Museum collections

In June 2002, our museum service, with the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Art Fund, purchased 112 watercolour sketches by Thomas Rowlandson, Samuel Howitt (PDF, 417KB), and others. This remarkable collection came from Longleat House in Wiltshire, seat of the Marquess of Bath. It was rediscovered in the library in two bound volumes.

The Thomas Rowlandson collection

The 112 watercolour sketches were made by Rowlandson and his friends during two tours of the Isle of Wight in the 1790s. While travelling to the Island, the group visited locations on the mainland where they also produced watercolour drawings:

They travelled to the Island by passage boat (PDF, 358KB) landing at Shalfleet (PDF, 881KB).

Rowlandson’s party visited many sites around the Isle of Wight including:

They also visited the west of the Island and sketched views of Alum Bay, the Needles and Yarmouth (PDF, 471KB) with its castle.

Rowlandson’s first documented tour (PDF, 533KB) of the Isle of Wight was made in 1784. A reproduction print of a Victorian publication held at the Isle of Wight County Record Office.

Photography collection of James Dore

James Dore (PDF, 1MB) (1854 to 1925) ran his jewellery business at 27, High Street, Sandown. He was also a photographer and built up his shop’s photographic department and achieved a high standard exhibiting and selling his work. The Isle of Wight Heritage service holds a collection of over 600 glass negatives and lantern slides of more than 200 of Dore’s works.

A member of the town’s Fire Brigade, he photographed the services (PDF, 1MB) and military life (PDF, 1MB) on the Island. He took photographs around the coast (PDF, 1MB) of the Island, including:

He photographed many rural scenes portraying:

Images show towns and villages (PDF, 1MB) and buildings (PDF1MB) around the Island. Dore often included people (PDF, 1MB) in his photographs and recorded Queen Victoria’s funeral procession (PDF, 1MB) passing through East Cowes in February 1901. He even photographed elephants (PDF, 477KB) in Sandown.

The photographs of William Robert Hogg

William Robert Hogg (PDF, 527KB) (1844 to 1928) worked as a photographer for Jabez Hughes of Ryde. He was frequently sent to photograph Queen Victoria at Osborne House. Later in life he ran a tobacconist shop and sub post office in the town but still recorded the area on his plate camera.

The Isle of Wight Heritage service holds a collection of over 200 glass negatives of Hogg’s work of which 81 can be seen here. The photographs date from the 1910s to 1920s.

Images show Ryde at leisure (PDF, 995KB).

He took photographs of many of the buildings around the town of Ryde, including:

He also took photographs of other Island churches (PDF, 1MB).

During the 1908 Summer Olympics (PDF, 565KB), the sailing events were raced at Ryde. Hogg captured this event and other yacht races in the Solent.

Other collections and artefacts

Giuseppe Garibaldi oil painting

Giuseppe Garibaldi visited England in 1864. Charles Seely of Brook House invited him to stay at his Isle of Wight home and he arrived at Cowes on Monday, 4 April. Seely commissioned Attilio Baccani's painting of the Italian hero on the Isle of Wight (PDF, 373KB).

The Heritage service collection holds an oil painting of Giuseppe Garibaldi (PDF, 373KB).

Roman coins

Clocks and watches

Other artefacts