WWI AUSTRALIAN INFANTRY DRESS SWORD

February 2017

OVERVIEW

O’Sullivan Conservation was asked to condition assess, clean, and conserve the dress sword and its accessories: a leather case, case liner, and a leather-covered wooden scabbard, by the Sydney Church of England Grammar School (also known as the Shore School).

The condition assessment of the sword kit revealed that three of the four components were in good condition. The sword case and case liner exhibited slight wear and tear, consistent with age, and required only a light clean and wax of the leather. Minor areas of corrosion were removed from the metal fittings as well as from the sword itself, and microcrystalline wax was applied to all metal components to inhibit further corrosion.

The scabbard had suffered more significant damage, including a catastrophic break which had separated the lower third from the rest of the object. The leather covering had separated from the wooden substrate in several places, there were several areas of stitching loss, a securing strap was missing, and white mould was present. To address these issues the scabbard was first carefully cleaned, and mould remediation undertaken. The cracked and separated wood and leather were consolidated and re-adhered, the losses infilled, and the fully restored scabbard was waxed and buffed.

BEFORE
THE PROCESS
AFTER

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