Faye Kalloniatis, Honorary Research Associate

How Egypt came to Norfolk

For several years, I have researched the ancient Egyptian collection at Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Apart from the artefacts themselves, the history of the collection has been fascinating, in particular, discovering who the donors were and how they acquired their collections. This short talk focuses on two of these donors – Ethel and Helen Colman. It relates the sad circumstances which caused these two sisters, along with their family, to travel to Egypt in 1896. Once there, the Colmans – like many well-heeled travellers of their day – purchased a large number of antiquities, some of exceptional quality. The Colmans’ entire collection – of around 250 objects – was later donated to the Norwich Castle Museum and now forms an important part of the story of Egyptology within Norfolk. But the Colmans’ Egyptian adventure didn’t end there. It also created an ‘Egyptian-style’ wherry, which to this day continues to sail along the Norfolk Broads.

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