Celtic Cabinet Stonehenge, Wiltshire Heritage Museum

BrittonCabinet stonehenge 2photos by Pete Glastonbury, with permission

The plaque on this cabinet in the Wiltshire Heritage Museum reads:

The Britton ‘Celtic’ Cabinet [Clonehenge thanks whoever is responsible for those single quotation marks!] The cabinet was originally made in about 1824 for G Watson Taylor, MP for Erlestoke. It is made in the shape of one of the trilithons at Stonhenge [sic], with pollarded elm and birds eye maple veneer, and contains inset watercolours by contemporary artists including Cotman. By 1832 it had been acquired by the historian John Britton (1771-1857) and stood in his library, where it housed manuscripts and drawings. It was bought by the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in 1853.

BrittonCabinet chThe replica at the top of this post, seen in glass on top of the cabinet, is one of the cork models by Henry Browne, whom we have mentioned before. On the left side of the ‘trilithon’ you can see a charming watercolour of an aerial view of Stonehenge. A similar picture of Avebury is on the right. The other painted panels are hard to make out, but the bottom right is Stonehenge again. Others seem to represent a concession that Wiltshire doesn’t own the megalith franchise.

This is an absolutely fabulous bit of megalithia, in our not-all-that-humble opinions. So much so that we are giving the Avebury model inside the cabinet a post of its own, to follow in a few days.

BrittonCabinet2 ch

Score: 8½ druids. It might have been 9 if it weren’t for that word Celtic in its name. Our thanks to Pete G. for bringing this amazing item to our attention!

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