Adopt An Artifact 

Welcome to Dalnavert's new artifact adoption program!

Adoptions are for one year, and there are perks to be had! See below for details.

Dalnavert Spirit

Mini adoptable $35 donation

Don’t want to choose just one adoptable? Spread the love and adopt the spirit of the house!

Ceramic Pug

Medium adoptable $100 donation

Lady Macdonald was very fond of her pug, Brandy. She was so fond of him that after Brandy died, she got a taxidermist to stuff him, and displayed the pug in a wooden cage in the parlour. This piece commemorates dear Brandy, and is also a fine example of the kind of china that Lady Macdonald would have collected. Alas, when Lady Macdonald sold the contents of the house after Sir Hugh’s death in 1929, loyal Brandy sold for only fifty cents.

  Chinese Picnic Basket    Small adoptable $50 donation    Nestled within this cloth-lined, woven basket rests a teapot and two matching teacups. The teapot depicts two women standing in front of a cherry tree. One woman is holding a branch from the tree, and the other is holding a fan. The front of the basket features a boldly studded metal plate with a decorative fish-shaped hook closure.     

Chinese Picnic Basket

Small adoptable $50 donation

Nestled within this cloth-lined, woven basket rests a teapot and two matching teacups. The teapot depicts two women standing in front of a cherry tree. One woman is holding a branch from the tree, and the other is holding a fan. The front of the basket features a boldly studded metal plate with a decorative fish-shaped hook closure.

 

  Stanhope Pen    Small adoptable $50 donation    Stanhope design is the practice of placing miniature images inside ordinary objects such as: pens, umbrellas, pipes, canes, necklaces, rings, etc. On one side of this pen there is a tiny, clear window that allows the viewer to see the images within. This particular pen features Irish scenes including Sackville Street, Bank of Ireland, Four Courts (Ireland’s main court house), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Custom House (as neoclassical government building in Dublin), and Trinity College. A  ll in one pen! Other Stanhope objects contain pictures depicting religious subject matter, family portraits, and even erotica!    

Stanhope Pen

Small adoptable $50 donation

Stanhope design is the practice of placing miniature images inside ordinary objects such as: pens, umbrellas, pipes, canes, necklaces, rings, etc. On one side of this pen there is a tiny, clear window that allows the viewer to see the images within. This particular pen features Irish scenes including Sackville Street, Bank of Ireland, Four Courts (Ireland’s main court house), St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Custom House (as neoclassical government building in Dublin), and Trinity College. All in one pen! Other Stanhope objects contain pictures depicting religious subject matter, family portraits, and even erotica!

 

  Papier-mâché Writing Set    (coming soon)     Within Dalnavert we have multiple items made out of this carefully crafted and labour intensive material including: serving trays, table tops, and of course, writing sets. While papier-mâché is often seen as a strictly decorative art form, Victorian papier-mâché objects tended to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

Papier-mâché Writing Set (coming soon)

Within Dalnavert we have multiple items made out of this carefully crafted and labour intensive material including: serving trays, table tops, and of course, writing sets. While papier-mâché is often seen as a strictly decorative art form, Victorian papier-mâché objects tended to be functional as well as aesthetically pleasing.

  Jack Macdonald's Stamp Book    (coming soon)     This book originally belonged to Jack Macdonald, we know this because he had signed his name inside the front cover. Following Jack's death in 1905, Edgar Jordan Tarr (a lawyer at the Macdonald, Haggart, & Whitlaw firm) gifted the book back to the Macdonald family since he did not collect stamps. 

Jack Macdonald's Stamp Book (coming soon) 

This book originally belonged to Jack Macdonald, we know this because he had signed his name inside the front cover. Following Jack's death in 1905, Edgar Jordan Tarr (a lawyer at the Macdonald, Haggart, & Whitlaw firm) gifted the book back to the Macdonald family since he did not collect stamps. 

Tussy-Mussy

Small adoptable $50 donation

People used to carry around small bouquets of flowers, known as tussy-mussies, to ward off unpleasant smells. By Queen Victoria’s time, tussy-mussy referred to the holder, not the flowers, and they were used more as personal accessories. This tussy-mussy has a mother-of-pearl handle and a brass top. The mirrors would have allowed the holder to see what was going on behind them, or possibly to scope out nearby cuties at a ball. Daisy Macdonald might have used a tussy-mussy like this during her coming-out ball in 1896.

Lady Macdonald's Punch Bowl

Large adoptable $300 donation

This porcelain bowl is one of the few items that belonged to the Macdonald family in the Dalnavert Museum collection. It was made during the late Qing dynasty (ca. 1875) in Jingdezhen, China, which has been known for its porcelain manufacture for over a thousand years. Even though it was made specifically for the export market, this bowl would have been a mark of status in the days before everything was made in China. Lady Macdonald used it as her punch bowl.

  Victorian Hair Wreath    Medium   adoptable $50 donation     Hair wreaths were an artistic response to the concept of a family tree during the Victorian era. Strands of hair were collected from family members and crafted into intricate works of art—mostly arranged in floral designs, and were often three dimensional. These creations put on display the mosaic of hair colours belonging to a particular family. Alongside the woven, crocheted, and crimped hair, other decorative elements could be found including glass beads and velvet ribbon.

Victorian Hair Wreath

Medium adoptable $50 donation

Hair wreaths were an artistic response to the concept of a family tree during the Victorian era. Strands of hair were collected from family members and crafted into intricate works of art—mostly arranged in floral designs, and were often three dimensional. These creations put on display the mosaic of hair colours belonging to a particular family. Alongside the woven, crocheted, and crimped hair, other decorative elements could be found including glass beads and velvet ribbon.

  Silken Drawers    (coming soon)    Underwear as we know them today were a relatively new garment during the Victorian era. The earliest underwear prototypes often included an opening at the back and had a knee-length cut. This particular pair of underwear were fancier than most, as they are cuffed and detailed with lace trim.

Silken Drawers (coming soon)

Underwear as we know them today were a relatively new garment during the Victorian era. The earliest underwear prototypes often included an opening at the back and had a knee-length cut. This particular pair of underwear were fancier than most, as they are cuffed and detailed with lace trim.

  Sherry & Port Decanters    (coming soon)    These clear glass decanters have elegantly tapered necks and intricate intercut detailing. During the time period that the Macdonald family lived in Dalnavert, decanters such as these were used for alcohol—specifically sherry and port. Sherry was considered the “woman’s drink” in the late 19th century. It is dry in texture and generally has a lower alcohol content than Port. Conversely, Port was considered the “man’s drink” and is richer, sweeter, and tends to have a higher alcohol content.  

Sherry & Port Decanters (coming soon)

These clear glass decanters have elegantly tapered necks and intricate intercut detailing. During the time period that the Macdonald family lived in Dalnavert, decanters such as these were used for alcohol—specifically sherry and port. Sherry was considered the “woman’s drink” in the late 19th century. It is dry in texture and generally has a lower alcohol content than Port. Conversely, Port was considered the “man’s drink” and is richer, sweeter, and tends to have a higher alcohol content.  

   More adoptables to come!       Stay tuned for more artifacts up for adoption!

More adoptables to come!

Stay tuned for more artifacts up for adoption!

Pickle Castor

Small adoptable $50 donation

It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Victorians decorated anything that stood still long enough. As this has only hands (check the tongs!) and not feet, it did not stand a chance. The level of detail on the silver plate and pressed glass are quite stunning (again, see the tongs), but they belie a humble purpose: pickle castors were made to serve pickled produce. The pickle inside is included in the adoption, although consuming it is not.

Piano

Super sized adoptable $800 donation

Once upon a time, people had to make their own entertainment. Often, this burden was placed on young women of quality like Lady Macdonald and Daisy Macdonald, who would have learned how to sing and play the piano as a part of their educations. This piano was made by the Kirkman company in England in the 1880s. This is the same company that made Thomas Jefferson’s harpsichord in the 1780s. Unfortunately, the soundboard on our piano is cracked, so adoption does not include serenading Dalnavert staff, volunteers, visitors, etc.

   Papier-mâché Chess Table  (coming soon)      In the 19th century, making furniture and other objects out of papier-mâché was a popular method of construction.  The process involved gluing and pressing together many sheets of black paper into a mold. This chess table is a more luxurious example of Victorian papier-mâché due to its mother-of-pearl and gold embellishments.     

Papier-mâché Chess Table (coming soon)

In the 19th century, making furniture and other objects out of papier-mâché was a popular method of construction.  The process involved gluing and pressing together many sheets of black paper into a mold. This chess table is a more luxurious example of Victorian papier-mâché due to its mother-of-pearl and gold embellishments.

 

  Portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald     Super sized adoptable $800 donation    Hanging painted portraits of family members and ancestors in gathering rooms such as dining rooms and parlours was a popular thing to do in the late 19th century. This piece is an original portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, and the father of Hugh John Macdonald, for whom the Dalnavert house was built in 1895.

Portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald

Super sized adoptable $800 donation

Hanging painted portraits of family members and ancestors in gathering rooms such as dining rooms and parlours was a popular thing to do in the late 19th century. This piece is an original portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, the first Prime Minister of Canada, and the father of Hugh John Macdonald, for whom the Dalnavert house was built in 1895.

  Various Hatpins  (coming soon)     These decorative hatpins would have been worn by middle to high class women to keep their hair and hats in place. Hatpins often reflected the aesthetic trends of the time (Arts & Crafts; Art Nouveau), and were very popular during the Victorian era. These particular hatpins are made with various jewels, glass, and sterling silver components. 

Various Hatpins (coming soon) 

These decorative hatpins would have been worn by middle to high class women to keep their hair and hats in place. Hatpins often reflected the aesthetic trends of the time (Arts & Crafts; Art Nouveau), and were very popular during the Victorian era. These particular hatpins are made with various jewels, glass, and sterling silver components. 

  Davenport Desk  (coming soon)    This compact desk has an oblong top that is positioned at an ideal angle for writing letters—a very common practice at the time. The ample storage space under the lid and the drawers descending the length of the unit allow for ample storage space and are typical characteristics of a Davenport desk.    

Davenport Desk (coming soon)

This compact desk has an oblong top that is positioned at an ideal angle for writing letters—a very common practice at the time. The ample storage space under the lid and the drawers descending the length of the unit allow for ample storage space and are typical characteristics of a Davenport desk. 

 

Adoptions can be made anytime. Please fill out one of these forms and send it to Donations@dalnavertmuseum.ca 


PERKS!

Mini Adoptable - $35 donation

-Charitable tax receipt for the full amount of donation.

-Recognition of your generosity under the Dalnavert Spirit line in our online gallery.

 
 

Small Adoptable - $50 donation

-Charitable tax receipt for the full amount of donation.

-Photo of your Artifact sent to you in digital form

-Recognition as the adoptive parent/family of artifact in the online adoptable gallery and in annual report.

Medium Adoptable - $100 donation

ALL OF THE ABOVE + Photo with your adopted artifact which will be yours in digital form and will appear in the online gallery.

 
 

Large Adoptable - $300 donation

ALL OF THE ABOVE + Private meeting with your artifact and a member of the collections team. 

Super Sized Adoptable - $800

ALL OF THE ABOVE + Invited personalized tour of the house with the Curator + 1st right to continue adoption after 1 year.