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Visitors to Exeter’s museum asked to nominate their favourite ‘Treasure’

Published: 29 June 2021

Visitors to Exeter’s museum asked to nominate their favourite ‘Treasure’ Treasures of the Museum

Treasures of the Museum will open in Exeter City Council’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery (RAMM) on Tuesday 6 July.

Treasures of the Museum shines a light on some of RAMM’s most iconic objects, from an extraordinary collection of Roman coins discovered in East Devon, to the museum’s famous giraffe, affectionately named Gerald.

The sixteen selected objects have a unique link to Exeter and the surrounding area, allowing people to explore the region’s distinctive history and global connections.

Visitors will be able to pick up a paper trail at the museum’s entrance, or download the trail on their smartphones using the museum’s free WiFi. QR codes beside each object in the galleries will connect visitors to a webpage allowing them to discover the history and stories behind each of these fascinating objects. After exploring the sixteen Treasures and their stories, visitors will be offered the chance to vote for their favourite before they leave.

The museum has also produced a series of engaging videos about the Treasures of the Museum. In these videos, RAMM staff and volunteers explain why they love their chosen object, and reveal the fascinating stories that make these treasures so special.

Councillor Amal Ghusain, Exeter City Council’s lead for Communities and Culture said, “Treasures of the Museum is a fantastic way to highlight RAMM’s rich and distinctive collections, connecting local people to their shared history and contributing to a greater sense of pride in their city. Discovering RAMM’s collections is also a great way for people new to the area to learn more about Exeter and Devon. The associated films are treasures in themselves, containing intriguing stories about Exeter’s past, and I for one have found out so much from watching them!”

One of the Treasures is internationally important lace-maker Charlotte Treadwin’s lace collection, one of the first collections to come to RAMM in the 1860s. Lace-making was an important industry in East Devon and helped many families to earn a living.

Also selected as a Treasure is the fascinating and risqué Exeter puzzle jug, found during building works in the city centre. The jug is considered to be one of the most extraordinary pieces of medieval ceramics to have been discovered in northern Europe and features naked bishops, dancing women and musicians.

One of the earliest surviving models of any town in Britain, Hedgeland’s model of Exeter, is also included.

A number of the Treasures represent Exeter’s links to the rest of the world, including a Tahitian mourner’s costume, an impressive costume made in Tahiti to mourn aristocratic individuals, and Eshu, a Yoruban deity from Abeokuta, Nigeria.

The trail echoes the ‘Treasures of Exeter’ exhibition, which was shown in Exeter’s Historic Guildhall whilst the museum was closed for redevelopment. It is 10 years since the museum reopened to the public following this redevelopment, and this trail offers the opportunity to highlight RAMM’s incredible collections once again.

The Shop at RAMM will also be stocking a special tea towel to showcase the Treasures of the Museum, and allow visitors to remember these fascinating objects from home.

Discover the sixteen outstanding objects cared for by RAMM on their website:

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