Elaine Tankard had created a group of Anglo-Saxon displays before World War II. They had been so successful that she had written about them in the Museum Journal, a monthly magazine for museum curators. This cremation urn, which was more than 1400 years old, was likely to have been part of those displays.
Most of the museum’s Anglo-Saxon collection was evacuated to safe places in the countryside in North Wales and Cheshire, but this large and fragile urn, perhaps to difficult to pack and transport in the museum van seems to have been left in the museum.
The urn had arrived at World Museum in the late 19th century. It had been in the collection of Reverend Bryan Faussett, a pioneering 18th century archaeologist from Kent. The urn was then collected by Joseph Mayer, World Museum’s founding collector and given to the museum in the late 19th century. It is no longer in World Museum’s collection and is presumed destroyed during the May Blitz of 1941.