Unfolding the Lennox-Boyd Collection – Part 1

The Applied Arts team has been working with the Paintings, Drawings and Prints (PDP) Department on the recently acquired Lennox-Boyd fan collection. The collection is comprised of 435 folding fans, 10 screen fans, 178 unmounted paper fan leaves, and 4 miscellaneous items. Some folding fans and leaves are mounted within frames, and many are accompanied by their original boxes. The table below shows the variety of fan types and materials. The graph shows their geographical distribution.

The project began with a condition survey. Paper Conservator Rosie Macdonald and I examined a sample of the collection, identifying materials and deterioration problems, and estimating the time required for conservation.

Condition data was collected in a spreadsheet

We photographed each fan in the sample, entered the condition data into a spreadsheet, and analysed statistics in order to better understand the condition of the entire collection. Conservators from both departments also went on a research trip to visit other fan collections in London.

In the second phase of the project we have been rehousing the collection and conserving some of the fans in preparation for a new display, opening on March 5th 2019.

Over the course of this project I conserved three types of fan: folded, brisé and screen fans.

Folded fans

Folded fans have a leaf made of paper, animal skin or textile, which is decorated in a variety of ways and folded into peaks and troughs. I cleaned the textile leaves by dusting with a soft brush and consolidated any loose elements.

Guards are the exterior, rigid elements that protect the fan when closed. In this collection I encountered guards which are made of bone, ivory, wood, mother-of-pearl and plastic. Cleaning was carried out using a soft brush and a vulcanised rubber sponge. If further cleaning was necessary, I applied a solvent with a cotton swab, removing dirt carefully under the microscope.

Sometimes the guards are heavily worked with carved and pierced decoration. On porous surfaces, such as bone or ivory, dirt was extracted using a gel applied over a barrier layer of tissue paper. The guards were then rinsed with de-ionised water to remove any trace of the gel from the surface.

The top image shows half of the bone elements of this brisé fan being cleaned with a gel treatment. The bottom image is how it appears afterwards.

Brisé fans

Brisé fans open and close much like a folding fan, but do not have a leaf. They are made of individual blades (sticks) held together by a ribbon or string.

I repaired broken sticks and guards with a conservation adhesive, securing the repairs with a paper backing (as shown above). On one occasion, the breaks on the guards had caused losses. I experimented with different methods and materials to fill in this loss so that the fan could once again have protective guards. I moulded and casted a clear, resinous material that I inserted into these areas.

The left image shows how I applied a protective layer to the painted parchment before adhering the film to the remainder of the guard. The image on the right shows the completed treatment.

The sticks are attached at the bottom point of the fan by a rivet, spacer, and/or a rivet cap. These elements are often made of metal, with the rivet cap containing a resin, glass, or precious stone inlay. Loose inlays were secured to the surface and cleaned where necessary.

Within the left of the highlighted box are gold and silver overlays which have not been cleaned, on the right are ones in the process of being cleaned. This work is done under the microscope with each stick taking up to half an hour to clean.

Metal overlays were stabilised with a conservation adhesive where loose elements were visible. Tarnish and corrosion were cleaned with an enzyme applied under magnification with a cotton swab. A protective layer was applied over some pigments so that the opening and closing of the fan no longer removed the decoration.

Screen fans

Screen fans have a fixed leaf that can be made of a wide variety of materials. The screen fan I conserved is made of various types of feathers, with a taxidermy hummingbird at its centre, and a wooden handle inlaid with ivory. The feathers were humidified, reshaped and cleaned. Some of the unstable feathers were re-adhered to the surface of the fan. Three areas of loss were filled with a paper patch made to resemble feather down.

On the left is an image of the fan before conservation. Note the mis-shaped feathers and losses to the body of the hummingbird. On the right is how the fan now appears and a detail of a paper down fill is highlighted.

For more on the conservation of these wonderful objects, watch this space for Rosie’s blog-post on the treatment of the paper elements. I hope those who can will visit the new display opening next Tuesday, March 5th 2019!

Rebeca Suarez Ferreira, MA

Objects Conservator

Applied Arts Department

The Fitzwilliam Museum

Conserving a Moving Book

The Founder’s Library at the Fitzwilliam Museum houses an extraordinary collection. It charts the history of the printed book, from the first days of printing in the mid fifteenth century to artists’ books and productions of the private presses today. We are fortunate to have a copy of the Astronomicum Caesareum, one of the high points of sixteenth-century printing, as part of the collection.  Printed in 1540 in Ingolstadt at the press of the author, Peter Apian (1495-1552), this magnificent book was dedicated to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his brother, Ferdinand. It was designed to make astronomy accessible to those who did not have a high level of mathematical education.  The reader is provided with volvelles – moving dials of paper attached to the leaves – throughout the book, the paper instruments allowing astronomical phenomena to be calculated.

The title page, printed from wood blocks and coloured by hand
One of the volvelles: the paper disks can be turned and the coloured threads used to read off calculations about the movements of the planets

Apianus’s work is based on the Ptolomaic system of astronomy, where the earth is assumed to be at the centre of the universe. However, within three years of publication, Copernicus (1473-1543) revolutionised thinking about the universe by suggesting that the planets orbit the sun.  By the seventeenth century, Kepler (1571-1630) described the Astronomicum Caesareum as an elaborate waste of effort!  Although scientific thinking has moved on, the book remains a superb artistic achievement: the typography includes a mirror-image font and decorative lay outs, the volvelles and decorative woodcut initials glow with rich hand colouring, and some of the pastel shades of paint are embellished with tiny golden particles, which sparkle in the light as the leaves are turned.

Detail of a volvelle, showing tiny golden flecks in the yellow paint

The book had suffered from damp and insect attack in the past and was repaired and rebound, probably in the early nineteenth century. Repair patches added at that time were very stiff and had caused the original leaves to crack along the edges of the old repairs.  Over-large patches also obscured text.  The binding was also breaking down, with the thin leather on the spine crumbling and the sewing threads either breaking or tearing holes in the spinefolds.

Disbinding revealed the extent of damage to the spinefolds and later repair patches, which had also become torn and discoloured

Over the course of the last year, the leaves of our copy of the Astronomicum have undergone extensive conservation work.  This involved the careful removal of the old binding and heavy repair patches, the reduction of disfiguring water stains, and the repair of damage using Japanese handmade papers to make sympathetic infills.

Working over a light box, toned Japanese handmade paper is shaped to fit the torn edge of the title page and make the new spinefold

Details of stain-reduction, before and after treatment

Our copy is one of the deluxe versions printed on very high quality paper made from rags and is remarkably well preserved. It is still possible to see the marks of the rope over which the wet paper was hung to dry, as well as blind impressions of type in blank areas, added to control pressure on the paper during the printing process.  These un-inked letters are known as ‘bearer’ type.

Detail of blind impressions of the ‘bearer type’ above and below a block of text in the margin

Recently, a team of historians of science joined us in the library to examine and discuss the book, as well as future possibilities for interpretation and digital access. Our scientists are also analysing the pigments in the colouring, and we hope to build up a more detailed picture of the materials and techniques used to make an extraordinary book.

Colleagues from the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science joined Fitzwilliam staff to examine the repaired leaves before rebinding

Each leaf has now been digitised and we hope to be able to present the book and our research work on it in digital form in the future for new audiences to enjoy. The next stage of the project is to make a new binding for the book – keep a look out for a further blog post when the work is finished.

 

Edward Cheese

Conservator of Manuscripts and Printed Books

Fitzwilliam Museum

An Ethnography of Object Conservators at the Fitzwilliam

For the past three years I have been working towards a PhD with the Department of Archaeology at Durham University. My research is all about the everyday working lives of object conservators. I am interested in how conservators approach the objects they work on, what knowledge they use to do so, and how this type of work is established within heritage institutions. I am also interested in all the other work that conservators do, from preventive conservation to training new conservators, and to outreach work for the public, blog-writing included!

A photograph of me conducting my first interview for my PhD research. At this point I was asking questions relating to the records conservators keep. After that first year, I sought out a field site within which to conduct my ethnography and was grateful to partner with the University of Cambridge Museums.

I decided I would investigate these interests by conducting an ethnography. This is a methodology which anthropologists use to observe human behaviour in various settings. In anthropological terms, my study is multi-sited: I have conducted my ethnography in many different sites, with many different types of practitioners. This has given me a broad, holistic view of what conservators do in practice, how they feel about their work, what  issues  they face, and what experiences they bring to and gain from their work.

 

I created this diagram to explain how I structured my study. I investigate the way in which conservators come into the profession by including students, volunteers, and practitioners working with a variety of objects in diverse heritage institutions. By observing these participants in their work context, I learn about how different contexts affect conservation practice. When I interview participants, I learn about them as individuals and about their opinions regarding their practice. I also ask conservators about their knowledge production as part of my research.

One of the field sites where I conducted my ethnography was the Fitzwilliam Museum. I spent two months working with the conservators, conservation technicians, conservation interns and students of the Antiquities department. During this time, I did what anthropologists call participant observation. I am also a qualified conservator, so I was able to help with the conservation of an Ancient Egyptian sandal whilst I observed what the other conservators were up to throughout their working day.

EGA.1461.1947. On the left, a detail of the sandal before conservation. On the right, the same area post-conservation. I cleaned the surface dirt and used Japanese tissue links to hold loose material in place.

I also helped with the display of a case in the Egyptian gallery that houses textiles and other organic materials. Sometimes I shadowed the conservators as they attended meetings; at other times I asked questions about the objects they were working on. I also conducted an interview with each of the conservation members of that department.

An Antiquities conservator carefully adjusts the textiles selected for the display. I helped with the selection, the design of the display, and its installation.

I then repeated this process with the Applied Arts department. This time, instead of taking part in the treatment of objects, I helped with a project which focused on preventive conservation. Along with a conservator from the Paper, Drawings and Prints (PDP) department I carried out a large-scale condition assessment of the newly acquired Lennox-Boyd fans collection. During my time with Applied Arts I also shadowed the conservation technicians, conducted interviews, and lent a helping hand with temporary exhibitions taking place throughout the museum.

From left to right: de-installation of Degas: A Passion for Perfection; installation of Things of Beauty Growing: In these images I hope to show that I am participating as a conservator in the exhibitions of the museum, as well as observing other conservation professionals at work.

I also spent time in the other University of Cambridge Museums (UCM). I wanted to see how other types of museums work and was attempting to reach as many conservators as possible. To do this, I led forums through the UCM 4C group, which brings together conservators and care of collections professionals throughout the museum consortium.

I led three forums throughout the past year and treated them like group interviews for the purpose of my research. This allowed me listen to different conservation practitioners discuss all kinds of topics. These included the practical side of conservation, the risk of loss of practical skills, working with unfamiliar objects or sensitive materials, gender and class in conservation, responsibility in conservation, experiences with objects, and difficulties in becoming a conservator. Again, this list is not exhaustive but I hope it gives an idea of the range of these conversations and how useful they were to me as a researcher.

I am still working on the Lennox-Boyd fans collection and a related display focused on the conservation work carried out on the fans. I am also in the midst of writing my PhD which I hope to finish within the next year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge Museums, and all those who kindly participated in my doctoral research. It was, and continues to be, a great pleasure to work with you.

Just a sneak peek of what is to come on my blog post about the conservation of some of the fans from the Lennox-Boyd collection! Can you guess what I was trying to achieve with this element of a fan?

I will return to write about my conservation work on the Lennox-Boyd fans collection in due course!

Until then…

Rebeca Suarez Ferreira, MA

PhD Candidate

Department of Archaeology, Durham University

Objects Conservator

Applied Arts Department, The Fitzwilliam Museum

Conservation at the Fitz: an intern’s perspective

I have recently started a 9-month internship at the Fitzwilliam Museum as part of my MSc in Conservation for Archaeology and Museums at University College London. Working with both the Applied Arts and Antiquities teams I will contribute to the preservation needs of the departments’ collections. Having spent just under 2 months in this placement, I have already learned a great deal, not only about objects and materials but also about general museum practice. My placement supervisor, Antiquities conservator Jennifer Marchant, identified a number of projects for me to work on. They are varied and I get to participate in a range of activities within the Museum, including preventive and remedial conservation, collections care and management, and material analysis using specialized techniques. This work plan is not set in stone and can be modified if necessary, giving me the opportunity to sign up for new projects that may arise down the line.

My first few weeks were mostly spent in becoming acquainted with the collections and members of staff, as well as helping out wherever an extra pair of hands was needed. Conservation work during this time centred on cleaning glass objects for an exhibition in 2019 and assessing the condition of wooden furniture. This was my first direct experience with glass and I was pleased to discover a new interest in it. The objects served as a fitting introduction to the material as they were in excellent condition. To my surprise some of the items were over 200 years old but I never would have suspected this as they had been cared for so well. The experience of working with furniture was enlightening in terms of the signs of damage that appeared and the relationship between their location and the function of the items during their lifetimes. Photographs were required for the reports and this proved a challenging but edifying exercise since the space lacked proper lighting and I had to rely on natural light.

Jelly glass from the Applied Arts collection.
Korean wine bottle from the 12th Century.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside from cleaning a small group of twelfth- and thirteenth-century Korean ceramics that is going on loan to the National Museum of Korea, I have had the chance to treat an ancient ceramic from Cyprus. This earthenware, categorized as a red-polished ware which is specific to the Cypriot Bronze Age, is a ritual vessel with incised decoration that has been inlaid with a white material. The anthropo-zoomorphic symbols of the decoration offer a fascinating glimpse into the beliefs and values of this early community. One of the finials shaped like a bull’s head had broken off and required reattachment. Though this was a straightforward treatment, I found it tremendously gratifying to contribute to the preservation of this ancient ceramic. While investigating the earlier work carried out on this object, I read the conservation file written by the last conservator who had performed an intervention. I could not help feeling a sense of kinship with this colleague, unknown to me, who contributed to the safeguarding of the same artefact over 20 years ago.

Detail of a spoon.

Another memorable project I am working on is also for an upcoming exhibition. This is one of my favourite assignments so far. I was given a collection of spoons that are to be displayed together and tasked with identifying the materials they are made of, as well as choosing appropriate treatments to meet their conservation needs. Some only require light cleaning while others have to be stabilised structurally. In addition to this, I will share recommendations about the display mounts and suitable materials for them. This project is most appealing because it is like a crash course in conservation, requiring me to use a wide range of skills relevant to conservation practice on a variety of materials (ivory/bone, metal, wood, glass, ceramic, and shell).

Spoons for the 2019 exhibit.

Two months have not yet passed since I started my internship at the Fitzwilliam and the experience has already proved to be beyond price in terms of educational value. I have been extremely fortunate to be allowed to experience so many different areas of museum practice. My interests within the heritage sector are broad and varied: with this placement, I certainly feel that I am able to explore different roles and diversify my skills.

I must express my gratitude first to my UCL supervisors, who recommended this internship to me, and to my internship supervisor, for taking my requests and interests into consideration when arranging my work plan. I appreciate its flexibility as well, especially considering that as a student I am eager to experience as many areas as possible to further develop my skills and identify new interests. I am also grateful to all the staff who have been so welcoming and have graciously allowed me to join in tours, conferences, and meetings where I have caught a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes work in the Museum. I am fortunate to have been offered this placement and look forward to the work that is to come.

Maria Melendez, UCL conservation intern

 

LEDs part 2

How LEDs are now very much earning their keep. Conservation viewing aids and other useful pieces of equipment.

Definition of ‘light’: The natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible; the key words here being ‘makes things visible’.

Definition of to ‘illuminate’: to enlighten, as with knowledge, to make lucid or clear.

With such a large, diverse and dynamic collection here at the Fitzwilliam1it is hardly surprising that a lot of time is given over to preparing new displays, reviewing items destined for loan and supporting, at times complex in-house exhibitions.

Conservators are required to examine objects extremely closely and quite a lot of their time is spent carefully recording this information. Assessments are made with regard both damage and decay and then to diligently note perceivable change, especially over time. Furthermore, we must be able to establish the construction of an object, the materials that have been used, such as paper and drawing media, and in some instances even the order in which these have been applied.

Although light can be extremely damaging to a wide range of museum objects, its power with regard to illuminating collections can be fascinating and at times, revelatory. As such, both good light and good optics are essential.

Stand alone inspection lamps

To help in these tasks, the museum has recently acquired several stand – alone LED photographic lamps 2. These have replaced older fluorescent lamps which by comparison are somewhat harsh, one directional and at times prone to heating up.

Botticini, Francesco 1446-1497 (Florence). Virgin Adoring the Child, Tempera with gold on a wooden panel, M.10. Task lit using a versatile LED photographic lamp.

Useful features include: an ability to adjust both the levels of illumination and colour temperature and integrated rechargeable batteries, which offer the unit much greater flexibility of use.

A digital display on the back shows how this particular lamp is fully powered, it has a brightness setting of 71 % and a colour temperature of 4100 degrees Kelvin.

For conservators, the technology is now very much out there and the  options available are multiplying all the time. To some extent, the process of selection will be determined by personal preference and in many cases, the cost. Speaking from experience, investing in a good stand (one that is both stable and mobile) will pay dividends. The wheels on ours seem to have a mind of their own and tend to travel in only the one direction!

Hand held LED inspection lamps

The Docter Aspherilux Midi rechargeable LED Torch 3

German-made and the quality really shines through.

A compact torch which gives bright, directional light of even intensity. The metal casing is robust, the body is well balanced and the unit contains integrated rechargeable batteries. The only problem you may have with this particular torch is ‘holding onto it’. In our museum, at very least, useful things become popular with others!

Ambient studio lighting.
A strong and informative (directional) raking light.

This clearly shows the power of ‘raking light’ in revealing the paper undulations, embedded creases, ingrained dirt and other interesting surface textures. Invaluable!

Shown below is a portrait miniature of Charles, 1st Marquis Cornwallis (1738-1805), No 3922. Watercolour on ivory, by John Smart (British artist, 1741-1811) within a decorative gold locket, glazed. Dimensions: 67 x 52 mm.

Condition appears fine, or is it?
On closer inspection (lit by a strong raking light – underside of the cover glass) ‘all is not well’. Click on the image to enlarge.

The black arrow above shows a passage of glass clouding and although subtle, this is important, being indicative of the onset of glass disease4. If this condition is left indefinitely, especially in a poor environment, the sequence of deterioration would become very much more dramatic. As such, by having noticed the change and ideally acting accordingly, this is an important first step in any good preservation plan.

Ultra Violet LED lamp5

A compact Ultra Violet LED torch (Nite Ize, USA)

On occasion, examining an object under Ultra Violet light can be extremely rewarding as illustrated by the 16th century portrait miniature, shown below. In this case the yellowy – green fluorescence indicates  passages of loss, earlier damage and discrete later additions. This particular ‘visual marker’ is indicative of a 19th century pigment, Chinese White (zinc oxide)6.

Photographed in daylight.

Portrait miniature of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales by Isaac Oliver (British artist, 1556(?)-1617) 3903. Watercolour on vellum laid to card. Dimensions: 52 x 40 mm.

Photographed under Ultra Violet where the edge damage and later additions are clearly visible. Click on the image to enlarge.

Magnifiers

An Optivisor is a useful and inexpensive viewing aid, costing approximately £30-50. This is the sort of thing that one often reaches for whilst inspecting an object at close quarters and is commonly used by paintings conservators engaged in detailed image reintegration -restorations.

Various lenses are available offering different powers of magnification and are easily interchanged. Personally, I have found x 4 most helpful for some of the more detailed conservation tasks.

In recent months here at the Fitzwilliam we have been taking a closer look at many of our miniature paintings7and for this task, I have found a small hand-held magnifier especially useful8.

Leuchtturm-Lighthouse frameless LED Illuminated Magnifier.
Seeing things in a better light.

Portrait miniature of an unknown man, PD.958-1963. Watercolour on ivory  by John Smart (British artist, 1741-1811) within a decorative gold locket, glazed. Dimensions: 38 x 32 mm.

Examining such small works as these under magnification and in good light, helps enormously in their interpretation. Close inspection is invaluable and may reveal all sorts of ‘collection care issues’; such as friable media and/or loss, the onset of glass disease or perhaps even, invasive mould growth (see the detailed image shown below).

An 18th century miniature portrait.

Portrait Miniature of Sir Joshua Reynolds by James Nixon, British artist, c.1741(?)-1812, No 3800. Watercolour on ivory, within a locket, glazed. Dimensions: 80 x 64 mm.

Scale in life: 40 x 60 mm (detail)

Detail of the same, showing invasive and unsightly mould to the surface. Click on the image to enlarge.

Under closer scrutiny, surface mould growth is clearly visible. Spotting this type of damage and taking the necessary action (ideally addressing the mould and being especially vigilant with regard ‘storage conditions’) is important, in any progressive collections care plan .

Conservators are naturally inquisitive creatures and often, through necessity, have had to evolve and adapt. The profession is relatively small and sadly, all too often poorly resourced. As such, borrowing ideas from others is especially satisfying and all the more so when this saves a little money.

LED Light panel – light box 

By way of example our studio recently purchased an LED ceiling light panel9,a chance find at a local electrical outlet. Although most frequently used in schools and hospitals, this even light source has now become our ‘go to’ studio light box.

A fortuitous find: how LED ceiling light panels are now doubling up as a useful, low profile, light box. A reliable, inexpensive source of transmitted light.

Transmitted light (light shone through a surface, such as a paper) is especially helpful in revealing certain characteristics that otherwise may remained hidden, such as a maker’s watermark or perhaps even, the date of manufacture.

A fan shown on an unilluminated LED light panel, nothing spectacular in itself.

 

The same in transmitted light. Note the physical damage (various losses and tears), information with regard the fan’s structure and the delicate fretwork pattern (small pieces of paper cut out by hand). Click on the image to enlarge.

 

In detail, unilluminated.

 

In detail, illuminated (showing the power of ‘transmitted light’)

M.219-2015: 18th century Italian chinoiserie fan. One of 600 or so, rich and varied fans recently acquired by the Fitzwilliam (2015)10.

As conservators we look for clues with regard the paper type, the process of manufacture, the probable age and perhaps even, a place of origin. This not only helps in our better understanding an object it may sometimes lead to more precise authentication.

Below is a watercolour by JMW Turner, photographed in day light.

Venice, storm at sunset by J M W Turner (British artist, British artist, 1775-1851) watercolour and bodycolour, Size 222 x 320 mm. Given by John Ruskin in 1861, No 590.
The same watercolour, photographed in transmitted light, using an LED light panel. Click on the image to enlarge.

When viewed in transmitted light the paper shown above is clearly wove11 and looking more closely, a maker’s watermark ‘J Whatman 1834’ can be seen, which is both of help and significance. Turner is known to have visited Venice on at least three occasions, in 1819, 1833 and 1840, although recent research has suggested that he was also there between 1835 and 1839. The light shining through the paper reveals an extensive inscription written on the back of the watercolour (possibly in Ruskin’s hand) and also gives useful insight into Turner’s working methods where he has scratched back the paper, creating highlights of both the Venice skyline and turbulence seen in in the sky and breaking waves.     

Dated watermarks do not prove the date of production but do provide a reference point of sorts, and it would be reasonable to assume that the work by Turner shown above could not have been produced any earlier. It could, however, have been produced several years later. Some artists are known to have preferred using a seasoned or aged paper, whereas others may have returned some years later to work up an incomplete sketch.

I hope that some of the illustrations presented above are of help and may stimulate others to look more closely and with that all-important ‘questioning eye’.

 

Acknowledgement: My thanks go to several kind colleagues for reading the text, helping with IT issues and for gently nudging me back on course.

 

 

Work Placement in the Prints and Drawings’ Department

This June I was lucky enough to spend two weeks working with Richard Farleigh, Conservator of Works of Art on Paper, as I undertook my training placement at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. I have been living and training in Cornwall as a Books and Archives Conservator for just over a year now, having left my posts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in June 2017. It was a real joy to be able to return to the museum this year in a new guise, with new skills and a fresh perspective.

Carrying out my placement in the Paintings, Drawings and Prints Department (PDP) over a two-week period provided a unique opportunity for me to work alongside the Fitzwilliam’s paper conservators whilst also assisting the Department’s technicians with the installation of a new temporary exhibition. Whilst I cannot include in this blog post all that I have learnt, below I have picked out a few highlights from my time at the Museum. Before I tell my little story, I would like to thank the team for making me feel so welcome. It was a real pleasure to work with colleagues, old and new, and to gain such a breadth of experience through doing so.

My first week was largely spent assisting the Department’s technician team with the exhibition ‘Floral Fantasies’, now on display in the Shiba Gallery until 9th September 2018.

Myself and PDP technician Richard Carpenter carefully pinning a mounted watercolour executed on vellum in position. PD.880-1973 A bunch of flowers including peony, roses, hibiscus, asters and gentian by Pierre Joseph Redouté (Flemish, 1759-1840).

It was hugely valuable for me to work on this installation due to the range of objects and materials involved, each presenting its own challenges for mounting and display. It was exciting to see innovation at work in the Museum, particularly in terms of new mounting techniques and the use of acrylic to create bespoke cradles for the paper-based collection and the museum’s precious miniatures.

A cradle made in house using a laser cutter for displaying a complex paper- based artefact (credit: John Lancaster, Manuscripts and Printed Books technician). In this instance for a Valentine by unknown maker, early 18th century. P.14622-R Cut paper, with applied silk and metal leaf (folded).

Coincidentally, my placement fell just at the moment a large consignment of some 80 art works, a loan show, Degas: A Passion for Perfection returned from the Denver Art Museum, USA. I assisted with the unloading and then helped the technician team return the full transit crates to one of the Museum’s picture stores.

The Museum had used a number of shock loggers, packed inside selected crates which monitored shock magnitude in real time.

A small but clever tracking device. This is one of several Shock loggers that travelled from the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK to Denver Art Museum, USA and back.

Some of the works, be they pastel drawings or three dimensional sculptures, are inherently fragile. Information from the Shock loggers was relayed to designated recipients who were then able to monitor levels of shock and/or excessive vibration during the long journey.

I also assisted the conservators and technicians in unpacking several of the crates and then helped to condition check a number of Degas drawings.

Carefully unpacking one of the transit crates which contained several drawings slotted vertically.

It was interesting for me to understand how the Museum manages its various loans and to work through the procedures for condition checking. Later in the year in Cornwall I will be delivering  a training session regarding best practice for display and will certainly be able to include many of the tips that I picked up whilst working in the PDP Department.

Inspecting the surface of a chalk drawing by Degas, using a strong raking light to check for any perceivable change in the condition. PD.25-1978 Portrait of the Dancer Jules Perrot, by Edgar Degas (French artist, 1834-1917).

During my second week I was able to spend time at the bench in the conservation studio with both of the PDP paper conservators. With the Conservator of Prints, Harry Metcalf, I tried my hand at inlaying prints from parts of the collection currently not on display.

Inlaying a print: accurately marking the aperture around the boarder.

I also worked with Richard Farleigh on the mount cutter to learn more about the various house-styles for mounting up drawings. I made a mock-up of a mount for my own print and practiced other techniques using Japanese paper hinges. As exhibition preparation falls outside the remit of our conservation studio in Penzance, it was extremely useful for me to exercise my mounting skills. I now understand how to provide safe and lasting housing for paper-based collections, and how to select the most appropriate display methods.

As I came to the end of my placement, it was a real joy to work in the studio with Rosie Macdonald, a contract paper conservator. In collaboration with the Applied Arts conservators, Rosie is conducting a survey of the condition and the conservation needs of the Lennox-Boyd collection of fans, a recent bequest of 435 folding fans, 10 screen fans and 178 single leaf fan designs. I helped with the survey and the cleaning and packing programme. Fans are complex objects often made from a variety of materials including paper, bone, gems, metal leaf and textile. Their conservation and storage needs are challenging, as Rosie explained.

M.120-2015 The escape of Mary Queen of Scots from Lochleven Castle (a detail), French circa 1790. In this particular case the primary support is not paper but silk with a printed design, applied sequins and metal inlays on the bone sticks. The repair needs of the fan (considerable!) were considered and the time required to undertake the work was estimated.

Careful thought has also been given to the method of packing. Each item is wrapped in acid-free tissue, folded (importantly not rolled) in such a way that the fans are still partially visible through a layer of tissue, whilst also being supported by multiple layers of folded tissue underneath, forming a cushion.

Surface cleaning using a conservation sponge and soft brush to lift dust and dirt.

My return to the Fitzwilliam, albeit brief, has really allowed me to supplement my training in Cornwall by broadening my skills in both paper conservation and exhibition planning and preparation. I would like to give special and sincere thanks to Richard Farleigh for organising my placement and for taking time out of his busy schedule to pass on his skills and provide opportunities for me to collaborate with colleagues.

Until next time Cambridge….

 

Hollie Drinkwater
New Starter Trainee
PZ Conservation C.I.C.

 

Glass Iridescence – Deliberate or deterioration?

I’ve recently enjoyed making an interesting connection between our Roman glass collection and a beautiful display of Tiffany and Loetz glass that is part of the Frua-Valsecchi collection. You can see this for yourself in our Cypriot gallery.

Valsecchi glass display in the Cypriot gallery

Much of the Roman glass in our collection displays a pearlescent sheen known as iridescence. Although beautiful, and copied by 19th and 20th century glassmakers such as Tiffany and Loetz, this wasn’t deliberately produced by ancient glassmakers, it is the result of the deterioration of the ancient glass.

Iridescent glass vessel
Early Roman bowl found in Leukolla Cyprus, GR.101.1876

What is Roman glass?

The major component of glass is silica, found in sand. The melting point of silica is 1600-1713oC, which is too high for production in simple glass furnaces (about 800oC) so an alkali is added to reduce the melting point. In Roman glass this was soda, which is found in many naturally occurring salts. Lime is also needed to stabilise the material. This is found in many sands. Soda-lime-silica make a very stable form of glass.

Much Roman glass is slightly blue or green; this is caused by small quantities of iron in the natural materials used in glass making. Other colours could be produced by choosing particular sources of sands that contain different minerals.

Deterioration

Although largely stable, our Roman glass has had to contend with many challenges to survive to the present day. Vessels may have been physically damaged during use, at the point of burial or during excavation. Prolonged contact with water is also a significant challenge to the chemical stability and surface appearance of the material (take a look at a previous blog post where one of our conservation students worked on part of the glass collection).

Water leaches the alkali (soda) from the surface of the glass, especially in slightly acidic burial environments. This leaves behind fine layers of silica that can flake off the surface. The iridescence is purely a visual effect; in the same way that water droplets in the air cause rainbows, light is bent and split into its separate colours as it passes through the thin layers of deteriorated glass and air.

Surface of deteriorated glass showing pitting and flaking

Copying history

Tiffany Louis Comfort Tiffany was an American artist and designer well known for his work in stained glass. In 1865 Tiffany travelled to Europe and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum (then the South Kensington Museum). Here he was struck by the colours of the Roman and Syrian glass collections, reflecting on the “rich tones” achieved without the use of paint. It is likely that Tiffany did not recognise the impact of deterioration on the appearance of this material.

Vase, Favrile glass. Louis Comfort Tiffany. Lent to the Fitzwilliam Museum by Massimo and Francesca Valsecchi.

The Tiffany Glass Company was established in 1887 in New York, but he was working with glassmakers at more than one Brooklyn based glassworks prior to this. In the early 1890s, Tiffany patented the Favrile glass making technique, which was heavily influenced by the appearance of ancient material. Multi coloured iridescent glass was produced by mixing different colours of glass together and spraying metal solutions onto the hot surface of the glass before the vessels were blown. The glassmaker Arthur J. Nash developed this method, passing it on to his son Leslie Nash. They kept the recipe a closely guarded secret that even Tiffany did not know.

Iridescent vase. Loetz, Austria. Lent to the Fitzwilliam Museum by Massimo and Francesca Valsecchi.

Loetz A glassworks was established in Klostermühle (today called Klášterský Mlýn) in 1836. This changed hands several times until it was bought by Frank Gerstner and his wife Susanne Loetz in 1851. Loetz was the widow of a glassmaker and ran the business for 20 years after the death of her second husband in 1855. The business was then transferred to Loetz’s son-in-law Maximilian von Spaun in 1879. Working with the glassmaker Eduard Prochaska, he modernised the factory and developed new glassmaking techniques.

In 1897, von Spaun, saw Tiffany Favrile glass exhibited in Bohemia and Vienna. This inspired him to focus production on Art Nouveau style glass, which led to the most artistically significant and profitable period of the company’s history.

 

Being able to make this type of comparison of objects from widely separated time periods is one of the joys of working somewhere like the Fitzwilliam Museum. Come and take a look for yourself in our Cypriot Gallery.

Rehousing the Egyptian Organics

The Fitzwilliam Museum is well known for its large and diverse collection and the Department of Antiquities alone holds 27,000 objects. The public galleries represent approximately one tenth of this, with other objects packed away in storage areas. The best and most interesting of these are swapped onto display, many other objects, including small items such as pottery sherds and beads, are accessed by researchers whilst in storage. As Departmental technicians, one aspect of our job, is caring for the objects, both on display and in storage, and working alongside the conservators and curators to ensure that they are housed a suitable way, which will help guarantee their longevity and condition.
In the Antiquities stores, as with many museums, space is limited. With many objects kept in storage, it is an on-going job to rearrange both store and the objects, so that the collection can be best accommodated into the minimum amount of space, but remain accessible to researchers. A recent project that is part of this reorganisation is the Egyptian Organics.
As the name suggests, these are Egyptian objects, varying in types of organic material and design. They are extremely sensitive to changes in environmental conditions and insect pest attack, so it is best for them to be stored together, where we can keep a close check on these factors. They have been stored in temporary tray-stacks in several different places, and we were keen to get them repacked, documented and rehoused together.

How are we doing it?
There is quite a bit of work that will go into rehousing this material, it is not a simple case of just transporting them to a new cupboard or box. Each object is assessed individually through a multi-stepped process.

How the objects have been stored previously.

Up until now, the organics have been stored in these large trays. They are lined with inert foam and acid free tissue, however some objects were not as well supported as we would like and we were keen to refresh the tissue and reduce some of the cramped storage. Some objects had also become separated from their information or component parts.
Each object was taken out, photographed and assessed for its conditions and needs. Information on each object is imported into a spreadsheet, which includes details such as the museum number, a brief description of what the object is, what types of deterioration are present, whether there are old repairs, or metal components. We also gave it a condition grade out of 5, with 1 being in the best condition (similar to the condition of the objects out in the galleries) and 5 being the worst, meaning it might need immediate treatment.


Organics being photographed, documented on the spreadsheet and labelled up.

The museum number is usually written somewhere on the object itself. It may seem strange to permanently mark the object, but it is the best way to ensure the number remains attached, as labels and tags can easily fall off and become disassociated. These days, when marking an object we do it in a way that is reversible and not harmful to the object, but pieces that arrived in the collection in the past sometimes have the number directly applied to the surface. The museum number is how we identify the object, it links it to all its records and documentation, including information on when and where it was found, and how it came to be part of our collection.

An object like this would be hard to identify if we didn’t know its museum number. Luckily it has survived and is still legible.

This tells us that this object came into the museum in 1943, and it was the 5842nd object to be accessioned that year. It means we can easily access all the documentation and provenance for this object. By looking at the online database, we can find out that E.GA.5842.1943 is a figure of a Pygmy with a monkey on its shoulder.

Once you know what the object is supposed to be, it is a lot easier to recognise.
When all his information is recorded, and his label is attached, he is nestled into new acid free tissue paper and placed into a lidded plastic tray.

Even though his museum number is clear to read, giving him a second visible label means we do not have to handle him to check his number in future, thus minimising further damage.

Sometimes, due to the condition of the object (or the handwriting!) the legibility of the number can become a problem. If we are not sure of the number, we can check it against our Slip Books. For many, but not all of the objects, these Slip Book records were created at the time the objects were given a number. They contain lots of useful information, including drawings and sketches of the objects (as this was before cameras were readily used) which can be used to match the object correctly.


Object with its Slip Book entry and drawing.

These drawings are extremely helpful as we can determine what state the objects where in when they arrived and how they are faring now in comparison. It is important to note that the condition of most of these objects has barely deteriorated since they arrived at the Museum. Some objects, especially the tomb model figures, were found to have remnants of newspaper attached to them. As many of the Slip Books entries also make note of it, we can determine that it is likely this newspaper was wrapped around them, as packing material when they were first shipped to the UK after excavation. The newspaper has adhered itself to the surface of the object and became embedded within the grain, making it potentially a tricky (and long) job for a conservator to tackle.

Any object that does not have a number and we cannot straight away identify from the Slip Books, we assign an ‘Unknown’ number. Currently over 100 of these ‘unknown’ numbers have come out of this project.

All these unknown organics will have to be identified through investigation through both our online database and our Slip Books, some unfortunately might take a bit of work to identify!

However, as they are all now safely packed and documented, the conservators can get to work on any that require immediate treatment whilst we investigate!

Rehousing all these artefacts safely is only the first step. There are still many phases of conservation, research, and documentation to be carried out, along with more permanent housing for those that need stabilising. However they can now all be easily accessed and identified, as well as safely packed away.

Projects like these allow us to look at our collection in depth, building up a good picture of the nature and the condition of the objects. It is also one of the most enjoyable parts of our job, as you never know what you might come across next…

LEDs Part 1 Seeing things in a new light

How LEDs are now very much earning their keep
Gallery lighting – setting the scene

The best type of gallery lighting should be versatile, easy to calibrate, natural in appearance and ideally, environmentally compliant.

In recent years the advances in Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs)1 have been little short of extraordinary. This is now an established lighting technology and is ‘absolutely where the future lies’, no ifs, no buts.

Here at the Fitzwilliam Museum most of the lighting, along with many other heritage institutions and art galleries, is predominantly by halogen incandescent2 and to a lesser extent, fluorescent lamps. Although well-honed and now quite sophisticated, there are downfalls: significant energy usage, local heat production and certain reliability issues. Furthermore, when compared to LEDs, incandescent lamps have a pitiful lifespan and to compound matters, the sourcing of suitable parts has become increasingly difficult.

Replacing bulbs can be time consuming, disruptive, and in certain situations it is not always easy to undertake without an element of risk.

The average life expectancy of a traditional incandescent bulb will be around 5 years whereas by way of comparison, an LED will be closer to 100. These statistics alone reveal a startling disparity, and one that increasingly just cannot be ignored.

Recent advances in LEDs have seen a broader range of lenses available and perhaps of more significance, a greater accuracy with regard their colour rendition. So, when the cumulative power saving projections alone are taken into consideration, the argument against their implementation falls pretty much at the first hurdle.

 

Selection of LEDs

When selecting the type of LED for gallery use, four important factors should be considered carefully The colour rendition index, colour temperature, wavelength profile and light output or illuminance.

Diligent research and seeking guidance from an established supplier will pay dividends. See also: ‘LED Decision-Making In a Nutshell’ by James R. Druzik and Stefan W. Michaliski, August 2012, pp. 22, 23.

 

Colour Rendition Index (CRI)

The effect of a light source on colour appearance is expressed by the CRI index, on a scale of 0-100.  Natural outdoor light has a CRI of 100 and is used by way of standard comparison.

CRI 60 – reasonable

CRI 70 – moderate

CRI 80 – good, reflecting colours ‘truly and naturally’

CRI 90 – excellent, a full and vibrant colour range (heritage organisations should be aiming for 90 plus). 

 

Colour temperature

The colour temperature of a lamp can be used to understand how the light will appear to the human eye. Measured in degrees Kelvin (K).

Both natural and emitted electrical light (various types) will be composed of different wavelengths. Light, from whatever the source, will have a unique profile and in turn a ‘specific colour temperature’.

 

Warm light           2,700 – 2,800 K

Neutral light         3,500 – 4,000 K

Cooler light           5,000 – 6,500 K      (simulates daylight)

Daylight at noon is generally cited as being around 5,600 K. However, in reality this figure will vary according to both the time of day and weather. 

 

Wavelengths

Measured in nanometres (nm)

 

Ultra-violet3 (UV) light waves fall below 400 nm and is invisible to the human eye. The lower the wavelength, the higher the frequency and potentially, more damaging to museum collections. UV should be excluded wherever possible.

By contrast, Infrared4 radiation is above around 750 nm at the higher end of the scale and will produce heat. Heat speeds up chemical reactions and this becomes relevant when caring for collections with regard the rates of decay and degradation.

The graphs below compare old incandescent lighting in the Flowers Gallery with newer LED lighting in the recently refurbished Dutch Gallery.

Correlated Colour Temperature: 2750 K

Colour Peak: 766.77 nm

Lighting: Incandescent lamps (Halogen) and some filtered daylight

 

 

Correlated Colour Temperature: 3761 K

Colour Peak: 545.82 nm

Lighting: LED (predominant gallery light source)

Skylights: Fluorescent tubes minimal filtered daylight

 

Wavelength profiles captured with a Spectrometer (GL Optic’s GL SPECTIS 1.0 touch) January 2017.

 

Light Output – Illuminance

Measured in Lux5

The illuminance considered appropriate for most gallery spaces will be dictated by both addressing audience need and the various sensitivities of the collections displayed (the material type, make-up and overall condition).

Taking a light reading6 in the Dutch Gallery. Oil on panel (detail) by Abraham van Calraet, 1642-1722.

Light levels and exposure should be carefully monitored and ideally logged, since light damage to museum objects is often subtle; the effects are cumulative and crucially, any change inflicted is irreversible.

By way of an example see the drawing below where the cut away top mount shows just how drastic the change can be.

Black and white chalk drawing on a coloured paper by Walter Sickert, 1860-1942 (detail).

In this particular case, the coloured paper support was originally and entirely, a greenish blue. The colour shift from green to brown, where the drawing has been exposed to light, alters both the look and quite possibly, the intended context. Fortunately, such extreme examples are rare within museums and as conservators, we always endeavour to keep it this way.

A computer generated overlay gives an impression of how this drawing would have originally looked.

 

Intelligent lighting design: Creating a sense of theatre

With carefully calibrated light levels, directional beams and consideration to the colour balance (within the range of whites) the impact of intelligent lighting can be little short of ‘transformative’. As such, many of the more informed galleries are now making good use of specialist lighting designers.

 

An example of exhibition lighting here at the Fitzwilliam Museum:
Degas: A Passion for perfection (2017).

Wall mounted art works and a cased table top display, carefully lit.

 

Bronze Spanish Dancer (foreground), posthumous cast, by Edgar Degas.

In the above two examples both the needs of the museum objects and the overall gallery lighting has been planned.

 

The recently refurbished Dutch Gallery (2014)

As part of a recent refurbishment project in one of the galleries here at the Fitzwilliam Museum, various lighting modifications were considered. The museum adapted – it embraced change and now this particular gallery is predominantly LED lit.

The Dutch Gallery with a c1690-1700 Flower Vase (foreground) hosting, in this case, some convincing silk flowers. 7

Displaying a mixture of museum items within the same gallery space can present certain challenges since each item type will have a different tolerance.

As such, the most sensitive object will tend to dictate the parameters. In this particular gallery the light levels falling on the displays range between 80 – 130 Lux (UV excluded) and are fully compliant with current standards.

The Dutch Gallery (above) is a wonderful example of just how beautiful a space can become with careful consideration and resourcefulness. LED’s are now very much part of the conversation and with regard to a transition, it is not a question of if but when. For my money – the sooner the better.

 

Seeing things in a new lighthow LEDs are now very much earning their keep. Part 2 will follow in the coming months. Various pieces of studio equipment making use of LEDs will be further investigated and discussed.

 

Further reading

The Museum Environment, (second edition), Gary Thomson, ISBN 978-0-7506-2041-3 Butterworth-Heinemann

Lighting for the built environment LG8: Lighting for museums and art galleries (The Society of Light and Lighting) ISBN 978-1-906846-7

Guidelines for Selecting Solid-State Lighting for Museums, James R. Druzik and Stefan W. Michalski, August 2012 (Canadian Conservation Institute & The Getty Conservation Institute) pp 22, 23 ‘LED Decision-Making In a Nutshell’

Lighting Industry Liaison Group, A guide to the specification of LED lighting products, 2012

 

Thanks go to my many kind colleagues, including the photographic team here at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Helena Rodwell in Collections Care and to Richard Carpenter, our PDP Technician, for quite literally giving me a hand (his right hand in ‘taking a light reading’). Lastly, to Gwendoline Lemée, for her invaluable guidance and ever cheerful encouragement.

 

 

We haven’t finished talking about him… Henry VIII’s book is on the bench for some treatment

Henry VIII of England continues to attract attention. This time it is not about one of his many wives but about a book he wrote, the very book which granted him the title of Defender of the Faith, a title still assigned to British Sovereigns today. Henry VIII was a highly educated man and in the years before he turned against the Pope and the Church of Rome, he wrote a treatise called The Defence of the Seven Sacraments against Luther. The book is a theological treatise, dedicated to Pope Leo X, defending the Catholic Church against Martin Luther’s attack on Indulgences, and was printed in London in 1521.

The Fitzwilliam Museum’s copy

The Fitzwilliam Museum’s copy of the book is one of 27 copies that were sent to Rome by Henry to be distributed among the Cardinals of the Church after approbation by the Pope1. As we are currently working towards an exhibition on Money, Image, and Power in Tudor and Stuart England (spring 2019), the book was brought up to the conservation studio, and this is when the exciting detective work started. In fact, the book has a number of interesting physical features which I tried to unravel, helped by my curatorial and conservation colleagues Suzanne Reynolds and Edward Cheese, in order to choose the most appropriate conservation treatment and extract as much information as possible about its history.

The authentic features

I was able to validate several authentic features of our copy, the large signature of Henry VIII at the beginning and end of the text being the most obvious evidence. The sixteenth-century full leather binding is blind-stamped with the Royal arms and the Tudor rose in a double panel. These stamps are attributed to the London binder John Reynes2 and prove the authenticity of the binding. The title page is decorated with an elaborate woodcut border designed by Hans Holbein (1497-1543) which has been recorded by Gordon as part of the original features of the first edition of the treatise3.

Front board before treatment
Title page
Other features

Other features bear witness of the life of this copy and tell us about its owners, its condition and its uses.

Signs on the binding

The front board shows an inscription that has been scratched in the leather. We can read REX ANGLIAE IN LVTH meaning “The King of England against Luther”. The foredge has been inscribed with the title, along with an intriguing sign. This symbol is hard to identify and we came up with two suggestions of what it could be: a cross-bearing orb or a pomegranate. Please get in touch if you have seen this sign used on other books – there are possible links to Queen Catherine of Aragon.

Inscription on the front board
Sign on the foredge
Inside the book

The pages have been numbered by hand, and the running titles have also been added by hand by a reader comfortable with the Latin of the text, using an elegant humanistic script. This reader also annotated the text extensively.

Annotated page
The front pastedown

A nineteenth-century manuscript note on paper is adhered to the front pastedown. It is signed by Samuel Woodburn (1780/5-1853, art dealer and expert on Old Master Drawings) who explains that he bought the book from Signor Romanis at Rome in 1818. Napoleon’s invasion of Rome (1798) had a powerful impact on the Vatican Library as well as its manuscripts. Book dealers coming from England and other countries followed the army and acquired many books and illuminated cuttings. If Samuel Woodburn’s note is true, the book was purchased by Signor Romanis when several of the books belonging to the late Pope were sold by order of the French Army.

Samuel Woodburn’s note on the front pastedown
Remains of a former reback

One final feature. When removing the existing leather spine repair, blind-tooled brown leather remains were found underneath the original leather along the joints, suggesting a former reback. The patterns that are still visible indicate that the leather came from a fairly large late fifteenth – or early sixteenth-century binding with a central panel of triple-lined lozenges framed by foliate ornaments. The stamp used for these ornaments and the style of the layout is very similar to one recorded by Basil Oldham in English Blind-Stamped Bindings4, confirming the date of the re-used leather.

Blind-tooled brown leather remains
Features identified in Basil J. Oldham’s book
Conservation treatment

Let’s get on with some conservation treatment now!

The book was in fairly poor condition. It had been rebacked at least twice and the last reback was creating tensions to the book. Boards were distorted, corners were worn, the front endleaves were detaching, the large strip of glassine paper supposed to support the title page was falling off and the pages were dirty and torn around the edges. There was definitely room for improvement!

Here are the illustrated stages of the conservation treatment:

Removing the current reback, removing the thick layer of hard animal glue from the spine, and reinforcing the sewing with Japanese paper linings in the panels and linen braids over the sewing supports.

The glassine paper was removed mechanically.

Tears were repaired and losses filled with toned Western and Japanese papers.

Corners were reinforced and reconstructed. They were then covered with toned archival leather.

The waste parchment guard hooked around the front endpapers was cleaned so that the thirteenth-century manuscript writing could be revealed.

Margins were cleaned with a smoke-sponge. New back-bead endbands were sewn to reinforce the sewing. The detached leaves were guarded with Japanese paper strips and sewn back on to the textblock over the extended sewing supports using linen thread.

Boards were re-attached using the extended sewing supports. Finally, the book was rebacked with toned archival leather and housed in a bespoke drop-spine box.

Thanks to this collaborative detective work and the conservation treatment that followed, the book is now stable and well documented, available to researchers and ready to go on display!

Special thanks to Assistant Keeper Suzanne Reynolds for all her help in untangling the many mysteries of the book and bringing academic support to the project.