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Collections Spotlight – Sickle and Fox Head

We have decided to start a ‘Collections Spotlight’ for our museum objects!

Today, the objects we are showcasing are the items that Garretts started out with: sickles! And a unique fox head…can you guess what it was used for?


The very first Richard Garrett came to Leiston in 1778 and was the beginning of the long line of Richard Garretts. As black/bladessmith from Woodbridge, he worked at a forge on the Town Works, which is now the site of the museum today. He mainly produced edge tools including scythes and sickles (such as this sickle pictured below).

A sickle (sometimes known as a ‘reaping hook’) is a curved, hand-held agricultural tool typically used for harvesting cereal crops or cutting grass/clover for hay. The farmhand swings the blade against the base of the crop, cutting through the stems with a sawing action. As technology improved, this type of work was done by the scythe and then combine harvesters. Do you remember seeing any of these around your parent’s/grandparent’s homes? Have you ever used one? Tell us in the comments!

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Guessed what this fetching fox head was used for? Well, if you guessed a door stop, then you were correct! This fox head was used as a door stop for the Exhibition Hall (previously known as the Board Room) while Garretts was still operational. Unfortunately, we currently do not know the dates that the door stop was used, but it was an incredibly important item! Proof is by how worn it is, it must have been used a lot for a very long time.

What great items! It’s interesting to think about how common sickles used to be, while such simple items like a door stop can add a unique touch to remembering the past.