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In Focus

The following objects represents a selection of topical, unusual or interesting records from our collection. These records have been selected by our team of curators.

ID number:  BIRRC-H0018
Title / Object name:  Commemorative medallion struck for the opening of Mason Science College
Category:  Decorative art
Object type:  Medal
Artist / Maker:  Unknown
Date made:  1880

This medallion shows Sir Josiah Mason’s head engraved on the obverse and Mason Science College on the reverse. It is still in its original box. The coin has the name of the architect who designed the building, Jethro A. Cossins, underneath the image of the College. Cossins (1829-1917) was responsible for the design of several important buildings in Birmingham including the Birmingham and Midlands Ear, Nose and Throat Hospital. During the late 1890s he went into partnership with F.B. Peacock and Ernest Bewley, with whom he designed and built the Midland Institute. Cossins visited the principal Science Colleges in England and in the Continent before preparing his plans for Mason Science College in the Gothic style.   [More Info]

ID number:  ECM 790
Title / Object name:  Seated Isis suckling child Horus
Category:  Archaeology
Object type:  Faience figurine
Date made:  Possibly from the Third Intermediate Period (ca. 1069-664 BCE)

Carved figurine of Isis seated on a block throne, suckling the child Horus (Harpocrates). Isis is depicted with tripartite wig and the throne hieroglyph on head. She wears an ankle length close-fitting dress, with a naked Harpocrates bearing the sidelock. Suspension piercing at back.   [More Info]

pl8, fd.jpg
ID number:  BIRUG: BU2944
Title / Object name:  Cambrooistodus cambricus (Miller)
Category:  Palaeontology
Object type:  Conodonta

   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRBI-B4753
Title / Object name:  Follis
Category:  Numismatics
Object type:  Coin
Artist / Maker:  Michael III; Syracuse
Place made:  Sicily: Syracuse
Date made:  842-867

Obverse: Bust of Michael bearded facing, wearing loros and cross crown, holding cross potent in r. hand. Reverse: M with cross above and θ beneath.   [More Info]

ID number:  BIRBI-48.17
Title / Object name:  Dancer Ready to Dance, the Right Foot Forward
Category:  Visual art
Object type:  Sculpture
Artist / Maker:  Degas, Hilaire-Germain-Edgar (1834-1917)
Place made:  Paris
Date made:  about 1885-90

This figure is one of more than 30 studies Degas of ballerinas, his favourite subject matter. The pose suggests a ballerina in class or on the stage, and
was probably inspired by dancers of the Paris Opéra. It is one of 22 casts made posthumously from the cast of a wax model found in Degas’ studio. His models in wax and clay were a private medium, like sketches or drawings, in which he explored formal problems that fascinated him.   [More Info]