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By Katie Dabin on

The 12 Days Of Christmas (well Sort Of)… Part 1

It’s that time of year again – time to bellow “five go-oold rings” at the top of your voice. We’ve put together a Christmas cracker of a treat for you with our own alternative version of the Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

A partridge in a pear tree

Well – a sauce container shaped like a partridge at any rate. A rather fetching centrepiece for the festive dinner table maybe? Certainly another weird and wonderful object collected by Henry Wellcome in the early twentieth century. Frankly any beau of mine giving me a partridge (alive or in ceramic form) would quickly be crossed off my festive shopping list…

Sauce boat in the form of a partridge, decorated with polychrome majolica, Italian, 1840-1900 (Image Credit: Katie Maggs, Science Museum)

Two Turtle Doves

Although it sounds like a freakish genetic experiment to cross-breed a reptile and a bird, the Turtle Dove is actually a rather glamorous cousin of the pigeon.

In its place we have a rather lovely hidden treasure from our Blythe House store – a mother-of-pearl charm shaped as a dove. And if peace on earth isn’t enough, here’s an equally splendid beaded turtle amulet to wish you good health (this amulet may contain a piece of umbilical cord – check out the link to find out why!).

A mother-of-pearl dove, French, 1880-1935 (Image credit: Katie Maggs, Science Museum)
Turtle shaped amulet, North America, 1880-1920 (Image Credit: Science Museum)

Three French Hens

These hens might not be French (or technically hens as i think these are male chucks, and ok – there’s only two rather than three in the picture…) – BUT they are Nobel Prize wining poultry. Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866-1945) bred this pair of Sebright Bantams in order to investigate the genetic inheritance of plumage and inadvertently discovered the role played by chromosomes in heredity.

Sebright bantam, United States, 1914-1924
Sebright bantams, United States, 1914-1924

Hope you’ve enjoyed part 1 of our festive foray into the collections – check back for the next 3 installments, and have a very Merry Christmas!