Taking a shine to Henry VIII's armour at museum in Leeds

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.

Wednesday 10th January 2018, Leeds UK Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Picture Shows Breast and back plate and Buff Coat potentially belonging to Colonel Alexander Popham: Royal Armouries Conservators Ellie on a breast and back plate and buff coat, likely to have once belonged to Colonel Alexander Popham, commander in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil Wars of the 17th-century.

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.

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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.

Wednesday 10th January 2018, Leeds UK Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Picture Shows Henry VIII Foot Combat Armour: Royal Armouries Conservators Ellie and Lauren work on the Foot Combat Armour of a young King Henry VIII, dating from 1520. The armour is temporarily off display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds for conservation, it is usually displayed in the Tournament Gallery alongside a number of other notable objects from the Tudor court - including the Tonlet armour of King Henry VIII and the Field and Tilt Armour of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.

“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.

Wednesday 10th January 2018, Leeds UK Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Picture Shows Breast and back plate and Buff Coat potentially belonging to Colonel Alexander Popham: Royal Armouries Conservators Lauren and Ellie work on a breast and back plate and buff coat, likely to have once belonged to Colonel Alexander Popham, commander in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil Wars of the 17th-century.

“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.”

Wednesday 10th January 2018, Leeds UK Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Picture Shows Henry VIII Foot Combat Armour: Royal Armouries Conservators Ellie and Lauren work on the Foot Combat Armour of a young King Henry VIII, dating from 1520. The armour is temporarily off display at the Royal Armouries in Leeds for conservation, it is usually displayed in the Tournament Gallery alongside a number of other notable objects from the Tudor court - including the Tonlet armour of King Henry VIII and the Field and Tilt Armour of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
Wednesday 10th January 2018, Leeds UK Picture Credit Charlotte Graham Picture Shows Breast and back plate and Buff Coat potentially belonging to Colonel Alexander Popham: Royal Armouries Conservators Lauren and Ellie work on a breast and back plate and buff coat, likely to have once belonged to Colonel Alexander Popham, commander in the Parliamentarian army during the English Civil Wars of the 17th-century.