Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Need a helping hand

Tucked away in a corner of garden of the transport museum this ancient looking statue gives no indication as to its origins nor its subject matter. We have a lady minus a hand holding on to a shield and wearing a Greek-style helmet.
Well it was difficult to find anything out about this but after asking Hull Museums (thanks to assistant curator Tom Goulder) I get the picture that this is thought to be a statue of Minerva (or possibly Britannia) from the Royal Institute which stood on Albion Street. It was part of a group of three statues. So how did it (and the other two that I have yet to find) end up in these gardens? Well German bombing in 1943 destroyed the Royal Institute and damaged the statues that much is known. The same explosion destroyed records so the story of the statues becomes a bit hazy. At least it was until, by persistence, I came across this link which is quite clear that, yes, this is Minerva and came from the Royal Institute. The poster of that page also states the statue is by W.D. Keyworth, junior and dates from 1883. So mystery solved then ...
Returning to our statue and if it is Minerva then she would have had a spear in her missing hand and would have looked a lot like this.


  1. It is amazing what we learn after we take a photograph. Thanks for sharing - interesting story.

  2. She's kind of out of place there, isn't she? Though she's probably happier in a garden than stuck on the front of a building!