The Wallace Collection

Head of Conservation, David Edge, at work
Head of Conservation, David Edge, at work
Metalwork, Arms & Armour Conservators

The first 'Armourer' charged with care of the Wallace Collection's European and Oriental arms and armour was Arthur Sheffield, appointed in 1924, at the same time that Frank Feser, a cabinet-maker, was taken on to look after the furniture.

Today, however, it is no longer ‘craftsmen’ who are employed to care for the Arms and Armour Collection in the Conservation Department, but professional conservators educated to degree level and beyond. Their remit is now also much larger; besides Arms and Armour, these days the Collection's conservators also have responsibility for historic metalwork in general. Their work involves various aspects of conservation, including condition assessment, cleaning, surface coating, preventive conservation, display/storage maintenance, and research on relevant subject matters.

An intensive programme of condition-surveying, cleaning and conservation has recently begun in the Oriental Armoury, together with new digital photography of the collection, towards a new fully-illustrated Oriental Armoury catalogue. Similar work towards a new colour-illustrated catalogue of European arms and armour has already taken place. Additionally, much work is currently being undertaken on small works of art and sculpture, towards separate catalogues also in preparation at this time. Conservation of metalwork, arms, and armour is undertaken in-house by a team consisting of Armourer and Head of Conservation David Edge, and specialist Metalwork Conservator, Graeme McArthur.