Rock, paper & stone from the lives of Handel & Hendrix.

3 items have been brought out of our collection especially for this year’s London History Day in association with Historic England.

The first object is an original, Native American-style necklace in red and black beads.
It was owned by Jimi Hendrix and gifted to usn by Kathy Etchingham.

It’s a great symbol of his unique style in the London of the late ’60s.

The second piece is an original contract, signed in London, for two evening performances of The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The agreement was stipulated by the Harold Davison Agency Ltd, located in Regent Street. The performance took place at the Country Club of Kirklevington in January 1967, all practical details are established in this contract, like the payment and the minimum length of the show. Signed on 9 December 1966, the agreement holds the original signature of Chas Chandler, Jimi Hendrix’s manager.

Then from the Handel House collection we have a letter from Handel to Charles Jennens dated 16 July 1744.
In this letter, Handel writes to Charles Jennens about his texts for Belshazzar and Messiah. It is clear from the polite tone of the letter that Handel is keen to keep on good terms with his notoriously temperamental librettist. Charles Jennens was a wealthy musical amateur and spent much of his time at his great manor house, Gopsall Hall in Leicestershire, to which this letter is addressed. Jennens was known to speak his mind and this is made evident by reports of his heated discussion with a friend regarding Handel’s setting of Messiah in which he famously commented: ‘I shall put no more Sacred Words into his hands, to be thus abus’d’. Despite Jennens’s harsh words, Handel obviously considered it important to maintain their friendship, which survived and endured. Their mutual interest in art reflects this friendship, demonstrated in 1756, when Jennens commissioned Thomas Hudson to paint Handel’s portrait and Handel in turn left two to Jennens in his will.

Please note these items will only be out on display for a short time but we will be looking into displaying them permanently in the near future.