Conservation & Research blog

Volunteering for the hoard

Friday, 20th May 2016

I’m Sarah Barnett, and I volunteer as a Staffordshire Hoard Documentation Assistant. This is a really great volunteer role, as I get to see every aspect of the Staffordshire Hoard as we work our way through all the photographs and documents putting them in order...

One big jigsaw puzzle…Part 3: A new object revealed

Sunday, 8th May 2016

Piece by piece, the item has been coming together with more fragments being fitted in as we have added additional pieces (figure 1). The shape is very distorted around the base, and any additional fragments have to be added in a way which retains this...

One big jigsaw puzzle...Part 2: Moulded gilded sheet

Wednesday, 4th May 2016

As Sue has been working away on the flat sheet, I have been tackling the shapely but distorted sheet metal. This group has been identified as different because it has beautiful iridescent corrosion products (figure 1) on the surface like that of a pearl. It...

One big jigsaw puzzle...Part 1: Flat gilded sheet

Friday, 29th April 2016

So for the last few months we have been pretty quiet as we have been busy completing work so that we may fully catalogue all of the sword related material that is present in the Hoard. Now that is finished, we have been able to...

Three very special pommels

Tuesday, 22nd March 2016

When the hoard was first discovered, it was its gold objects that hit the headlines. The silver items garnered less attention, probably because they were generally much more fragmentary and in poorer condition. However, as the painstaking research and conservation has progressed, the silver items...

Volunteering and the Hoard

Monday, 21st March 2016

Hello everyone! I’m Emily Freeman and I am currently volunteering as a documentation assistant for the Staffordshire Hoard. I have a background in archaeology and ancient history, so being involved with such a beautiful collection of objects has been very exciting! In December I started...

The Staffordshire Hoard team wins Icon Award

Friday, 30th October 2015

It’s been a brilliant week for the Staffordshire hoard team, as we picked up the prestigious Pilgrim Trust Award for Conservation at the 2015 Icon Conservation Awards. The award recognises excellence and efforts in conserving an individual or collection of cultural heritage objects in the...

Silver Analysis

Friday, 23rd October 2015

For today’s blog I will provide a brief update on what I have been up to since starting the Staffordshire Hoard metals analysis here at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The gold has been the focus of analysis for the last two years, but there...

ICON Awards

Friday, 18th September 2015

Earlier this year the Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Programme: Stage 1 was short-listed for the ICON’s (Institute of Conservation for the UK) prestigious Pilgrim Trust Award. The award recognises excellence in the conservation of a collection of cultural heritage objects from the UK and overall delivers...

SEM analysis at Birmingham University

Friday, 4th September 2015

One of the aims of my time here with the Staffordshire Hoard at Birmingham is to try and determine the method used by the Anglo-Saxon goldsmiths to enrich the gold (see my introduction blog). The previous analysis did not reveal how thick the enrichment layer...