The Robert Wells bells, bought early in our project, have finally been returned home. They have had a long journey as they were purchased from an auction house in New York, USA so have made their way back across the Atlantic via the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham for some careful conservation work. This involved freezing to address pest infestation, careful vacuuming and soft brushing, then cleaning with swabs specific to the materials which include copper and other metals, leather and wood. Corrosion deposits were removed with mechanical cleaning under magnification, including the use of a glass bristle brush.
The Creative Wiltshire project budget has allowances for conservation work so we have been able to add this valuable service to the objects selected for purchase, should they require it.
The bells were chosen by one of our ARTeologists, Julie Smith, to draw and research and she says:- “For myself, particularly I drew the bells, which were my subject for the first part of the project and then the second part became involved in telling the ‘story’ as best as I could. This led me to museums, historians, archives and geology. The people I met on the way in themselves being a source of inspiration. This has been such a special opportunity that could not have happened if I had not decided to draw the horse-bells.”
We are thrilled that they inspired Julie and hope that you will enjoy them too!
Contact Pewsey Heritage Centre 01672 562617