Analysing the English Collections at the Pitt Rivers Museum

The Dispersed Canziani Collection

Chris Wingfield
Researcher 'The Other Within' project

1961.1.088 Vinaigrette donated by Canziani [open]

1961.1.088 Vinaigrette donated by Canziani [open]

1961.1.089 Vinaigrette donated by Canziani [closed]

1961.1.089 Vinaigrette donated by Canziani [closed]

Estella Canziani frequently seems to have invited people to see her collection at her home in Palace Green in London. This included members of the Folklore Society and in 1934 all those attending the first International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences in London. However, she also seems to have been active throughout her life in placing the objects she collected in museum collections. All the objects donated by Canziani to museums do not form a 'Canziani collection' in any meaningful way, since there were never all collected together in one place. We might rather see these objects dispersed in museums across the country, as the consequence of Canziani's life. She seems to have given museums objects just as someone else might give them to family members. Indeed many of the objects were personal items and family heirlooms. 

As well as objects in Oxford, Cambridge and Birmingham, Canziani's letter to Blackwood in 1963 also suggests the V&A and the Museum of London(1) as suitable resting places for items from her collection. Her obituary also suggests that she supplied material to the Wellcome Historical Museum in London. The Folklore Society page, produced recently has a pdf showing sketches on loan from them to the Museum of London, but the whereabouts of all of Canziani's collections are still to be traced.


(1) According to Tunjay Fehmi at the Museum of London (email 19/12/2008), they have five items of costume that had belonged to Estella Canziani as well as her badge from the World Congress of Faiths held in London in 1936. They also have a watercolour as well as the nine paintings on loan from the Folklore Society

Last Page: Canziani and Birmingham Museum

First Page: Overview