Mill Green Museum's cutlery set nominated for Object of the Year!

A carving knife and fork with handles made from the legs of a deer have been nominated for the Hertfordshire Association of Museums 'Object of the Year 2023' award.

Cutlery made from deer legs

Mill Green Museum's curators put forward the fascinating cutlery set to increase awareness of their extensive museum collection which ranges from milling equipment and tools to the everyday objects that make up the social history of our lives such as children's toys, furniture and clothing. The museum and working mill reopen on Thursday 2 February and the Roman Baths reopen on Saturday 4 February.

The Victorian cutlery set was donated to the museum in 1980 and is engraved with the VR hallmark. It is likely a deer was shot on a hunting trip and its legs were used to make the handles of the cutlery. Not only were the carving knife and fork made for practical purposes but they were most likely kept as a souvenir.

Cutlery sets like this are more commonly found in continental countries such as Germany and often include a spoon. Similar sets have been discovered with animal antlers for handles. Although they might not be to everyone's taste, the cutlery speaks of a time when hunting was more widely accepted.

Other items from museums across Hertfordshire that have been nominated for the award include a sculpture of a giant's toe, dolls house chamber pots and a Nokia 3310 mobile phone. You can see the full list of nominated objects and vote for your favourite online.

Councillor Terry Mitchinson, Executive Member, Leisure and Community, said:

"The Object of the Year 2023 award is a fantastic way to celebrate the museums in Hertfordshire that collect and care for a wide range of objects. I encourage residents to show their support for Mill Green Museum by voting online for the interesting Victorian cutlery set. Mill Green Museum and our Roman Baths will have lots of events coming up throughout the year so check what's happening on their website and pay them a visit."

The winner of the award will be announced at the awards night which is taking place at North Herts Museum in Hitchin at the end of February.

Voting closes at midnight on 19 February 2023.