Mail Restoration, Stabilisation and Study

 
V&A Museum
V&A Museum

Wallace Collection
Wallace Collection

St Vitus.jpg
St Vitus.jpg

V&A Museum
V&A Museum

Museums

I have worked for or assisted various museums.


The Wallace Collection

At The Wallace Collection I restored, mapped and logged all the mail in the oriental gallery, later assisting in the cataloguing.


Whilst there, I assisted with an exhibition titled “You've got mail” showing the methods, tools of the trade, not to mention rare and wonderful examples of the art.  


I was requested to accompany a team from the Wallace (David Edge, Head of Conservation; Dr Alan Williams, a leading metallurgist, and Dr Tobias Capwell, Curator of Arms and Armour ) to Prague to examine the Wenceslaus  Armour for the Treasury of St Vitus Cathedral, subsequently co-writing a paper for Acta Militaria Mediaevalia (tom VIII).

I was asked back to the Wallace later to demonstrate the method of restoring mail for a symposium of Indo-Persian arms and armour. During a lecture given by Dr Capwell, whilst talking about the mail restoration, he was kind enough to mention the work I had done both for the them and for other clients and said  I have “more mail restoration experience than any other person on the planet,” which was very much appreciated.

The V&A Museum

The V&A commissioned me to stabilise and restore a fascinating selection of their Indo-Persian pieces in their Blythe Road archive so they could be safely moved to a new site. 

The work included detailed mapping, restoration and report writing.

The Bannockburn Museum

I was also commissioned by the Bannockburn Museum to make a mail coif for their exhibition. It was designed to fit over a cervelliere, with a ventail, and it is now displayed as part of their battle exhibit.

 
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Restoration, Stabilisation & Study

The importance of restoration cannot be overstated. Without it the piece will start to disintegrate as more and more stress is put upon the remaining rings and its history will be lost.


A lot can be learned from studying an item:

  • How and why it’s shaped the way it is

  • Its age

  • How many people worked on it

  • How it was made

  • Their tools, (type and distinguishing marks)

  • Where it has come from

  • Where it travelled and type of damage sustained throughout its life

  • Contemporary and later repair

  • Giving a curator a much better insight and understanding of the object that books alone can do

Services offered on original pieces:

  • consultation

  • report on the piece

  • stabilisation

  • restoration

  • mapping

  • detailed study

  • cleaning

  • waxing