Some of my favourites from Hampshire Museums Serive

Well, this post is one that’s making me sad even to start writing. This is just a little post about the end of my time with Hampshire museum service. I can’t believe that after 10 of the most amazing and wonderful months of my life I have now finished my placement. In 10 months I have decided what I want to do with my future, met some of the most knowledgable people imaginable and learnt more than I ever thought was possible.

I just thought I would take this opportunity to share some of my favourite pieces in the collections:

This gorgeous dress is one of the most recent acquisitions to the collection. It came in just a few weeks ago and is a stunning light weight silk. The feather print is so modern and I can just see it worn on the French Riviera by some super chic lady in the 30s when It was originally made. There is something about the print though that I definitely recognise, I am sure I have seen it on a scarf or something before, but I just can’t seem to place it!


I have a complete obsession with novelty prints and I think this Harbour scene print must be one of the all time best. It is just so summery. The make of it is Lenaura by Devas which is a make I have never come across before. What a beaut!

Yet another of my numerous (and ridiculous) obsessions has to be collars. This dress has a fabulous huge statement collar that would have simply emphasised the feminine figure. The oversized collar would have accented the teeny tiny waist of the wearer. Also the colours of the dress are so very delicate. What is it about cotton that is just so appealing?

Ah deary me, I will miss the opportunity to go and look at such beautiful things all the time!

Putting clothes to bed

Sob. There is one thing that makes me ever so sad about working in museums, putting all the objects away! A few weeks ago we took down the Little Black Dress exhibition and I have spent the been putting everything back away into the stores. Most costume can only be left out on display for short periods of time because they can be easily damaged by light and varying heat. Some garments can only be left out for short periods of time because of their weight, and some of the dresses we had on display really displayed how much of a problem this can be.

This beautiful dress is a prime example of a mid twenties flapper dress. The peacock inspired embroidery is simply breathtaking and I am sure the original owner would have looked the bees knees in this dress! The dress has been on display since November (first in Dazzle and then in Little Black dress) and this 7 month stint is as long as the dress can realistically take and will start to show signs of more damage if left out any longer. Here are just a few pics of the dresses beautiful embroidery. I think it has to be one of my favourite pieces in the Hampshire Museums service collection.

The little Minaudiere

Whilst I have been with the museum service I have had the opportunity to see some wonderful things. I just wanted to share with everyone this fantastic little item. It has been on display three times recently (Hampshire treasures, Dazzle and Little Black dress) and just harks back to a different time. It is made from shiny black and ivory Bakelite or an early form of plastic which is inset with tiny diamates in an Art deco design. It probably dates between 1923-25


This little bag is what is known as a minaudiere which is a small cosmetic/vanity case carried in replacement of a handbag. Minaudieres like this one tended to be decorated with diamantes, I have seen a few other examples lavishly decorated all over with sparking gemstones.

One thing I like about this is how tiny it is. There would have been no room for money in this bag! Because, of course, as a bright young lady in the twenties you would expect everything to be bough for you! You can just imagine it as the perfect accessory to a beaded twenties dress.

Please visit to see more pictures and also view many other bags from the Hampshire Museums Service collection.