Ask A Curator: What's your oldest object?

Ask A Curator: What's your oldest object?

The oldest object in our collection is our ammonite. These ancient marine creatures lived in the sea between 240 to 265 million years ago, when they became extinct along with the dinosaurs.

Josiah Wedgwood, like many of his fellow members of the Lunar Society, was very interested in fossil collecting, and we know that he spent time in both Cornwall and Derbyshire indulging in his hobby. There is a letter surviving in the archives written from Josiah Wedgwood to his friend and business partner, Thomas Bentley, in 1768 where he describes the discovery at “five yards from the surface, a prodigious rib, with the vertebre [sic] of the backbone of a monstrous sized fish” whilst work was ongoing during the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal.