Over the last six weeks we’ve had two students from the University of Huddersfield, Jonathon and Vikki, in residence within our Curatorial Department. Whilst working behind the scenes Jonathon found this suit of armour to be of particular interest. This stunning armour was made for foot combat at the barriers for Cosimo de Medici, Grand … Continue reading An Admirable Armour
Over the last six weeks we’ve had two students from the University of Huddersfield, Jonathon and Vikki, in residence within our Curatorial Department. Here’s an object which caught Vikki’s eye whilst working behind the scenes. This German Sallet dates from about 1490, from the early 13th century to the early 16th century helmets were commonly … Continue reading Painted Sallet
Fort Nelson houses the Royal Armouries’ collection of artillery, with over 350 big guns and historic cannon on display. The Fort was built on the direction of Victorian Prime Minister Lord Palmerston, as part of a chain of fortifications protecting the great Naval harbour of Portsmouth and its Royal Dockyard from French invasion – a … Continue reading Fort Nelson Re-development
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?
The seasons have finally changed from the cold snowy winter to summer sunshine, at least some of the time. Reflecting these changes there is an armour in the Royal Armouries' collection which is decorated in colours depicting the changes of the seasons. Laced in white at the top for snow, with a band of pink … Continue reading Collections Up Close May
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?
The Royal Armouries Conservation Department currently has a rather special visitor – a life-size model horse. It was made by Felix Joubert, a well-known designer, cabinet-maker and arms and armour collector of his time. Joubert produced several horses of this type at his Chelsea studios and other examples can be found at the Wallace Collection, and … Continue reading Horsing Around in Conservation
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
As the well-known Bond theme goes ‘Diamonds Are Forever’. Diamonds have a long history as treasured gemstones and are April's birthstone. Diamonds are used as engraving tools as they have the highest resistance to scratching of any material known. Some of the Royal Armouries’ more ornate collection items are decorated with diamonds. Most notably are … Continue reading Collections Up Close April