Katharine, a student at the University of Portsmouth, has curated a new display case for the permanent exhibition A Study in Sherlock at Portsmouth Museum (free entry, open 10am–5.30pm, Tuesday to Sunday and on bank holiday Mondays). Katharine's display is based on the history of Sherlock Holmes fandom and covers the period from 1887 to the present. The display was opened on 21 April and some objects from the display are featured here.
Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created his famous detective while working in the city of Portsmouth, and 12 years ago world-renowned scholar Richard Lancelyn Green bequeathed a unique collection of 59,000 artefacts to the council. Katharine has been working on the collection as part of her PhD research, funded by an Arts and Humanities Research Council scheme to promote collaboration between universities and other organisations, such as the council's museums service. As part of her collaborative project with Portsmouth City Council, Katharine has organised and assisted in a number of public events, including exhibitions and a family ‘crime scene investigation’ event, which also involved the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth. Katharine also co-organised a postgraduate conference on collectors and collecting at the university, supported by the Centre for Studies in Literature.
Katharine is a third-year student at the University of Portsmouth’s School of Social, Historical and Literary Studies and her thesis examines early British Sherlock Holmes fandom from 1887 to 1930, looking in particular at the role of the The Strand Magazine in fan culture. The objects presented in the display have been instrumental to Katharine’s PhD research.
'The Blue Carbuncle' Fan Art
about 'The Blue Carbuncle' Fan Art
The stories of Sherlock Holmes continue to inspire creative artworks. This is a fan illustration of 'The Blue Carbuncle' by Kayla Kinoo (2015).
about Persian Slipper
Persian slippers are often collected by Holmes fans, especially when they re-create Holmes’ rooms for their own 221B Baker Street. This is because in The Musgrave Ritual Watson says Holmes ‘keeps his cigars in the coal-scuttle, [and] his tobacco in the toe end of a Persian slipper’.
Souvenir of the Reichenbach Falls
about Souvenir of the Reichenbach Falls
This wooden box is from the Reichenbach Falls in Meiringen, Switzerland where Holmes fought Moriarty in ‘The Final Problem’ and was thought to have died. The box contains two phials: one filled with water and one with earth collected from the Reichenbach Falls.
Bust of Napoleon
about Bust of Napoleon
This white marble bust of Napoleon was used in Richard Lancelyn Green's re-creation of 221B Baker Street. It is a reference to ‘The Adventure of the Six Napoleons’ where Sherlock Holmes pursues a criminal intent on stealing and smashing open busts of Napoleon Bonaparte, the French military leader.
Sherlock Holmes in Advertising
about Sherlock Holmes in Advertising
The image of Sherlock Holmes is recognised worldwide. Since the 1900s advertisers have used Sherlock Holmes to sell products ranging from Velox car tyres to Burberry clothing.
Bust of Jeremy Brett
about Bust of Jeremy Brett
This fibreglass sculpture is painted to resemble bronze. The sculpture is most likely of Brett, but the resemblance to Benedict Cumberbatch is uncanny. The artist is unknown.
Baker Street Studies
about Baker Street Studies
This first edition of Baker Street Studies was published in 1934. It contains essays written by members of the early Sherlock Holmes Society and edited by H W Bell. This copy is inscribed to the president of the society, Dick Sheppard, and signed by the secretary A G Macdonnel.
Sherlock Holmes Statue Book
about Sherlock Holmes Statue Book
The Sherlock Holmes statue outside Baker Street Station in London was erected thanks to the efforts of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. They set up an independent project to fund and build the statue in 1999. The statue was designed and made by John Doubleday, a leading British sculptor.
Baker Street Post-box Insert
about Baker Street Post-box Insert
This insert from Baker Street's postbox gives the time of the postal collections. Souvenirs like this one are popular amongst fans and collectors for their link to Baker Street, where Sherlock Holmes lived.
Sherlock Holmes Postcards
about Sherlock Holmes Postcards
These postcards were produced in October 1903 by The Strand Magazine as part of the release of The Return of Sherlock Holmes. They feature Sidney Paget illustrations for the Sherlock Holmes stories ‘The Final Problem’, The Hound of the Baskervilles, ‘The Adventure of the Empty House’ and ‘The Adventure of the Norwood Builder’.
Sherlock Holmes Fan Art
about Sherlock Holmes Fan Art
Fan art includes many mediums, including comics, illustrations, and fan art based on film and television adaptations. This piece is '221 Tea' by Jackie Goodrum (2016) based on the set of BBC Sherlock