By Matthew Abel, Exhibitions Team Leader
Welcome to the next in our series of “Objects of the Month”. Each month, we will be researching and writing about a different object from the museum’s collection, which will be displayed at the entrance to the main galleries. With over half of the collection in storage, this is a great chance to showcase some hidden gems which may not have been on display before.
This month we look to the next royal birth for inspiration.
A flood of royal memorabilia will be produced when the Duchess of Cambridge’s second child is born this month, but this is not a new phenomenon. The Victoria and Albert Museum holds examples of royal souvenirs produced as early as the mid-17th century.
This partially reconstructed fragment of a glazed stoneware tankard was discovered during archaeological excavations in Romford Market Place in 1984-5.
The inscribed date ‘1762’ identifies the king in the portrait relief as George III (r. 1760-1820). Therefore it is possible that the tankard was made to commemorate the birth of his son, George, Prince of Wales (later George IV), that year.
Alternatively, the tankard may have had a royal design to show that it came from the King’s Head pub on the south side of Romford Market Place.
You can view the object of the month in Havering Museum from 1st April in the display case at the entrance to the museum’s galleries.