Stormy Margate

Stormy Margate

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The 7th Earl of Cardigan and the Ramsgate Town silver.

After spending a bit of time researching  I have now come up with some provenance of the previous owners of the Tomson & Wotton wine coolers in the Ramsgate Town Council collection. The wine coolers were given to the Borough of Ramsgate by Ramsgate brewers Tomson & Wotton in 1934 to commemorate 50 years since the borough was incorporated in 1884. Hallmarking dates the wine coolers as 1839 and the makers are R & S Garrard , London the crown jewelers.

The crest on the liner is a sea horse argent and above is an earl's coronet. In Debrett's complete peerage of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland 1838 this crest is the crest of the Earl of Cardigan. The hallmark on the liner is 1840 and that dates the wine coolers at the time of James Thomas Brundenell 7th Earl of Cardigan. History remembers the 7th Earl of Cardigan as leading the charge of the light brigade on the 25th October 1854 during the Crimean war. Other research points to the very colourful life the 7th Earl lived. He died on 27th March 1868 after falling off his horse.

There are two identical coat of arms on the base of the wine coolers . It is hard to tell which is the front or the back but they are in this alignment in relation to the handles. The crest is identical to that of the Earl of Cardigan including the motto "en grace affie " on grace depend. This to came be found in Debrett's complete peerage 1838. There is one slight difference and that is what is known as a Fret on the right hand half of the shield otherwise everything else is the Earl of Cardigan. The wine cooler is hallmarked 1839. 

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Displaying the Ramsgate Town Council collection and a ramble.

The original Ramsgate civic collection of historic art in local Government control was instigated by Dame Janet Stancombe Wills in 1912, the origins being fine art.
Over a century later what remains of the collection overall is a very poor record of Ramsgate's historical past as seen through art and artifacts. However, Ramsgate's documented history of archive and photographic images does remain wholly intact thanks duly to a group of  dedicated local historians. There are many factors that have led to the demise of the historic Town collection like the fire that destroyed the museum in the town's library and very poor record keeping at local government level that has led to all sorts of problems.
I have just finished finished a report for Ramsgate Town Council (RTC) that will be going to committee regarding the items RTC own. I have now listed most of the items under RTC ownership with recommendations of a way forward. I have also mentioned that within the other two local authority collections, Kent County Council and Thanet District Council there does exist  enough items to restart a Ramsgate Town  collection should the opportunity arise.
However, the first stage really is to find out what items are where and record everything on a data base. This will include gathering information on Ramsgate artifacts local authority does not own with the intention of building a knowledge base of such items.
I am looking at starting in the future a Ramsgate historic art and artifact group, an online research group that will publish all findings online for search engines. Recently on facebook I have put on a few items from the RTC collection on the Friends of Ramsgate seafront page and that has proved to myself that such an interest does exist.

I have spoken to a number of RTC Councillor's including the Mayor with the intention of arranging an open evening at the Custom House to display items that RTC own for public viewing. Once I have a date everyone will be informed.

            Below are some more of the items owned by Ramsgate Town Council.

Limited edition print by Alfred Smith listed as number 243 out of 250. The view is of shellfish stalls opposite the Custom house in Harbour Parade. The print is dated 1976. 

1960's ariel view of Ramsgate Harbour.

Acrylic on board “The Slipway” September 1978, painted by A Shepherd, Kingsgate, Broadstairs. 

Framed signature of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother 18th July 1986. 

Monday, 26 January 2015

The Ramsgate Town Council collection

Following a report to the amenities committee of Ramsgate Town in November 2014 , I have now been tasked to take an in depth look at all the items of art and artefacts Ramsgate Town Council have in their collection. This follows my original report was about the status of the remaining Ramsgate art and artifacts in local government collections.
The fire at Ramsgate library in 2004 almost completely wiped out the Ramsgate collection of fine art along with many artifacts. However spread over the three authorities, Kent County Council , Thanet District Council and Ramsgate Town Council there is still a small viable collections of fine art and artifacts.
However all three authorities are beset with problems. KCC with the loses due to the fire, TDC with the auditing of their collection due to council officers not following procedures in the past and Ramsgate Town Council following the move from Albion House and the lack of space to house the collection they own at the Custom House.
My task with the RTC collection is to audit the entire collection in order of relevance based on the provenance of each item.  In some cases the provenance will need to be strengthened like the town silver for example, the makers and year of assay has never been recorded from the hall marks.
I have opted to keep the collection based on Civic and Cinque ports history as that is the historical roots of Ramsgate Town council . There is small collection of fine art and  other miscellaneous items. I must add that what I am suggesting is not set in stone as it is up to the other Ramsgate Town Council members to decide.
I have many findings and taken many photographs of which I have posted a few with some details.

This signed photograph is of the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother .The photograph was taken by Dorothy Wilding . The frame is Sterling Silver and has a Birmingham  hallmark 1948. The makers mark is Henry Hobson Plante of 12 Bury Street W1 . The portrait is one of a pair as the other is King George VI  with the same details.

Some of the town silver does have an Art Deco influence like this trophy . Made in 1936 by S. Blackensee & Sons Ltd Birmingham and assayed in 1936. It does carry an engraving " Ramsgate Venetian Fete Challenge Trophy presented by the Corporation of Ramsgate 1936."

Most of the Ramsgate Town Council  silver is very traditional like this one on the table. The cup is known and engraved as the H H Green cup. Herbert Horace Green was Mayor of Ramsgate in 1900 and his details are on the Ramsgate Town Council website.
 On the base is a small plate that was assayed in Sheffield in 1925, the maker and engraver of the plate is Martin Hall & Co . The engraving reads "In memory of Herbert Horace Green ESQ Justice of the Peace for the County of Kent and 25 years for the Borough of Ramsgate, March 3rd 1926, Presented to the Ramsgate Borough Police to be awarded for the most meritorious act of the year". 
The cup itself was assayed in Sheffield in 1868 and there is a Victoria young head duty mark present.  The makers of the cup are Richard Martin & Ebenezer Hall. (RMEH).  

In the framed section all the armed forces are represented. Most of the items presented to the Ramsgate Charter Trustees the predecessors to the current Ramsgate Town Council. I have posted a framed presentation from the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment when they exercised their right as Honorary Freeman on 19th September 1998. 

In the RTC collection there is some artwork by local artist Denys le Fevre  and his work on the Synagogue and Montifiore Mausoleum is very attractive. 

This map is from the Cinque ports section of the collection and it is by local artist Denys le Fevre. Also in the Cinque port collection there are three copies of the loyal address. 

This framed print is one of three of William Friths " Ramsgate , life at the seaside " owned by RTC . Two are engraved by C W Sharpe published by the art union of London 1859 and the other is a later edition as in early 20th century. Also under William Frith  there are three framed detailed sections of the print by C W Sharpe taken from periodicals.

There are not many loose photographs in the RTC collection. This one from 1959 will eventually be disposed of from the collection and given to another collection once copied.

Excluding the town silver and the photographs of past mayors that are stored in the flat I have listed to date 79 items in the RTC collection of which 19 maybe classed as fine art.
I have not listed all of the twinning items and some of the smaller repro prints as they will be a subject of a debate when I present my report to RTC.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Ramsgate Town Council and the Tomson and Wotton wine coolers.

Ramsgate Town Council is reviewing its entire collection of Art and Artifacts. Each item being audited and on a new data base. Most important of all the provenance of each item is to be researched in better detail. I have now taken up this task.
In the collection there is a pair of wine coolers in silver gilt.They are made by R & S Garrard and the hallmark is London 1839 , the hallmark on the liner is London 1840. The collar has no year date but has the Victorian duty mark and the Robert Garrard makers marks.
The detachable is engraved   “presented by Tomson & Wotton Ltd to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Town’s Incorporation 1884 to 1934”.  The liner has a crest of an Earl's coronet with a dragon kneeling. On the base there are four crests one being the town of Ramsgate. The others are undergoing further research and I have have taken many photographs and these are a few.

One of the pair

The wine cooler taken apart with the liner and collar

The engraved collar "presented by Tomson & Wotton Ltd to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Town’s Incorporation 1884 to 1934”

The crest on the liner

The crests on the feet. At present three are being researched.

Above the town crest of Ramsgate and below the decorative handle.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

A Margate Historical event this Saturday 22nd November

I have joined this event and I have now found a home to display my finds from the Margate area. For the first event I will be displaying all my finds found during the sea defence works in early 2012 including the photographs I took.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Thanet coastlife in Cuba part 2 - more fossilized coral.

Following on from the previous posting, I have put together a series of photographs to act as a guide for anyone visiting this part of Cuba. Also for those who are interested in the subject of fossilized coral.
The photographs were taken September 2014 on the beach opposite the Sol Rio de Luna y Mares  Playa Esmeralda , Guardalavaca , Holguin province , Cuba. I suggest anyone visiting this hotel to bring a snorkel you will not be disappointed as everything is in shallow water and safe.

The patch of rock lies directly opposite "la Pinta " beach restaurant and as is terraced forming a number of reefs under the water.

It is not very deep and this guy is snorkeling in about a meter and a half of water. The sea bed is a mass of fossilized coral and living coral. Sea shells, fish and sea urchins are abundant.

 Above is a example of the fossilized coral found snorkeling. This haul took around five minutes to gather together.

Just as much can be found on the foreshore like these large pieces of fossilized coral that can be found ashore below the strand line between the rocky area and the sand.

One of the many larger pieces found ashore.

Examples of selected pieces found snorkeling. 

Examples of sea shells found on the strand line and on the fossilized reefs. I kept it simple by keeping one of each species and colour to take home. I must mention that none of these were difficult to find and there are plenty of them.

A Tiger Lucine sea shell , there are many of these to be found in the water and I kept just this one.

I like this piece as it does resemble Pasta, so I now own a piece of fossilized Pasta.I only took a four small examples of fossilized coral out of Cuba and photographed the rest.  I do know that fragments of fossilized corals are exempt from international convention so I was in the clear. Plus previous experience with Cuban authorities is don't get greedy and you will be alright. 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Thanet coastlife in Cuba.

Recently I spent two weeks holiday in Cuba and as usual I took the opportunity to completely map out the area of the coast where I am staying. The intention being to build up a small collection and just to log where items can be found and seen out of interest. The part of Cuba where I was staying was on the Atlantic coast in Holguin province at a hotel called Sol Rio de Luna y Mares situated  in Guardaclavaca.
The area of beach opposite the hotel is well publicized on youtube and all contributors have covered everything very well. So what are the main features and what can be found and seen ?
I suppose the most outstanding feature has to be the fossilized coral that is unmissable. To the left of the hotel beach there is a small headland of which I had attached as a photograph, plus it can also be seen clearly seen on youtube. This headland consists entirely of fossilized coral like the cliff behind it. Both the cliff and headland have many interesting formations of which I have photographed below for reference.

Above, the headland as seen to the left of the Hotel Mares.

The cliff face as seen facing the head land.

Fossilized coral formations as from ground level.

Above and below more coral formations at ground level.

Lumps of fossilized coral pushed up against the cliff by the tide.

A view from the headland looking back at the hotel.

Above and below close up view of the fossilized corals.

Below, further in from the waters edge many lumps of fossilized brain coral are be found. This was the largest piece I came across and used my shoe to give so idea of scale.