token / cloth-seal
Cloth-mark or token; lead; dump; cruciform design, cross patée between four dots with radiated border.
- Found/Acquired: Somme, River
- (Europe,France,Picardy,River Somme)
- Diameter: 3.8 centimetres
23 March 2011
Reason for treatment
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.
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, 1208.1671856, 0701.54211882, 0621.1711910, 0407.461910, 0407.97s263s220Later analysis by museum scientist Philip Fletcher using SEM-EDX confirmed the presence of iron corrosion on the lead seals.
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
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Object reference number: MCN873
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