A Tale of Two Kettles
One thing the Collections Committee does is strive for the best possible displays in our museums, not only to enhance the “look,” but to strengthen our collection’s historical accuracy and thoroughness. These two kettles at the Pownalborough Court House are an excellent case in point, and they illustrate why another one of our duties is to de-accession items that no longer meet certain criteria. Here are the two kettles next to each other, showing clearly why we are happy to be displaying one, and deaccessioning the other.
Almost every house would have had a kettle, hanging over the fire most of the time. They were made of cast iron, as was most cookware at the time. The one we had at the Pownalborough Court House was in dreadful condition. It was missing its lid, it was rusted and fragile, and had a large crack in the bottom. It was only on display to add to the “atmosphere.”
A few years ago, a wonderful donor gave us one in superb condition. It has an excellent surface and its lid is intact. It also shows a very nice sprue, which is the place where two pieces of casting are joined.
Maintaining a museum collection requires us to constantly update and maintaining materials and items to ensure that our museums have the most accurate and impressive pieces on display. This sometimes means we must deaccession items when pieces in better condition or those that are representative of the period come into our possession.
Perry Palmer, LCHA Collections Committee