Dryad Craftwork Collection

Harry Peach started collecting craft objects from Britain and around the world in about 1907. His initial enthusiasm was for cane and basketware but his interests developed rapidly.

All the items in the collection – whether peasant crafts or contemporary designs – were well made and selected for a specific purpose. He was a keen traveller himself but he also had contacts with other collectors and academics in Britain and elsewhere. Peach planned to start a museum of good quality craftwork in conjunction with Leicester School of Art as an inspiration for teachers and others.

There were nearly 3000 items in the Dryad collection when Peach died in 1936. A collection of these handicrafts was given to Leicester Museum in 1969 and a number of them can be viewed here. All the items in the collection – whether peasant crafts or contemporary designs – were well made and selected for a specific purpose.


You can read more about Harry Peach and the history of Dryad here.

Harry Peach

Harry Peach

In this section you will find images of fabrics and clothing that are part of Leicester Museums Dryad Collection.

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See some of the toys and small ornamental objects that have come from all over the world.

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Some of the finest examples of cane and basketwork from the Leicester Arts and Museums Service Dryad collection.

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Crampton was a traditional basket maker, working in the Leicester area.

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A selection of wooden objects from the Drayd collection. These include carved and painted objects; from practical items to decorative ones.

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Representations of people and animals from around the world. These include decorative and ceremonial objects.

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The Dryad Collection includes a wide variety of storage vessels from all over the world, see a number of them here.

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A gourd is a fruit of the calabash tree; here the term gourd and calabash mean the fruit of the plant. The terms refer to a number of species and subspecies of various shapes and sizes, many with hard shells, and some without.

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