The Wallace Collection

Exhibitions & Displays

The Appliance of Science: Analysing Arms and Armour by Neutron Diffraction

Friday 30th September, 2016 - Sunday 26th March, 2017

Price: Admission Free

This free display is intended to showcase the scientific analysis that has been carried out on the Collection’s Indian and Middle-Eastern arms and armour over the past several years using non-invasive neutron-diffraction. The practical uses of modern science are of increasing relevance in museums today, and can be enormously useful for informing visitors, scholars and curators about the construction, manufacture and possible origins of art objects. Neutron diffraction is a non-invasive quantitative analytical technique that is particularly suitable for art-objects which for practical and ethical reasons cannot be sectioned or sampled for analysis.

Too often in the past the rich and complex history, culture and technologies of India and the Middle East have been ignored, underestimated or misunderstood, to the point that we risk forgetting their influence on Western civilisation.

2017 has been scheduled by the government as ‘UK-India Year of Culture’. It is hoped that this small exhibition will go some way towards highlighting the richness of Indian and Islamic material culture and technology, helping to both promote understanding and appreciation of these civilisations.

The support of the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in the creation of this display is gratefully acknowledged.

The Appliance of Science: Analysing Arms and Armour by Neutron Diffraction
Sword with scabbard, Iran and India, late 17th century

Press clippings and media for this exhibition.