Ten restored ivories presented back to the Lytham St Annes Art Collection

Published on 21 October 2018 Under Latest News

Another successful Heritage Project has resulted in 10 of the ivories from The Lytham St Annes Art Collection being fully restored and presented back to the Fylde Town Hall in St Annes. A special presentation event, held on 17 October, was attended by Fylde Mayor and Mayoress Councillor Peter Collins and Caroline Collins; Karen Henshaw, JP and Mayor of St Annes; and members of the Friends of the Lytham St Annes Art Collection and The Arts Society Fylde. As well as viewing the restored items, guests were able to view the complete ivory collection and learn more about its origins. A raffle raised money for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, which protects elephants.

The Arts Society Fylde took the decision to fund the restoration of these 10 items in recognition of the 50th anniversary of its national body, The Arts Society. The items to be restored were agreed by Heather Davis, Conservation Manager, Lancashire County Museum Service and Kunie Couch on behalf of the Society. It was originally thought that funding would stretch to restoring only four ivories out of the collection, but the conservation team managed to stretch it to a total of 10 items. All 10 are hand carved and are Japanese or Chinese in origin. In the past the ivories had been neglected and stored incorrectly, and had become discoloured. They are now restored to their former glory and correct storage procedures are in place.

Presenting the ivories Jo Darbyshire, former chair of The Arts Society Fylde, said: “The arts Society Fylde is delighted that we have been able to make even more progress with the restoration of the ivories in the collection than we thought possible. We hoped to restore six items but the curating team managed a total of 10. The collection is important because it is a generous gift contained in a will. It seemed such a worthwhile thing to do to celebrate 50 years of national service by The Arts Society to local and national arts that we should support a local need to restore these precious, museum quality, ivories.”

In 2015 The Arts Society Fylde received Heritage Lottery Funding to catalogue the Lytham St Annes Art Collection and raise awareness about it. The Tagging the Treasures project, was a huge community project involving the Friends of the Collection; Fylde Borough Council, who are its custodians; the County Museums Service who provide curatorial services; and other bodies such as the Library Service and Lytham St Annes Civic Society. The culmination of these combined efforts resulted in a comprehensive visual catalogue with information about the art works, artists and donors of each item in the collection.

Caption: Jenny Trurin, Conservator; Kath Bowes, Head of Heritage Volunteering for The Arts Society; Caroline Collins, Mayoress of Fylde; Peter Collins, Councillor and Mayor of Fylde, Pat Corless, Chair of The Arts Society Fylde; Jo Darbyshire, former Chair of The Arts Society Fylde; and Kunie Couch, member of The Arts Society Fylde.

Our thanks to photographer Tess Tackett.

More photos are available here