Conservation and display progress

These week we have made good progress with a number of conservation issues. We have been working together with the Conservation Department to make sure everything is safe – for our visitors and for our objects. We have been able to convince ourselves that the perry corks are not going to pop off (!) and that the pink liquid inside a bottle isn’t anything dangerous. We have also stuck together a witch’s bottle that had broken and repaired a model gypsy caravan. Checking the condition of objects as they are installed is an important step. We can make sure that they are in good enough condition to go on display – and also that the way we are displaying them is suitable and won’t damage them. We were rather worried about some of the boards from the board games we are displaying. Having looked at them with Dave Harvey, our conservator, we are re-assured that they will be ok, and that the mounts we have found provide them with plenty of support – no saggy board games for us. The Ivory Castle game is one of my favourites. Produced by Gibbs Dentifrice it was given away in the 1930s to encourage children to clean their teeth properly!

We have also met with display to discuss some rather special mounts. Some of the objects in the gallery need a little more support – either to ensure they are not damaged and/or to make them look better. One object that needs particular care is a horse gag. We have used this several times in object handling and it is an intriguing thing. This metal and leather instrument looks like a rather uninspiring item when just laid on the bottom of the case. To help our visitors understand what it is and how it was used we are planning to mount it as if it were being used to hold a horse’s mouth open. This will not only help visitors understand what the object is, but will also be useful if we use it for handling again.

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