So one of the oddities of the British Museum’s prints and drawings collection
is it’s really not all about Dürer and Michelangelo.
It has lots of material
that is sort of really much more about social history.
And at the heart of that
is this amazing collection of over 19,000 bits of paper
是Sarah Sophia Banks收藏的
collected by Sarah Sophia Banks.
Sarah Sophia Banks was sister of Joseph Banks
Sarah Sophia Banks是Joseph Banks的妹妹
who was best known for going
with Cook on his first voyage around the Pacific.
And Sarah Sophia lived with her brother in Soho Square,
kept house for him and then
rather unusually of the 18th century,
when he married she still stayed in the house
and I think come Lady Banks must have been
a rather forgiving type as the
house filled up with more and more bits of paper.
Because basically what Sarah Sophia did
was she collected every single bit of paper that she came across.
So it’s this extraordinary idea of Georgian England.
such trade cards, visiting cards, play bills, tickets for operas.
比如商业名片 拜访名片 戏单 歌剧票
To my right here is a very typical folder that she does.
She’s a sort of born curator,
she loves to arrange her collection.
And so these are all tickets for this exciting new sight
at the end of 18th century of the ascent of balloons.
So this one here is just round the corner
from the BM in Tottenham Court Road
and then often she writes in her
rather neat handwriting comments about it.
It’s called the British balloon
so possibly rather appropriately for the day we live in
it didn’t actually get off the ground.
What’s interesting, I think, about Sarah’s Sophia is that
关于Sarah Sophia 我认为很有趣的是
there are often that she didn’t collect herself,
people sent to her.
So there are things set to here from the Congress Vienna,
there are things sent to her from Washington
Because she’s the sister of a very important man
She has this sort of rather strange fixation
with printed ephemera and so people say ‘oh yes
going to keep this and send it off to
to Sarah Sophia in Soho Square.’
It’s not only at this idea you get of the kind
of this growing world of London and
all these entertainments and
all these wonderful fancy Goods flowing in from
the Empire but it’s also this network
that Sarah Sophia has that are sending things back to her.
Right from the foreign secretary at the Congress of Vienna
and all these British diplomats.
I mean it would be rather odd today if you’re
the foreign secretary spend all their time in Washington
collecting visiting cards and sending them back,
but they did for the very
obviously very persuasive Sarah Sophia.
So that’s one aspect of our collection
she also collected Satire prints,
which is another great strength of our collection.
She’s a sort of wonderfully quirky and odd character and
this, as I say,
it gives you such an insight into Georgian England.
And you won’t be surprised the moment she died
her sister-in-law gave the entire
collection to the British Museum.
Probably delighted to be rid of it out of the house,
but it’s all online and accessible.
So if you have a kind of rainy afternoon,
please spend your time looking at Sarah Sophia’s printed ephemera,
you won’t be disappointed.