Inside the Collections Care Project: Looking at old objects with fresh eyes

Jul 24, 2014

Last week, Historic New England’s collection services team began a Collections Care Project that will improve our ability to preserve our extensive collection of four centuries of New England artifacts.

The first phase of the project involves moving approximately 20,000 decorative arts objects, mostly ceramics, glass, and other small and delicate household items. These objects are being carefully moved to temporary shelving, tagged, and inventoried, giving our staff the opportunity to look at old objects with fresh eyes. Each week, we will share an interesting or rare object that we have “rediscovered.”

This week we found a beautifully decorated invalid feeder. Objects such as this one were used throughout the nineteenth century to feed sick or disabled people a liquid or semi-soft food. This example was made in Staffordshire, England, possibly by Ralph Hall.

Stay tuned for next week’s fascinating object. Support the preservation of Historic New England’s one-of-a-kind collection with a gift to the Collections and Conservation Fund.