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Treasures

© Museums Sheffield.

In 2012 the Treasures gallery underwent a major redisplay and now showcases some of the remarkable highlights of the Sheffield's World Cultures collection, exploring their links with the city and its people.

The gallery illustrates the diversity of Sheffield’s cultural heritage, showcasing objects that have travelled many thousands of miles to the region. The  exhibits on display have been developed by a group of young people who, along with local communities, have worked with Museums Sheffield to share the stories of these objects and look at how they found their way into the city’s collections.

In the Treasures gallery displays visitors can see:

• A crocodile skull bought back to the city from India in the late 1800s. Sheffield’s Fred Webster was attacked by the Crocodile, but escaped with his life when the crocodile was shot. When the contents of the crocodile’s stomach were examined, several items of jewellery were discovered suggesting a previous human victim.

• A knife made in Sheffield in 1835 by Joseph Elliot. Elliot had businesses all over Europe and the Americas and sold the knife to the Sioux people of North America, who crafted its deer hide sheath. The knife was later discovered by Sheffield collector, John Stuart-Wortley-Mackenzie, the 2nd Baron of Wharncliffe, who brought it back to the city.

• A set of ornate 19th century Japanese dolls given as a gift to local industrialist Sir Arthur Balfour. The conservation and display of the dolls was made possible thanks to the generosity of Museums Sheffield’s supporters.
 

The redisplay of the gallery marked the culmination of Precious Cargo, a three year project working with young people from across Sheffield to celebrate the city’s World Cultures collection in the run up to London 2012. Precious Cargo was part of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World which was led by the Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).