CONSERVATORS at the Royal Armouries in Leeds are busy ensuring one of the museum’s key treasures remains in excellent condition for generations to come.
They are working on King Henry VIII’s foot combat armour, which dates back to 1520.
The armour is usually on display in the Tournament Gallery at the Royal Armouries, but it has been temporarily removed for conservation work. It is due to go back on display at the end of January.
Conservator Lauren McGhee, said: “Henry VIII’s foot combat armour is one of the Royal Armouries key treasures and an object we are incredibly proud to house at our museum in Leeds.
“The piece is kept in excellent condition, however as with any object that’s almost 500 years old, it needs specialist care and has therefore been temporarily taken off display for conservation.
“The armour of the strapping young King Henry dates from 1520 and is a highlight of our collection, displayed alongside Henry’s famous tonlet armour, as well as a number of other remarkable objects from the Tudor court.
“This is a great opportunity to check it over, give it a light clean and add a new protective coating to help to ensure its preservation for future generations.
“Close inspection has revealed a slight build-up of dirt between the lames (plates) and around the rivets, which we will remove using fine swabs and solvents.
“We will then apply a layer of microcrystalline wax to protect against corrosion.”
She added: “We have all been struck by how imposing the King’s stature was and the incredible skill and craftsmanship of the armourers.”