on the decorative vases.
This replica helmet was created based on an original Italo Corinthian style helmet that can be seen in the Pitt Rivers museum in Oxford (more detail here). The original has a large hole in the temple, presumably the result of battle. This helmet was created especially for the Museum and Iris Classics Centre at Cheney by Matt Lukes at Fabrica Romanorum. At some of our events, members of the public are able to try this helmet on!
The story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, a traditional subject of Ethiopian art, appears in this rendition by Janbaru Wandemu, painted in the 1950s. Recorded in the Kebra Nagast ( Glory of Kings), a literary work preserved in manuscripts from the late thirteenth or early fourteenth century C.E., the story may have existed as early as the sixth century C.E. It tells of the descent of the the Ethiopian monarchs from Solomon and Makeda (the Ethiopian name for the Queen of Sheba) and of the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia.
The 44 panels, laid out according to a traditional format, progress along the horizontal rows from upper left to lower right. The story begins (panel 1) with Wainaba, the snake dragon at upper right, ruling Ethiopia. The people agree to make Angabo king if he kills this monster (2). Angabo mixes a poison (3), feeds it to his goat (4) and feeds his goat to Wainaba (6). This kills Wainaba (7), and Angabo becomes king (8–9). When Angabo dies (10), his daughter Makeda becomes queen (11).
It was donated to the Living Museum by Professor Judith McKenzie from the University of Oxford.
On Wednesday 16th November,Year 12 Classical Civilisation students visited the Ashmolean Museum for a special afternoon workshop and tour put on by the Ashmolean Museum as part of our Museum School program.
When the group arrived, they spent fifteen minutes exploring the sorts of roles and jobs in museums - ranging from archaeologists and curators to events managers and artefact cleaners with outreach officer Clare Corey. They were then able to spend some time in the Aegean World gallery. The students have been studying the fascinating civilisations of the Minoans and Mycenaeans, and were excited to be able to see the many artefacts they had been learning about in lessons.
We are delighted to announce that from July 2019 to April 2020 the Rumble Museum is running a Future Season.
This season is an exploration of objects and ideas about the future of society, from ancient predictions and perspectives, science fiction stories, novels, essays and art, climate change and environmental impact, school, town and city planning, to the latest robotics and artificial intelligence.
There will also be a range of competitions and projects, including our Robot Plinth Art Project, our Young Person's Science Fiction competition, Cities of the Future and Robotics projects, all culminating in our Festival of the Future on March 25th, 2020.
You can follow Future Season events on our Future Season Blog.
We look forward to seeing you at a Future Season event soon!
Eight large (five foot long and five foot wing span) dragonfly models were installed in March. The dragonfly models each had their theme designed by Cheney Art students to represent different areas of learning. They are striking, colourful and educational works of art which have provided an inspiring outdoor art exhibition for students, staff and visitors. The trail was unveiled for the public at the Iris Festival of Natural History & More at Cheney School on 27th March, 2019.
We also gave six miniature dragonflies for local primary schools to theme and bring for the day of the festival to be included in the trail on the day. East Oxford Primary, Bayards Hill, St Mary & St John, St Andrew’s, St Ebbe’s and Windmill all decorated a model. You can explore their designs on a special Dragonfly Trail website.
We are now offering each of the the eight large dragonflies for auction! If you would like to buy one (or more) of our eight beautiful dragonfly models, we would love to hear from you.
All funds raised from the auction will go towards our next art installation project for the eight plinths.
One of the most exciting new projects we are developing together with the classics centre this year involves the design and creation of a number of murals which will explore possible biographies for some of the many Roman artefacts we have on display at the centre.
Most of the items we have are pieces of much larger objects, and the idea behind these mural trails is to show the story of how some of these items would have been made and used, and eventually broken, and discovered centuries later as fragments. Each trail will consist of three murals which trace these stories; the artefact itself will then appear in small cabinet at the end of the mural trail. The trails will eventually appear all across the school campus, as well as in feeder schools.
We are delighted to announce the Iris Festival of the Future on 25th March, 2020.
This will be a large community event celebrating our Future Season at the Rumble Museum, which explores a range of exciting technologies and themes, and ancient and modern ideas about the future. A full brochure can be downloaded here.
There will be several discovery zones including: Classics and Archaeology, Robotics & Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Architecture and Design, Environment, and Science Fiction. Each zone will contain activities, stalls, exhibitions, workshops, and a wide range of visiting museums with artefacts to handle and explore. There will be robot shows throughout the event, as well as a cafe serving refreshments and hot and cold drinks.