Arms & Armour – Behind the Scenes
Our museums may be closed but our curators are still working hard behind the scenes cleaning and condition checking our Arms and Armour Collection. Like anything that has been on open display for a long time, pieces become dirty and need attention. In an environment like a castle Keep which dates back to medieval times, it can be challenging to control environmental conditions in the same way as a gallery space.
The museum collections, including arms & armour, early musical instruments, tapestries, archives and Robert Burns collections were decanted to the Dick Institute while restoration work took place at Dean Castle. The added complication of Covid 19 has meant our teams could devote even more time to the painstaking work due to the restrictions and necessary closures.
Pictured above is a chanfron and a crinet – these are pieces of armour that were worn by horses to protect their face and neck. There is leather strapping and a connecting piece which have also been treated to keep them supple and clean. Once cleaned and inspected the armour will be waxed to protect it, in preparation for its return to display at Dean Castle.
An additional piece, the peytrel (the part is worn around the chest of the horse) has already been prepared and waxed ready for display.
Will Murray of the Scottish Conservation Studio has visited and surveyed the collections. He will work on various aspects of the armour, in tandem with our own curator / conservator Bruce Morgan and other staff. We look forward to the time when we can view the collection in prime condition when Dean Castle reopens in 2022.