More ancient Cypriot art in Leeds?

Trawling through some files in the Leeds University Library Special Collections yesterday, I was intrigued to come across the 1994-95 catalogue for the Educational Resource Service. This detailed a huge variety of art objects for schools to borrow, including some that looked distinctly Cypriot.

As far as I can make out, ownership of the collection seems to have passed back and forth between Wakefield District Council and Bretton Hall College, which has now closed. So where did the Cypriot pottery end up? It could have been assimilated into the University’s collection (which I haven’t managed to pin down yet), or possibly into the Museum or School Loans Service (though the objects above don’t look very familiar). Another huge question is: how did the artefacts get into the collection in the first place? Bretton Hall has a long and distinguished history; is it possible they were collected by a former owner? Hopefully there’ll be more information to follow…

7 thoughts on “More ancient Cypriot art in Leeds?

  1. I can tell you a lot about the Education Resource Service which was founded by the West Riding County Council and generously funded in the time of Sir ALec Clegg, Chief Ed Office, so they bought some really important material. I was a museum curator and Ed Officer for a local museums service from 1973 -2009 . I freqently dealt with Eric Woodward who ran the Ed Res Service from about 1965 to 1995. Wakefield Council ran the service, on behalf of all West Yorkshire authoritites except Leeds, from 1974 to about 2000 and then Bretton College took it on but decided to cut the service and disperse the collections, including archaeological material. The people concerned at the college did not seem to have specialist knowledge and I remember seeing a list of material on offer to other museums. So I consulted my archaeologist colleague and applied for Roman and Egyptian stuff which duly arrived. The full list will prob still be in the files. So the Cypriot material was probably acquired by another local museum and still exists in the collections now – Yorkshire and Humberside Federation of Museums might help.
    PS As a classics graduate it is great to hear of your interest.


    • Hi Mary – many thanks for this. It’s great to have some more information, and I’ll certainly follow up the Y&H Federation of Museums suggestion. I’ll post again if I make any progress!


  2. We have the Indian/Iranian Textiles from the Educational Resource Collection here in ULITA, received after the merger with Bretton Hall (and I believe there’s still some ceramics in the University). I would love to know what brochure / what collection you were looking at in Special Collections as this might reference our collection too (of which we have very little information.) Many thanks.


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