Object of the Month for February: The Tula Sporting Garniture

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month, chosen from our collection. In this month’s blog, Lisa Traynor, Curator of Firearms at the Royal Armouries Museum, explores the history of the elaborately decorated Tula Garniture.  A show of wealth Prior to the 15th century, weapons of the hunt were largely the same as those used in warfare. However, as the techniques of hunting became more specialised and the grandest weaponry more elaborate, the useRead more

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

‘Remove the Head or Destroy the Brain’: A History of Zombie Slaying

Ahead of our ‘Science of Zombie Killing’ talk this October, we brush up on the many different ways to defend ourselves in the event of an outbreak of the living dead with Royal Armouries’ Curator of Firearms Jonathan Ferguson.  Is this the ideal zombie weapon? Well, not really… It wasn’t the intention of the late George Romero, a progenitor of modern zombie culture best known for his zombie apocalypse films, but a lot of us seem to enjoy the killing ofRead more

Deconstructing the ‘Blade Runner’ Blaster

As we eagerly anticipate the sequel of the science fiction cult classic ‘Blade Runner’, we reacquaint ourselves with the iconic ‘Blaster pistol’ with our Curator of Firearms, Jonathan Ferguson.  Known to aficionados as the ‘PKD’ (Steyr Pflager Katsumata Series-D Blaster or the ‘LAPD 2019’) the Blade Runner blaster was designed and crafted for Harrison Ford’s weary future detective/enforcer Rick Deckard in the celebrated science fiction movie ‘Blade Runner’ (1981). After decades of fanciful directed energy weapons (lasers, phasers, and energy-based ‘blasters’),Read more

Object of the Month for October: The Ultimate Zombie Apocalypse Weapon

In this monthly blog series, our collections team write about their Object of the Month. With Halloween imminent and the chance of a so-called Zombie Apocalypse increased, Jonathan Ferguson, Curator of Firearms, nominates a surprising candidate for ‘best zombie killing weapon’. For October’s Object of the Month, I was asked to choose my favourite object from our collection – but with a twist. It had to be my favourite zombie-slaying object. I will be following this post up with one onRead more

Together for Peace | Turning Guns into Art

The 21st of September marks the United Nations International Day of Peace. This year’s theme, ‘Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All’ celebrates global unity, support and tolerance. Each year, this day offers an opportunity for us to reflect on and embrace our common humanity. The continuing mobilisation for ”peace, both within and among all nations and peoples” is an aspiration reflected in our  ‘Farewell to Arms?’ exhibition, which explores the positive changes that have been – and are stillRead more