Child’s Coffin and Hearse – Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

I’ve had the opportunity to work in yet another of the Birmingham Museums Trust sites! Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery were short staffed one thursday so instead of going to Thinktank as usual, I got to spend a day working in the Birmingham History Galleries!

I really enjoyed having time to thoroughly look at all of the exhibits and some nice discussions with visitors. They are really wonderful galeries which follow the history of Birmingham from medieval times to the present day. There’s a mixture of hands on exhibits, audio-visual displays and objects to keep everyone engaged!

I think my single favourite item, despite how sad it is, has to be this coffin and child’s funeral hearse. The coffin was designed for a still born baby around 1910 by W. H. Painter’s funeral parlour in Birmingham (Yardley Road, opened 1907) but it was never used. The hearse is made from black metal and embellished with shell and flower motifs.The engraved glass panels at the ends are hinged to open and the handles at the top were used for carrying. The hearse also belonged to W. H. Painter’s.

child's coffin

child's coffin close-up

I’ve been to Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery many times, but I never get tired of exploring the labyrinthine building. Maybe one day I’ll do a guide to all the death and mourning related items on show!

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