Cock Spurs Truants Clog
Spurs used in cock fights Clog worn by School Truants
Ivory pieces Knitting Stick Splintwork
Victorian ivory objects.Knitting stick, penknife, teetotum & dice box Knitting Sticks Splintwork maybe used in rituals by a ‘wiseman’

A typical collection of everyday and unusual artefacts reminiscent of local life and culture over the last three hundred years or so. Apart from kitchen and household utensils (everything from gingerbread moulds to corn dollies), there are significant collections of snuff and tinder boxes, pipes and matches, nineteenth century medical and surgical instruments (including a very rare register of births between 1720 and 1764 from a local midwife), ladies’ crafts, educational objects and a case dedicated to Whitby’s five eighteenth / early nineteenth century private banks. A number of items are either the work of Napoleonic prisoners-of-war (carved wooden Noah’s Ark set, ivory lady’s workbox) or scrimshaw (carved whalebone corset stays, spoons, etc.) by local Whaling sailors.

Witch Post
Carving at top of witchpost

The collection contains a witchpost from East End Cottage, Egton. Witch posts are almost exclusively a feature of the North York Moors region. It is a solid upright timber of oak or rowan wood which is built as part of a house’s structure, often by the fireplace. It has a carved cross near the top of the post and it is thought their purpose was to protect the house and its inhabitants from witches. It has also been suggested that itinerant priests in the 17th century who sheltered in the house may have given a blessing on the house and its inhabitants, the occasion being recorded by the carving of a cross on one of these posts. Whatever, the custom is of remote antiquity and a remarkable relic of superstition.

Local banknote Ivory fan
1 guinea banknote from local bank Ivory fan
Old lock
Whitby Photographic Society
2012 Competition Entry