Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Roundhouse Objects Conservation - Oct. 2, 2012

October 2, 2012

Assessment (Continued......)

Roundhouse Objects Large Group
Continued with the assessment of the large group of objects as shown on the left.  I am working in numerical order from the documentation provided by the environmental review company and mostly  from left to right in this photo.  I got through 12 objects which were mostly part of the tea serving sets used on the Dominion Atlantic Railway. As I work my way through these it is obvious that cleaning and proper storage will be most important.  Cleaning will provide the following benefits: preparation for storage, no more loss of material with handling, and uncover makers marks.  Storage is critically important to these objects because they are fragile and currently are only wrapped in thin white or brown paper and loosely placed in a large plastic box.  The objects do not roll around or knock against each other in the box, they are somewhat firmly packed in.

Conservation Tip: I will recommend that each object be wrapped in cotton batton and placed in a better box.  Both boxes and cotton batton can be easily and cheaply obtained at a local dollar store.  I would also recommend this for anyone at home who may have fragile objects stored away.  Although using acid free boxes for storage and the use of museum grade materials of all kinds would be better they are much more expensive.

Several of these pieces have makers marks which can be used to research the supplier.  It is this research that can shed light on the manufacture and usage of these which can also shed light on local customs.  Certainly, the more expensive the ceramics the more wealthy and the higher the social status of the client.  There are similarities in the makers marks in this collection but some variations.  Perhaps they were purchased at different times and may reflect change in ownership of the company that made them.  All appear to have been made in the United Kingdom.  Since the railway was in operation from the late 1890's until the 1960's there will be some supplier history available.  In the earlier years of operation a more wealthier client could afford to take the train from Yarmouth to Halifax and beyond while dining in the dining car and enjoying the view out the window of the beautiful Annapolis Valley.  Below is an example of a makers mark - Grindley England Vitrified supplied by Nerlich & Co - on a butter dish.  Nerlich & Co was an importer based in Toronto that was active from 1858 until at least the 1940's.

Butter Dish with makers mark

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