Joshua Merritt from Burgate School, who recently completed his Work Experience with us, left us some thoughts on his favourite exhibits...

Wessex Gallery temporary exhibition….

The new exhibition in the Wessex wing covers history ‘through the eye of the needle’. These ladies have created machine embroidered art work, the design of which is based on display items inside the museum. This shows extraordinary skill. You can see the recreation of items such as the Harpy pin, the chessboard designed from the chess piece, the Warminster jewel and Anglo-Saxon pots that would have been filled with meat and wine for the deceased to take into the afterlife. These designs have all been done on a machine with little or no hand stitching.

Some of my favourites include the Warminster jewel and the jewelled box. The Warminster jewel would have use as a manuscript pointer to follow along while reading and dates back to the 9th century. The way it is presented is amazing. It was shown to be in a leather-bound bag with a parchment or manuscript in the back. The jewel had a long gold shaft extending from it in order to follow the writing. The jewel box features a large number of ancient coins and golden bands. You can see a large golden chain from BC 1300 – 1000. This shows a variety of ancient designs from across the ages. Another item was brooches and beads created with entwined string and other materials, based on northern Germanic designs which would clasp clothing together from shoulder to shoulder with the real beads made from amber, paste and glass.