Macclesfield Silk Museum, Old Park Lane, Macclesfield
Launch of New Display of Macclesfield’s Ancient Egyptian Treasures at The Silk Museum
16 February 2019 - 2020
A ring belonging to Tutankhamun, a statuette of Queen Tiye - one of the most important queens in Egyptian history, and the mummy case of a significant female temple worker called Shebmut, are just some of the stars in a new display that sheds new light on Macclesfield’s own Marianne Brocklehurst and her remarkable collections.
This new display at The Silk Museum will be officially opened by Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East, at 11.30am on 16th February 2019 and runs until 2020.
The new display explores the connection between Macclesfield’s silk industry and Marianne Brocklehurst’s Egyptian collections. John Varney, Chair of The Silk Heritage Trust, said, ‘We are thrilled that the new research carried out by the museum’s curatorial team, has shown that many objects are even more significant than we thought; and this new display puts many more objects on show so that local people can enjoy more of this important heritage for the town’.
Marianne was the daughter of silk manufacturer John Brocklehurst, Macclesfield’s first MP. Her family’s wealth and social standing provided the resources for Marianne to travel extensively in Europe and the Middle East. In 1873-74 Marianne, along with her companion Mary Booth, her nephew Alfred and servant George, made an epic voyage up the Nile. Throughout this trip Marianne kept a personal diary illustrated with lively watercolours that captures life on the Nile through the eyes of this remarkable Victorian woman.
Marianne Brocklehurst and Mary Booth were life-time companions and were generally referred to as The MBs. They were unconventional women for their time – as a couple they seem to have been uncompromising and determined in their life and work. They collected various objects on their travels around Egypt, but they seem to have had a particular interest in items with a connection to Ancient Egyptian women. On their first trip, they collected the mummy case of a female temple worker, a scarab commemorating the marriage of a non-royal woman to the king, and the scarab of a king’s daughter. Perhaps it was intentional that the MBs, two unusually independent Victorian women, collected so many objects that bear the names, titles and likenesses of unusually independent Ancient Egyptian women.
A Family Open Day takes place at The Silk Museum on 16th February 2019
11am Welcome & Speeches John Varney, Chair, Silk Heritage Trust and Cllr Lesley Smetham, The Worshipful the Mayor of Cheshire East 11.30am onwards: Come and see the unique diary and notebooks that Marianne Brocklehurst made of her incredible adventures
Learn more about the Tutankhamun Ring and other amazing treasures in the collections
Mummification and Mask-making: Free Family Activities in the School Room
New Makers’ Place Meet the brilliant craftspeople making unique handmade gifts + demonstrations and craft activities All day: New Silk Shop Exquisite silk products – perfect for gifts for all occasions PLUS Egyptian inspired jewellery and souvenirs Coffee and Cake, The Jacquard Café generously supplied by the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage with thanks to Bollington Co-op The Silk Museum admission is now Give What You Can. All donations welcome to support our work.
Grateful thanks to Cheshire East Council for very generously supporting the new displays and the Friends of Macclesfield Silk Heritage