Heritage Lottery Fund, sculpture conservation, and more new acquisitions

Sign on the side of the Plaza building

Sign on the side of the Plaza building

Heritage Lottery Fund
In February, all of the trainees met with Sally Smith, the grants officer based at the Manchester HLF office. This was to tell her what we have all been doing this year, how we have found the programme, and anything we would change.  Sally said it was lovely to see us in person and to hear about what we have all achieved this year, as she is behind the paperwork and

Dinner at the Plaza with Sally Smith from the HLF, the other trainees and our programme mentors

Dinner at the Plaza with Sally Smith from the HLF, the other trainees and our programme mentors

oversees the Skills for the Future programme for the area.  The success of the programme could possibly secure further funding opportinities, and can improve the programmes for the year 2013-2014.  We ended the discussion with a trip to the Plaza tearoom and then it was back to the stores to carry on with Vernon Park decant documentation! It was lovely to meet Sally and hear about her role within the HLF, and that there are opportunities for networking or experiences within other organisations across the North West who are also part of the Skills for the Future programme.

Sculpture Conservation
A Henry Weekes marble sculpture entitled ‘Play’, which is part of our collection and has previously been on display at Stockport Art Gallery and Woodbank Hall, was damaged in 2010. The damage to the sculpture resulted in the decapitation of the head, thus needing conservation work to restore it. Jane Foley of Foley Conservation was appointed to work on the sculpture.  The sculpture was cleaned using a steamer with distilled water, and preparing the surface with various percentages of paraloid solution.  The angle of the head meant that a hoist was needed when fixing the head into position, and for leaving it to set without the danger of it coming away from the main body of the statue again.  Here are some images from the process.

Jane Foley 1

Jane’s workspace with the sculpture in the background ready for conserving

     

Conservation tools and the head of the sculpture

Conservation tools and the head of the sculpture

Jane using paraloid mix on the sculpture

Jane using paraloid mix on the sculpture

Jane steam cleaning the sculpture with distilled water

Jane steam cleaning the sculpture with distilled water

The final conserved sculpture

The final conserved sculpture

P1070327

Neck detail

The final result is beautiful, and it was brilliant to be able to see the conservation process from beginning to end.

New Acquisitions

Metal case for Anti-Dim Solution

STOPM: 2013.28.1 – Metal case for Anti-Dim Solution

A few objects I have recently accessioned into the collection have been perfect for display in the new display case at the Air Raid Shelters and/or photographed for use on the interpretation panels. They are:
Small tube of Canda ‘Pen Brand’ Anti-Dim solution for gas masks complete with metal case
Gas Mask with Home Office ARP Certifiction Mark and canvas bag
ARP Incendiary Scoop, Pike and extension Pole
and a Red Cross ceramic feeding cup

Anti-Dim Solution

STOPM: 2013.28.2 – Anti-Dim Solution

Each object required an entry in the accession register, and a Modes record

complete with acquisition and donor details, detailed description, condition report and measurements. The objects were then marked with the appropriate tools, and the gas mask bag, as a textile, was frozen for precautionary purposes.  The items which were photographed for use on the interpretation panels were then found a home to be put straight into the collection. The items which are to be used in the display case (the feeding cup and the Anti-Dim solution) were put in a temporary location with the other objects awaiting display at the Shelters site.

Red Cross feeding cup used by a nurse in both WWI and WWII

STOPM: 2013.27 – Red Cross feeding cup. This was used by the donor’s Aunt; a nurse in both WWI and WWII.

STOPM: 2013.26.1 -  ARP Gas Mask made by Siebe Gorman & Co. Ltd (photographed by Terry Mullaney, Design & Interpretation Officer)

STOPM: 2013.26.1 – ARP Gas Mask (photographed by Terry Mullaney, Design & Interpretation Officer)

Close-up of the Home Office ARP Certifiction Mark on the gas mask

Close-up of the Home Office ARP Certifiction Mark on the gas mask

STOPM: 2013.24.1 - ARP Incendiary Scoop

STOPM: 2013.24.1 – ARP Incendiary Scoop

STOPM: 2013.24.2 - ARP Pike

STOPM: 2013.24.2 – ARP Pike

I am also currently accessioning a variety of American and British 1930s – 1970s hats which were kindly donated to us by a milliner and collector of hats. 

STOPM: 2013.32 - Swirled rosette hat made with pleated Petersham ribbon; by Edward Mann of London

STOPM: 2013.32 – Swirled rosette hat made with pleated Petersham ribbon; by Edward Mann of London

Researching hat labels found inside the hats is very interesting and has helped me to date the hats more specifically. Hats include a 1950s-60s swirled rosette hat made with pleated ribbon by Edward Mann of London; a 1950s ‘whimsy’ cocktail hat made by The United Hatters of North America; a hat box from the millinery section of the department store Sage-Allen & Co. of Connecticut, and a hat with a veil and feathers from the ‘Dover’ line of hats made by Henry Pollak of New York. 

The Pollak hat also features a New York Creation label which shows the consumer the hat is made by a member of the New York Dress Institute which dates the hat to the late 1940s – 50s. I was able to find some information about Pollak’s ‘Dover’ line, found here at Trade.mar.cx which is an online collection of worldwide trademarks. The application for the trademark of the ‘Dover’ line was  made to the United States Patent office in 1947 by Henry Pollak Inc., and so dates the hat from 1947 onwards to 1955 when the New York Creation label was last used.

STOPM: 2013.30.1 - Hat with veil and feather, part of the Dover line by Henry Pollak Inc. of New York

STOPM: 2013.30.1 – Hat with veil and feather, part of the Dover line by Henry Pollak Inc. of New York

Patent found for the 'Dover' line trademark, applied for in 1947 by Henry Pollak Inc. of Fifth Avenue, New York. From Trade.mar.cx

Patent found for the ‘Dover’ line trademark, applied for in 1947 by Henry Pollak Inc. of Fifth Avenue, New York. From Trade.mar.cx

  

Dover line stamp inside the Henry Pollak hat

Dover line stamp inside the Henry Pollak hat

There are many more hats from the same donation to accession, which are detailed on the Entry form from when Katie took the donation in.  I am excited to see what I find every time I open a box and am looking forward to accessioning the two dresses which were also donated with the hats.  They date from the 1920s and the 1940s. Hopefully I will manage to accession them before I finish my year, which is approaching far far far too quickly 😦

New York Creation label inside the Henry Pollak hat

New York Creation label inside the Henry Pollak hat

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2 thoughts on “Heritage Lottery Fund, sculpture conservation, and more new acquisitions

    • Hi, we are unsure of what happened specifically as the sculpture was housed in Woodbank Hall in Stockport at the time which wasn’t actually open to the public (it was previously home to the collection but in 2010 we were already in our new collections store). I have been told it may have been a large amount of plaster work which fell from the ceiling above the staircase, but it also may have been vandalised. You can see from the photographs that the dog’s paw is missing but I believe that this had happened prior to the decapitation!

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