These collections are dominated by objects gathered during the 20th century by two important collectors and then given to or purchased by Birmingham.


  • Edward and Eva Pinto’s collection of treen comprises small wooden objects used in everyday domestic, craft, rural, trade and professional settings, dating to a period of 500 years and highlighting many regional variations of usage and design across the world. Designated in its own right, it is one of the best of its kind in public ownership owing to its broad collecting remit (history, wood, craftsmanship), length of time over which it was collected and its related pioneering work in the field of social history.
  • Estell Canziani’s collection of Italian folk objects in the period 1900-14 is internationally significant because she is recognised as an acknowledged authority in this area and because this material is unusually well documented and provenanced, having been written up, illustrated and published by her.