• West Dean College

Moths and Uniforms at the Museum of the Order of St. John

By Lucy Cokes The Museum of the Order of St. John As early as 1080, the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem was caring for sick and wounded pilgrims who were travelling to the Holy Land. Also known as the Knights Hospitaller, the Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem had both a … Continue reading

Treatment of a Deruta Maiolica dish, Part III

By Jane Townsend Editor’s note: This continues on from Part I here and Part II here. It was important to complete the bonding of the 11 pieces in one session so I planned a day where I could give the bonding my full attention and could be supported by my classmates and tutors when I needed more … Continue reading

Treatment of a Deruta Maiolica dish, Part II

By Jane Townsend Editor’s note: This continues on from Part I here. I needed to formulate a plan of proposed treatment now which included removing the rivets, cleaning using a mixture of dry cleaning techniques and damp swabs of deionised water and possibly a cleaning solution of de-ionised water 80%, 20% IMS (industrial methylated spirits) and … Continue reading

Treatment of a Deruta Maiolica dish

By Jane Townsend I have been working on this donated Italian Maiolica object since almost the beginning of the academic year; it is a beautiful tin-glazed earthenware dish. My first step was to research the object using the library, internet and books from the workshop. Not having previously researched ceramics in this way I was … Continue reading

“What do we lose when we lose a library?”

By Cécilia Duminuco I recently attended a three-day conference in the city of Leuven, in Belgium. The conference, “What do we lose when we lose a library?” was organised by Leuven University, the Goethe-Institut Brüssel and the British Council of Brussels (9–11 September 2015). The main library of Leuven was bombed during the First World War, … Continue reading

Conservation of an 18th Century Navigation Manuscript

By Keira McKee The Royal Naval Academy at Portsmouth was founded in 1733 with a comprehensive syllabus intended to offer an alternative method of training of officers for the Royal Navy (versus the established method of apprenticeship at sea). The manuscript notebook of one such student, Lieutenant Mark Whyte, dated 1752, has a frontispiece featuring an important … Continue reading

How to Make a Non-Adhesive Phase Box

By Jessica Hyslop I recently completed a four-week volunteer placement at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, in the conservation lab for Manuscripts and Printed Books. While I was there, I learned how to make this simple but elegant no-adhesive phase box. Unlike the more usual phase boxes you see, the two pieces of this box … Continue reading

Part I: ‘Though she be but little, she is fierce!’ —William Shakespeare

By Mary T. Vigliotti My journey with this object started before it arrived on my workbench. A few months prior to receiving the archaeological dish, the 1st year students of the Ceramics and Related Materials Department at West Dean College spent a week as volunteers at the Study Centre at Fishbourne Roman Palace. The Study … Continue reading

Historical Binding Model: 1756 Italian Binding

by Snow Fain One of our projects this year was to copy a historical binding of our choice. For this exercise, I decided to complete a binding from the Newberry Library collection in Chicago, Illinois. The book was published in 1756 in Livorno, Italy. To start, let’s look at the binding of interest. The title of … Continue reading

Treatment on a Chinese Export Porcelain ‘Soldier’ Vase and Lid, Part II

By Harriet Sylvester Back in March 2015, I wrote a blog post about the treatment of a Chinese export porcelain blue and white soldier vase and lid from the Kangxi Period. I am now extremely pleased to post the sequel to show you the completed project. During treatment, a time record sheet and a description … Continue reading