October 2012

Recently, the Conservation Department hosted two students who approached NMAS with a desire to gain some practical experience in the world of conservation.

One student is planning to study conservation at post graduate level at Durham University, and the other student is currently studying conservation at Lincoln University.

Both students shadowed members of the department, gaining experience in many aspects of collections care and remedial conservation. One of their assigned tasks was the assessment, treatment proposal and conservation of a pull along toy known as a ‘Whirligig’ for the forthcoming “Art & Play” exhibition at Time & Tide.

Image 40

The Whirligig before treatment

The Whirligig is part of the extensive toy collections at Strangers Hall, and was made by the Keeper of Yarmouth lighthouse in 1890. It is of a painted wooden construction, and is based around a four wheeled platform that is pulled along the ground.

Image 41

Each carousel was removed and cleaned individually – cleaning one of the carousels in the Lab

Each of the wheels causes a carousel to rotate as it is pulled, the front two carousels each have a series of animals under a canopy, and the rear two in turn cause a ‘big wheel’ to rotate, from which are suspended four sailing boats. Both Abigail and Isabelle experienced the satisfaction of conserving an object to be viewed and enjoyed by visitors during exhibition. You can go and see the Whirligig yourself at Time and Tide, “Art & Play”, December 2012 to the end of February 2013.

Image 42

A sailing boat before repair

Some of the sailing boats needed repairs to the rigging, as the delicate threads and joins had naturally suffered damage during the toys lifetime.

Image 43

The boat after cleaning and with repaired rigging

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