The ‘Spitting Image’ puppet of Michael Foot was donated to the People’s History Museum by Roger Law, one of the two creators of spitting image. The puppet had been on display on the second level of the main gallery floors of the museum but was removed due to signs of deterioration.
The materials the puppet is made from have undergone thorough analysis by Leanne Tonkin, of the museum, which confirmed that it is made from polyurethane foam and raw latex painted with acrylic paints and that the foam elements are in a process of chemical breakdown. There are cracks in the face and neck where movement of would be greatest.
Once chemical deterioration begins, there is no way to halt or reverse the process. Hall Conservation Ltd recommended that the only option available is to try to slow down the rate of deterioration and we were able to provide preventive conservation measures that will prolong the preservation of the puppet.
Images with thanks to The Peoples History Museum