MISFIT TOYS: An 1850s doll’s tea set, white with gold trim, came from Bessie Chamberlayne, but the pieces are nearly in pieces. “We have more than 100 of these sets,” Valentine curator Meg Hughes says. Most of them can’t be attributed to a specific child. The Chamberlayne family is represented in other objects at the museum. A wardrobe of theirs is on view at the Wickham House. “This set came to us in poor condition, and an auction house would never accept it,” says Hughes. DISPOSITION: Witnessed destruction.

Storied Objects

The Valentine is reevaluating its collections to determine what items best tell Richmond’s stories, and which should go to more suitable homes | Photos by Jay Paul and Justin Vaughan