Welcome to the Conservation Department at the Royal Armouries Museum

The Royal Armouries collection comprises approximately 75,000 objects, covering a complete range of arms, armour and related material, including guns, swords, armour, artillery, and polearms. The maintenance and preservation of these objects is a critical role within the museum. Dr Lauren McGhee, Conservator for the museum,  tells us a little more about some recent changes to the conservation laboratory in Leeds, and the important work carried out there. Preserving our collection The preservation of the collection is one of theRead more

Object of the Month for January: A Kalashnikov Rifle from the Battlefields of Vietnam

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog, Jonathan Ferguson, Interim Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, uncovers an interesting history behind this AK-47.  The Avtomat Kalashnikova or AK (strictly speaking, ‘AK-47’ was just a prototype) and its variants are found today in every active conflict zone. It is arguably the most important firearm in the world, taking the place of the Mauser bolt-action rifle. It is certainly theRead more

The Christmas Connection to Captain South’s ‘Lorenzoni’ Pistol

Research into this ‘Lorenzoni’ type repeating flintlock pistol has turned up an interesting (and Christmassy!) human story. The pistol, which belonged to a Captain James South, connects Christmas dinner with chimney sweeping, from Florence, Italy to London. Jonathan Ferguson, Interim Keeper of Firearms & Artillery, explains how.  Ours is not the most obvious collection to have a Christmas association, but believe it or not we have at least one. Captain South’s Pistol It’s a favourite object of mine; a so-called ‘Lorenzoni’ typeRead more

When Christmas was Cancelled | The Must-See Objects in the Royal Armouries’ Civil War Collection | Part 2

From swords to muskets, buff coats to pistols: in preparation for the museum’s ‘Christmas is Cancelled’ event we take a look at some of the most significant objects in the Royal Armouries collection from the British Civil Wars. In part two of this two-part blog series, we take a look at objects from the period, including an armour of Charles I and a sword associated with Charles Worsley.  Objects from the Time The Royal Armouries houses the ‘Littlecote Collection’, the most important surviving armoury of the British CivilRead more

When Christmas was Cancelled | The Must-See Objects in the Royal Armouries’ Civil War Collection | Part 1

From swords to muskets, buff coats to pistols: in preparation for the museum’s ‘Christmas is Cancelled’ event we take a look at some of the most significant objects from the British Civil Wars in the Royal Armouries collection and unearth why festivities were outlawed between 1647-1660. Christmas is Cancelled Some of us grumble every year about the increasing commercialisation of Christmas, but would you seriously suggest closing the shops altogether? 360 years ago, in the middle of the British CivilRead more

Object of the Month for December: The ‘Writhen Hilt’ Sword

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this blog post, Assistant Curator Scot Hurst traces the fascinating history of the Writhen Hilt sword, from the hands of two of the world’s most prodigious collectors of art and antiques to the silver screen.  It would be impossible to even begin writing about this hand-and-a-half sword without addressing the obvious talking point. Our eye is instantly drawn to the beautiful, almostRead more