Radioactive perfume, ceramic poodles and kitsch piggy banks

By libby finney on 25 Feb 2014
The offending poodle

The offending poodle

After this week I will look at our museum collections in a whole new light. No longer will I casually observe an item on display, instead I will find myself assessing the risks involved in its entire material being. It may seem like I’m being overly dramatic, but our first hour on week three was spent looking at the hazards that can be found in museum collections: from asbestos to uranium and mercury to gunpowder. It was fascinating to discover that my chosen profession could be so fraught with danger and adventure! Read the full postRead the full post

To clean or not to clean?

By libby finney on 16 Jan 2014
A miniature dustpan and brush, from a dolls' house c 18th/19th century

A miniature dustpan and brush, from a dolls’ house c 18th/19th century

CLEAN [from glan, Welsh; clean, Saxon]: To be free from dirt or filth

‘They make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter..’
Samuel Johnson Dictionary (1755)

‘To clean or not to clean?’: that is indeed the question on everybody’s lips by week three of CCC here at Mortimer Wheeler House. No matter how dirty the object may be, however, the answer is not as simple as it may first appear. Read the full postRead the full post

A Complete Basket Case

By libby finney on 10 Dec 2013
Cargo Basket, currently on display at the Museum of London Docklands

A humble cargo basket, waiting for a good clean from our Collection Cleaning team.

Valence House Museum’s Kerry Westerman takes on basketry in our Collection Cleaning Course and discovers that a deep breath, soft brush and pop sock are the three vital ingredients for a cleaning session… Read the full postRead the full post