Collections Up Close Special

With Royal Wedding celebrations in full swing this month we’re exploring armours which relate to one of the most influential marriages in British history. The Royal Armouries at the Tower of London is home to ornate armours which belonged to King Henry VIII and commemorate his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Henry was crowned and married Katherine in 1509 when he was 17 years old and she was 23. Katherine had previously been married to his elder brother, Prince ArthurRead more

Power House – Object Conservation 4

Object: Uniform Coat of the Duke of Wellington c.1835 (xvi.8) Blogger: Suzanne Dalewicz-Kitto, Conservation Manager This blue cloth uniform with white lining and scarlet facing was worn by the Duke of Wellington when he was Constable of the Tower of London. It has gilt buttons bearing a miniature of the White Tower in silver, and epaulettes made of gold and silver thread.  The coat is in reasonable condition with only a few small holes and surface grazing of the cloth, probablyRead more

Power House – Object Conservation 3

Object: Flintlock Land Service Musket (1715) XII.80 Blogger: Nyssa Mildwaters, Conservation This musket is one of several experimental firearms which are to be included in the Power House exhibition. The musket was designed and made by the gunmaker Richard Wolldridge who worked at the Tower from about 1704 until 1749. Although this particular pattern or design was not issued to the military its does show the general form which British military firearms were beginning to take in the early 18th century.Read more

Power House – Object Conservation 2

Object: Brass belt plate (mid 19th century) I.979 ii Blogger: Nyssa Mildwaters, Conservation It’s always nice to work on an object which can be related back to a particular person in history. This belt plate is one of a pair of objects relating to the Board of Ordnance’s only identified rat-catcher, Richard Dean. The plate is the only surviving portion of Dean’s uniform and he can be seen wearing it in a portrait which is to be displayed alongside the plate.Read more

Power House – Object Conservation

Prior to installation of a new exhibition the objects which will appear on display have to be carefully cared for by the Conservation Team. Nyssa Mildwaters, one of the Royal Armouries Conservators, will be blogging about several interesting items which will soon be on display at the Tower of London. One of the more unusual looking objects being conserved for the Power House exhibition is a three stemmed candlestick.  The main body of the candlestick is made from metal weaponRead more

Collections Up Close March

In March 44BC Julius Caesar was warned to ‘Beware the ides of March’. Caesar dismissed the warning that harm would come to him, only to be stabbed to death later that day by Senators in the Roman Senate. The ‘ides of March’ refers to March 15th in the Roman calendar, and is probably linked to the full moon as the ides fall on either the 13th or 15th day of each month. The prediction and Caesar’s fate were later dramatisedRead more