Cleaning and preparation for display
The buckler was cleaned under a microscope using various types of tools such as scalpels, power tools and a tool which uses a fine abrasive and compressed air to gently remove the corrosion. The wood back had to be protected with a support during the cleaning which took many months of slow and careful work.
Iron is always vulnerable to corrosion so the final stage of the process was to give the metal some protection with a chemical and a coating that slow down corrosion.
During the cleaning it became obvious that part of the metal surface was weakened and fragile. It was decided by the curator and the conservator that some of the corrosion could be left in place to avoid putting the object at risk. The difference between the cleaned and corroded surface is dramatic and this object, as well as being a rare example of bucklers of this period, is also an excellent illustration of the work of the conservator. (figs 5 and 6).