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Museum of London: Pleasure Gardens Archery

On 20 March 2018, John Ellery and Simon Leach represented the Bowyers at the re-launch of the Pleasure Garden' display at the Museum of London. Using costume and video, the display re-imagines the world of the fashionable (and notorious) Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens in the 18th and 19th centuries, where (inter alia) society ladies took up the sport of archery.

The exhibits draw from some of the 22,000 items in the Museum's historic dress and textiles collection, and one of the exhibits is an archery skirt and bodice, dated about 1860, which once belonged to a slender gentlewoman. A bow and quiver of the same era were acquired from the collection of Freeman Hugh Soar and the Bowyers' Company donated £1,300 to cover t he Museum's cost for the repair, conservation and mounting of the exhibit.

Our first photo shows the dress and archery equipment during an earlier visit by the Bowyers in the preparartion stages, and our second photo shows the finished lady archer exhibit, complete with slender Victorian longbow.

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