The Wallace Collection Centenary Project, completed in the year 2000, transformed the old basement area into an entirely new, and much enlarged, suite of rooms designed to widen and enhance the visitor experience.
One of the new spaces created by the Project was a lower-ground-floor gallery intended to highlight, showcase and complement conservation work within the Collection, especially that undertaken by our own Conservation Department. In this Gallery, the work of the Conservation Department is brought to a wider audience through regular exhibitions on recent conservation projects and other conservation-related subjects. We pride ourselves that we were the first National Museum in the UK to create a permanent Gallery dedicated to the topic of Conservation.
There are displays describing and illustrating the manufacture of veneered wood, Boulle marquetry (turtleshell-and-brass), wood marquetry and gilt-metal furniture mounts. Additionally, a further permanent display examines the manufacture of Renaissance armour, together with a ‘handling collection’ of both replica and original armour for the visitor to try on… especially popular with children!