For a competitive insurance quote, call 0208 255 0617 / 07768 865983 or email your details to

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The bizarre story of how Tutankhamun’s beard was simply glued back on

A little unconventional – in fact, bizarre!  Such an important and well-known artefact surely cannot be treated in such a way. What a mess!  It seems the botched repair took place last August - and was not done in the conservation lab.  It doesn't make sense. 

Apparently, one 'conservators' present at the repair admitted that glue was ‘inappropriate’, and that the damage was ‘irreversible’.  Clearly there is a gap between the face and the beard, with a layer of yellow glue showing!

According to the BBC:

The blue and gold braided beard on the burial mask of pharaoh Tutankhamun has been hastily glued back on after it was damaged, museum employees say.

But conservators at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo gave differing accounts of the exact circumstances.

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Some absolutely fantastic post war buildings have just received their Grade II listing

The hanging gardens of Basingstoke is such a fantastic description of Mountbatten House.  Somehow I always think it looks wrong – as if nature is encroaching on the concrete jungle.  As for 30 Cannon Street, that has always struck me as a ‘flight of fancy’ – or something from a cartoon – driving up Cannon Street.  Fantastic!  All built in the late 1960s and the 1970s – in a way, it is amazing that any are still standing given ‘concrete cancer’ and general buidling techniques in the day.

Alpha Tower in Birmingham is also great isn’t it?  A mad, modernist sail-like block that looks as if it just shouldn’t be there! 

I hope that you enjoy the pictures as much as I did – really interesting stuff and great news that English Heritage is able to be so ‘un-stuffy’ and forward thinking in their assighments.  

I have struggled to give names and descriptions to the photos below, but they give you a flavour of the buildings - best thing to do is look online at: 

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Archaeology from Bronze Age Stonehenge country helps experts building huge record of prehistoric objects

Archaeologists working on the Micropasts public archaeology project hope to use a set of drawings and notes relating to artefacts from Wiltshire to create 3D models of some of the finest Bronze Age objects ever found in Britain.

Jennifer Wexler, of the British Museum, where the Bronze Age Index set of cards is held, has examined more than 100 casual finds, lost items and objects from some of the famous barrow cemeteries on Salisbury Plain among the collection, providing detailed descriptions of antiquarian metalwork finds from the past two centuries.

[These cards are a fascinating record of the work carried out in a previous century – and remind me of the work I undertook in 1985 at the Alexand Keiller Museum with the late Isobel Smith.  Dr Smith gave me access to a number of artefacts, as well as to all of the original thin-sections of the Group XIX Mesolithic and Neolithic ground stone axes.  At the time, I believe that they were kept in her attic and I was only allowed to look at them with her present. I believe that I did find the source of the XIX implements - and will divulge all one day.......]  

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983