Saturday, 6 November 2010

Conservation Report of Crosby Garrett Helmet

We now know (from Minerva) the identity of the Crosby Garrett helmet refabricator, Darren Bradbury. We learn from Google that he has office premises next to a funeral parlour 350m from the seafront in an East Sussex town (nice chloride-free environment for conservation of excavated metalwork then). He however does not appear to be on the Conservation Register. Colleagues among whom I have enquired have not heard of him, so who is he? What are Darren Bradbury's qualifications, affiliations and experience with this kind of work?

We have seen the state in which the bits were in upon receipt in Christie's. We may then ask what documentation Mr (Dr?) Bradbury kept of the state of the object before he started (condition of metal, the form of individual pieces that would be reshaped in his work) as well as the programme, process and results of the conservation work (cleaning, stabilisation, reshaping and reassembly) of the object. Has anyone outside Christie's seen this documentation? Were any outside consultants involved? (Since the British Museum was involved in the authentication of the findspot, was it involved in refereeing the conservation work done?). Who commissioned the work, the sellers of the object (its then owners) or Christie's and what was the brief of the project? What concerns might there be about the reassembly of the fragments and the long-term stability (both physical and chemical) of the resultant construction? Where is this documentation going to be deposited? Just curious.

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