Over the year’s the objects on display at Hertford Museum have to keep changing but we’re often asked about objects that are now in our stores. One of the things we’re asked about most frequently is our orrery which was on display in the museum for nearly 70 years!
The orrery –a mechanical model of the solar system – was made by Jeremiah Cleeve of Welwyn in around 1810. It was given to us by the Science Museum in 1933 and has been an important part of our collection ever since. However it now needs urgent conservation work. The globe is rapidly losing varnish and the paper surface at real risk of permanent damage. The mechanism of the orrery is also in desperate need of cleaning so that it can one again be operated.
We are hoping to have the orrery on display as part of our Rise of the Machines exhibition later this year and we’d like to have it in full working order but to do that we need to raise £2050. We’ve already had a donation from the Robert Kiln Charitable Trust but we’ve got a long way to go to raise the full total and so we’re asking our visitors and supporters for help!
If you’d like more information about the significance of the orrery, our plans for it’s display and storage long term and also the work that needs doing you can download a pdf here or get in touch with us.
Don’t forget if you want a chance to see some of the other objects in our collection that aren’t on display at the moment then you can come and see behind the scenes at our Store on Saturday as part of this year’s Open Heritage Weekend. See our website for full details!