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18 October 2013

Conservation programme update

Today’s blog is just a brief update on what we will be doing next in the conservation lab. Since 2010 the conservation team, along with numerous interns and students, have been conserving the hoard and soon all the objects will be clean and we will be coming to the end of phase one of the programme. The question is what will conservation do next?

Conservation underway of object K739

Conservation underway of object K739.

There will always be a need for conservation as the objects are very delicate and the displays at Stoke-on-Trent, Lichfield, Tamworth and the new HLF-funded Staffordshire Hoard gallery at Birmingham Museums will also require new mounting and display of the objects, keeping the conservation team busy. The objects also travel quite a lot to enable research of the artefacts and this will always require conservation input.

K273 before and after conservation

But, the most important thing that we will do next, is to continue the work to group the objects back together and to keep liaising with the research team.

As you will know the vast majority of the objects are all pulled apart. Now that we can see the decoration of the objects we can use clues in the decoration as well as style, size and shape to group them together, as with K1118 and K1148 which form a hilt collar.

K1118 and K1148 objects grouped together

Beast detail on the objects

Beast detail on the objects that gives us clues to matching objects together

More information about stage one of the research programme and the range of people involved can be found in the research newsletters.

We will also be updating the blog as we make progress on the groupings and inform you on the development of the new Staffordshire Hoard gallery at Birmingham Museum which is due to open September 2014.

Pieta Greaves
Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Manager
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery