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token / cloth-seal

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Cloth-mark or token; lead; dump; cruciform design, cross patée between four dots with radiated border.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 3.8 centimetres
  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    23 March 2011

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Stabilize chemically and physically. Clean, repair and support as necessary


    All objects exhibited active corrosion with the presence of loose, powdery, voluminous, white corrosion products obscuring the surfaces.

    Treatment details

    The objects were treated via consolidative electrolytic reduction (CER). In preparation for the treatment, the objects were immerse in an acetone bath to remove any wax or lacquer.

    The CER setup consisted of a 5L electrolyte bath of 5% sodium carbonate in deionised water. The objects were placed on a plastic immersion tray with insulated wire handles. Stainless steel sheets were used as anodes. And to complete the circuit, the cathode consisted of the objects placed on several lead strips woven between tin-plated copper wire that was wrapped around the immersion tray.

    The reduction began on 19 Sept 2009 at 380mA and was left running overnight. The objects were checked several times daily. Air bubbles on the surface of the objects were removed using a brush and other trapped air bubbles amidst the setup were released by lifting and rocking the tray. Three days in, the reduction was temporarily suspended for the weekend. The objects were washed in deionised water for an hour and kept immersed in the washing tanks over the weekend.

    On the following Tuesday (Monday was a bank holiday), prior to restarting the treatment, it was noticed that several objects exhibited bright reddish orange spots indicative of iron corrosion. Seal 1915, 1208.167 is the most likely originator of the iron. This seal and all other seals with visible iron corrosion—7 in total--were removed the treatment.

    The removed seals include:

    1915, 1208.167

    1856, 0701.5421

    1882, 0621.171

    1910, 0407.46

    1910, 0407.97



    Later analysis by museum scientist Philip Fletcher using SEM-EDX confirmed the presence of iron corrosion on the lead seals.

    About these records 

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

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Object reference number: MCN873

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