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News > Archives & History > Antiques Roadshow meets Bishop boys

Antiques Roadshow meets Bishop boys

Rumour has it, silver is currently a really good investment and there certainly is a lot of it in our archives.
Items from the Bishops Archives
Items from the Bishops Archives

Antiques Roadshow meets Bishop boys when Dr Kathy Wheeler, our resident Museum Curator, talked to the History Society at the Mitre about the silver artefacts in the archives.

There are a number of boxes of silver items that need to be cleaned and identified and then stored for future generations.  This is a big task as there are so many interesting items in our collection.  One of these boxes was taken out to show the boys.  It contained shakers, trophies, tea and cofee pots, a cigarette box and tray.  What was the story behind each item and how should one approach uncovering the history behind them?  These were questions that Kathy attempted to answer when speaking to the boys.


One of the most important things to know, was where the silver came from.  The boys discovered a whole new world of silver hallmarks that could be used to identify the origins and value of items.  A number of learners where eager to go and look at the silver items at home to see if they had any of the famous hallmarks.  Suddenly the silver trinkets that were on the shelves looked like they may be a bit more interesting and valuable than before.

Amongst the items that Kathy showed the boys was the reference book which could identify marks on silver and tell you more about where they might have been made.  This unlocked the meaning of the stamps on a number of items.

Using the magnifying glasses and eye piece, they proceeded to investigate some of the pieces that came out of the mystery box of silver.  They certainly resembled detectives whilst pouring over the items. 

Many of the items belonged to Housemasters who were often gifted silver items when they left. 

We asked one of the boys, Grant Weich for his thoughts on the talk and he sent us the following:

Whilst visiting To adopt the perspective lens of an archivist is to obtain a newfound sense of comprehension and appreciation of society whilst utilizing a myriad of esoteric artefacts and relics originating from a period long past as a threshold to knowledge. Said artefacts often tend to possess a tendency of concealment within an individual’s life, unable to receive recognition for their bountiful historical symbolism and value.

Perhaps this phenomenon may be due to the ignorant disregard frequently showcased towards such seemingly mundane, inanimate objects, however, it is crucial that extensive analysis of said artefacts is conducted as every individual relic possesses immense historical significance within some capacity.

Dr. Wheeler’s enthusiasm and sheer dedication towards said analysis, as well as the transfer of knowledge and skills to those affiliated with the Museum and Archives society, once again, proceeds to display the wealth of opportunity presented to engaged young minds within Bishops.

As Grant so eloquently put it, seemingly mundane objects suddently had meaning and significance because they had learned about silver and now had a better understanding of how to evaluate objects.

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