Annie Marchant, who lived in Wingham, died of pneumonia, aged 68, this spring. With no immediate family, in her will she left instructions for her antiques (she hated the term kitchenalia) to be donated to a museum.
Kiplin Hall in the Vale of Mowbray successfully applied to become custodian of the collection and recipient of a financial sum to ensure its safe keeping for the future.
Marchant first became a dealer in 1980, having worked at an antiques shop, Chattels in Camden Passage. Specialising in kitchen objects, she was a regular at the weekly Covent Garden market and the summer Olympia fair. Items from her collection were sometimes hired out and used on television.
Comedian Victoria Wood used them on the set of her soap opera parody, Acorn Antiques, during the mid-80s.
James Etherington, director of Kiplin Hall, said: “We are very grateful to become the new home for this collection.
“Most of our current holdings are the fine art, furniture and possessions of the families who owned Kiplin over 400 years. But those items do not always tell the whole story of all those who lived here. Annie’s collection will help us to explore the lives of the sorts of people who worked at Kiplin from outside of the family.”
The Jacobean house previously had a dairy and larger kitchens and servants’ accommodation, but they were demolished some time ago.
Etherington added: “On reading Annie Marchant’s obituary we were struck by just how similar she sounds to our own Bridget Talbot. She was the last owner of Kiplin Hall and is credited with saving it for the nation. The two women sound very similar in their tenacity and will to preserve history.”
Using the funding which accompanies the collection, the house is hoping to recruit a member of staff to see the project through to completion.
The post of project officer is currently being advertised: the successful candidate will work to create a temporary exhibition due to open in February 2021, conduct research, manage the care of the collection, create learning materials, and contribute to long-term plans to house and display the collection at Kiplin.