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      MISS CLARA KNIGHT’S CURIOUS COLLECTIONS

      SEASHORE SPECIMENS

PART THREE

 

Seashore Specimens (viii).

Seashore Specimens (viii). Our stay at the coast has been most agreeable and our hosts have made us very welcome. Their young son, William, takes great delight in assisting me in my quest to discover little treasures along the seashore. Handmade paper, mixed media and found objects.

 

Idris and Cordelia have a small son called William, (though he is generally known as Will). He has been very keen to assist me in my searches, and has even started his own little collection of special finds. He especially enjoys investigating the little pools that gleam amongst the rocks when the sun is shining. He loves to watch sea-creatures in their own habitat and greets every new discovery with whoops of delight.

 

Will, (in his Sunday best, looking very solemn), and some of his little treasures

Will, (in his Sunday best, looking very solemn), and some of his precious finds.

This morning, I showed Will how to make paper boats to sail along the shallow pools of seawater that are formed when the tide goes out. We had a race with our boats, but mine sailed along so swiftly, it floated all the way along a narrow channel into the open sea and was lost. Will was very concerned that his vessel would suffer the same fate, so I managed to retrieve it before it sailed too far. His paper boat was still partially dry, so I turned it upside-down so he could use it as a little basket for collecting seashells and interesting pebbles.

Circle of veined pebbles.

Circle of veined pebbles.

 

A very pleasing piece of seaweed

A very pleasing piece of seaweed

 

Will has announced to his mother that he intends to be an explorer when he grows up. Cordelia is very amused and has promised him she would buy him a special box for the safekeeping of his treasures.

 

Seashore Specimens (ix).

Seashore Specimens (ix). ‘Father and I recently visited distant relatives: the Knights and their young son, William. Will is a sweet child who took great delight in searching for treasures as we walked along the seashore’. Mixed media with found objects.

 

 

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      MISS CLARA KNIGHT’S CURIOUS COLLECTIONS

      SEASHORE SPECIMENS

PART TWO

 

Rock samples

Rock samples

 

Earlier this week I spent some time helping Father at his archaeological dig. The site lies some two miles from where we are staying with Father’s cousin and his family, so I can make the journey easily on horseback.  I understand Father’s methods of working better than any of his colleagues or his students so he has no qualms about trusting me to carry out even the most arduous of tasks.

 

'Seashore Specimens (ii)…. 'I was especially pleased to discover this specimen during our stay at the coast'

‘Seashore Specimens (ii)…. ‘I was especially pleased to discover this specimen during our stay at the coast’ . Handmade paper and mixed media.

 

Father is such a brilliant scholar, and spends so much time deep in thought, that he often finds he has managed to completely lose all track of time and place. In fact, on occasion, he can  be extremely absent-minded. Only yesterday, the house was in complete disarray when he discovered he had mislaid some of his lecture notes.

The whole household searched high and low in every nook and cranny. Hester, my nurse, even looked in the scullery. Eventually, the papers were found under a plump velvet cushion on the chair on which Cordelia’s pet cat was sleeeping! The cat had been most reluctant to move and was particularly vociferous in her protests when she was compelled to do so.

 

One of my favourite stone samples

One of my favourite stone samples

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MISS CLARA KNIGHT’S CURIOUS COLLECTIONS

SEASHORE SPECIMENS

PART ONE

Dear reader, welcome to…….

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 Miss Clara Knight is a Victorian girl possessed of a particularly independent nature, who has spent many years travelling the country with her father, an eminent Professor of Archaeology. As they search for wonders of antiquity, Clara compiles treasured collections of her own………

Clara Knight. Cropped. Blog etc (774x800)

Miss Clara Knight

SEASHORE SPECIMENS

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Assorted specimens of natural history from my collections….. with handmade paper work

 

Our stay at the coast is proving to be utterly delightful. Father and I are presently the guests of one of his favourite cousins, Mr Idris Knight, and his wife, Cordelia and their small son, William.

Father has been very preoccupied with the excavation of a nearby site of archaeological interest so, when my assistance there is not required, I have been exploring the seashore and the surrounding area. The sea here is a vast and breath-taking sight to behold as it is buffeted by the bracing sea breeze.

There are so many places to explore around the seashore: great stretches of pebble-strewn beaches, soaring cliffs to walk along with far-reaching views of the sea and areas with little rock pools just waiting to be investigated. I have already discovered many curious specimens of natural history to add to my collections.

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Seashore Treasures (vii). We are enjoying a most pleasant sojourn at the coast, visiting one of Father’s cousins, and his wife. Initially, the weather was extremely blustery, but this did not deter me from my resolve to explore the seashore as soon as I was able. Handmade paper with mixed media and found objects.

From time to time, Cordelia accompanies me on my walks. She is such a pleasant-natured person, with a similar sense of humour to my own and I do find her to be very good company indeed.

Although searching for treasures has always seemed quite natural to me, Cordelia much prefers to converse with her neighbours and friends when she is out walking. She likes to be aware of any circumstance of note that may have occurred across the county.

Yesterday, she eagerly informed me that, in the week before we arrived here, a shire horse belonging to a local farmer had broken free from its stable and gone for a jaunt through a nearby village! Being an extremely large and rumbustious animal, it evaded all attempts at its capture for absolutely ages and caused a considerable amount of chaos, until it paused to partake of luncheon in an apple orchard.

Oyster shell

A fine blue and pearly-white oyster shell

I believe I have had a compulsion to collect ever since I was very young. Father has always encouraged me to do so as he always perfectly understood my interest. As my mother died when I was quite small, Father felt it his duty to take me with him on his travels, along with my nurse and a seemingly never-ending assortment of colleagues, students, and staff, who assisted him at his excavation sites. It was definitely a most unusual upbringing for a child, but one that has always stood me in good stead.

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Arranging  my new-found treasures in softly-lined tins……  Mixed media, found objects and handmade paper.

I am particularly looking forward to inspecting and cleaning the specimens that I found today along the seashore. This does generally take quite some time, but it is such a worthwhile occupation: I do love revealing the formation of patterns and textures on these fascinating objects.

Cordelia’s housekeeper, Mrs Butterfield, made it known quite early in our visit that she would much prefer me to perform this task outside so, consequently, I have the use of the gardener’s bothy. The gardener, Old Tom, has kindly supplied me with bowls of water and a variety of brushes and cloths. I am quite used to spending many hours cleaning the finds in the open air when Father and I are at a dig, so this arrangement is quite comfortable.

Once I have cleaned and polished these precious specimens to my satisfaction, I will arrange them all on the desk in the small study, where I can examine them properly and make the appropriate notations and sketches of my observations. As soon as my research is completed, they may be catalogued, then carefully packed away in tins and boxes so that they can come to no harm.

Stones and crab shell on book

Two very interesting pebbles and the claw of a crab