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

Conserving the Cheapside Hoard

By catherine nightingale on 16 Feb 2014
A pendant from the Cheapside Hoard during conservation

A pendant from the Cheapside Hoard during conservation

At first glance, it is the fantastic gems which catch your eye – the range of stones and skilful cuts are breath-taking. It is only when the objects which make up the Cheapside Hoard are closely examined that the quality of the enamel work on the objects can truly be appreciated. Whilst conserving the objects for the current exhibition, it is the enamel that has really captured my imagination and my admiration. 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

The Lord Mayor of London’s State Coach

By robert payton on 26 Oct 2013

The Museum of London houses one of London’s most iconic objects, the Lord Mayor’s State Coach, owned by the City of London Corporation. This is one of the world’s oldest ceremonial vehicles still in use. Built in 1757 it even pre-dates the Queen’s gold coach. As Head of Conservation and Collection Care at the Museum of London one of my roles is to ensure that the coach is looked after whilst on display, but also to oversee the removal of the coach ready for the annual Lord Mayor’s procession. Read the full postRead the full post