In the Royal Armouries collection are sections of one of the most infamous pieces of 20th Century artillery – the Iraqi Supergun. We have two sections of the barrel, weighing 2.1 tonnes, which have been the next objects moving into The Voice of the Guns gallery at Fort Nelson. Development of the Iraqi weapon remains shrouded … Continue reading Supergun Moves into Place
This week has seen more moblisisation of the guns at Fort Nelson. Beck and Pollitzer have now moved the first exhibits – two anti-aircraft guns – into the new gallery, The Voice of the Guns. A further 12 guns will be moved into position during the next two weeks. The guns moved this week included: … Continue reading Mobilising the Guns
Project focus at the Royal Armouries has moved from the historic White Tower in London to the equally stunning Victorian Fort Nelson near Portsmouth. This project offers a new set of challenges, combining an historic site with a new build – including exhibition installation. Interestingly, work within the existing galleries has turned out to be … Continue reading Moving the Guns
Fakers and forgers have always sought to deceive collectors with cleverly constructed copies, but would you be able to tell the difference? Standard thickness plates and screw threads, and spots of metal and scratches from electric or gas welders and evidence of the use of grinding tools are all obvious signs of modern methods. If the … Continue reading Fake Spotting – Top Tips
Ever wondered how sneaky forgers managed to dupe and deceive the experts with fake arms and armour? Our Curators Emeritus Ian Bottomley and Peter Smithurst in their Fakes, Forgeries and Replicas Seminar sought to uncover some of the forger’s duplicitous tactics. Fakes and forgeries often become more prolific when the demand and prices are high; … Continue reading Fake, Forgery or Replica?
Students from Leeds City College’s Theatrical and Media Makeup Diploma course visited the Royal Armouries with a rather gory mission this week. As part of their assessments the Royal Armouries asked the Leeds students to prepare and carry out special effects make-up for a medieval battle scene. Prior to their visit to the Museum students had … Continue reading Gory Guests
Dotted around the galleries of our Leeds Museum are a number of life-sized dioramas depicting animals in war, sport and hunting poses. One of the most commonly asked questions the gallery staff hear is “Are they real?” This is because the horses, elephants, tiger and rhinoceros are all incredibly lifelike, and do look like fine … Continue reading Are they real?
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 … Continue reading Collections Up Close Special
On 29 March 1461 the largest and bloodiest battle of the Wars of the Roses was fought about 12 miles southwest of York, between the villages of Towton and Saxton. According to the chroniclers more than 50,000 soldiers from the Houses of York & Lancaster fought in blizzard conditions on Palm Sunday 550 years ago. On … Continue reading Towton on Twitter
Found amongst the Royal Armouries archives at The Tower of London this fragile scrap of paper is a ticket for perhaps one of the most unusual April Fool’s Day stunts in British history – The Annual Ceremony of Washing the Lions. The printed and wax sealed ticket admits Victorian visitors to the Tower via the … Continue reading The Washing of the Lions