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MOTAT CONSERVATION TEAM UPDATE

ATB Sign (2014.297) Borer Treatment

This month the whole team worked on treating the Auckland Transport Board sign for active borer. Usually, we would freeze infested items to kill the borer, however at 3.1x2.5m the sign is too big to fit in even our freezer container. The sign was cleaned, with each flight hole individually vacuumed to remove frass before the holes were injected with permethrin to kill any remaining borer. As an extra precaution, the sign will be one of the first objects to undergo a passive anoxia treatment once the last of the necessary equipment arrives.

Once the borer treatments are finalised then the sign will be fully restored by filling the holes and retouching the painted areas.


Jean Batten Stamp Project (16/059/001)


The collection of stamps associated with Jean Batten has now all been counted and sorted into country of origin. In total there are 2,122 individual items containing 3,514 stamps. As part of the sorting process, each item was measured to help determine storage requirements, totalling over 105 linear metres of stamps! Chelsea and Deborah have now begun the process of identifying each stamp in the Scott Catalogue, one of the main reference books used by collectors. Once the stamps have been identified, any requiring conservation treatment are passed to Kasserine who has begun to flatten those with bends or minor creases. As we are looking to avoid introducing moisture to the stamps as much as possible, these stamps are being dry flattened between weighted glass sheets or in a small press. Any items that cannot be flattened in this manner will undergo solubility testing with a view to gently humidifying them if possible.


The Jean Batten Stamp project is an ongoing joint project with the library involving Chelsea Renshaw from the library team and Library volunteer Deborah Ross.


Villiers Tip Top Ice Cream Motorcycle handle grip

While not on display with the rest of the motorcycle, the rubber handle grip has also been given a good clean by Theresa. The photo below, taken through a microscope, shows a conservator’s eye view of the dirt encrusted in the grip.


As only one of the handle grips is present, Theresa is currently looking into options for replicating it for future display purposes. Replicating Museum objects or portions of

objects has a long history and ranges in approach from more traditional moulding and casting to rapid prototyping and 3D printing. We will investigate several options for replication of the handles inclusive of purchasing additional handles with the same model number.

Villiers Tip Top Ice Cream Motorcycle Handle grip (1964.152) and as seen through the microscope, showing dirt accretions. Photo courtesy Theresa Hy.

-by Kasserine Ross-Sheppard, MOTAT


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