Top 5 new objects of 2022

Learn about our favourite new objects added to the Museum’s collection in 2022
Published on 27 January 2023


Ellie Paton, Collections Manager

Happy New Year! To kick off 2023, I thought it would be a nice to take a look back at how the Museum’s collection has grown over the past year. 

If you didn't know, the museum’s collection has around 50,000 objects, from banknotes and quill pens to artworks and fish forks. We are constantly developing the collection to ensure we hold objects that help us tell the story and explain the role of the Bank of England as well as other related financial topics to the public. 

We’ve acquired (added) some wonderful new items into the permanent collection this year.

Here are some highlights for you:

1. The first item we acquired: The Big Short theatrical release poster 

The Big Short theatrical release poster

Film poster for The Big Short, 2015. Directed by Adam McKay, starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt. Produced by Regency Enterprises and Plan B Entertainment. Distributed by Paramount Pictures. Image © Bank of England: 2022/001


The Big Short is an Academy Award winning adaption of a best-selling book by Michael Lewis. It tells the story of the people who foresaw the collapse of the housing market and resulting crisis in 2008 and shorted (bet against) it, making millions in the process. The film was praised for making complex financial terms and concepts accessible and easy to understand. For example, they had Margot Robbie explain sub-prime mortgages whilst drinking champagne in a bathtub. 

2. The showstopper: Melted computer

IBM computer with keyboard, manufactured USA, 1970s. Image © Bank of England Museum: 2022/282


On 25 September 1986, a fire broke out in the Threadneedle Street building and gutted several floors on one side of the building. This computer was salvaged during the clean-up. You can see the plastic has melted and discoloured, peeling away to show the inner workings of the computer. This space was refurbished and became the museum, opening to the public in 1989.

3. The curious one: Misprinted banknote

£20 series E Bank of England banknote, issued 1991-2001. Image © Bank of England Museum: 2022/036


This banknote is an example of a misprint and is missing the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The interesting thing here is that this misprint actually entered circulation. A set of 3 misprints were returned to the Bank of England this year and were exchanged for new notes. Misprints like this are rare, and finding them in the wild is even rarer.

4. The “we have to have that”: I lost all my crypto in Mt. Gox t-shirt

Mt. Gox joke t-shirt, 2022, manufactured by Port and Company. Image © Bank of England Museum: 2022/308


Mt. Gox (also called Magic the Gathering) was a cryptocurrency exchange platform that hit the news in 2014 when it collapsed. The platform was hacked and thousands of cryptoassets were stolen, with the legal case only being resolved in 2021. The event is still remembered in the crypto community through parody memorabilia such as this t-shirt. 

5. The last item we acquired: Wall hanging of a mosaic

Wall hanging, unknown creator and date. Image © Bank of England Museum: 2022/310


This wall hanging or tapestry features a design of the Roman mosaic which is still on the Bank’s site today. The mosaic was discovered during rebuilding work at the Bank. We’re a bit unclear why this tapestry was made, or by who… or when. An exciting research project for this year!

And that wraps up our top five new objects this year! Did any of the items surprise you? 

You might have noticed that some of the items were very modern. As a museum, we believe in contemporary collecting, which means collecting items today which might have importance tomorrow. I’m already curious to see what we acquire in 2023!