Brunel Museum 2022

Awarded to the Brunel Museum, Rotherhithe, London for the conservation of a silk square ‘handkerchief’ depicting the opening of the tunnel under the Thames.

The Brunel Museum secured funding for the research and conservation of its textile collection, in particular the conservation of a kerchief on display in the Museum for many years.

In the Brunel Museum’s collection are two silk handkerchiefs, commemorating the Thames Tunnel. Both are believed to have been sold as souvenirs in the Thames Tunnel during its time as an underwater shopping arcade in the 1840s. One was conserved in 2017, supported by a grant from the Textile Society.

“We’re delighted to have received these two grants. Without dedicated collections expertise in our small part-time team, we rely on external expertise and project funding such as this. We’re really looking forward to seeing what Katie is able to find out before we redisplay the collection in 2024” – Said Katherine McAlpine, Museum Director.

A full report on the conservation of handkerchiefs will be published in 2024. In the meantime, you may find it interesting to read how before the conservation work, the museum team conducted some research into their textile collection.

You can also view this short video from the museum about the handkerchief, and read a detailed blog post all about the handkerchief.

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