Hall Conservation Ltd was initially required to clean and remove loose, flaking corrosion, leaving any sound paint intact. However, it quickly became clear that at some stage a heavy coating of bitumen had been crudely applied over the entire exterior surface, moving parts included, and the paint had been applied over the bitumen coating, so none of it was bonded to the surface of the metal. After discussions with curatorial and collections care staff it was decided that after paint samples had been taken, analysed and archived, the paint would be completely removed and the thick coating of bitumen reduced to a minimum.
The paint was removed by flame cleaning, areas of thick corrosion were also heated to shatter the corrosion and make its removal easier. Bronze components were disassembled, the bitumen removed, the components cleaned but not polished, greased and reassembled as ‘working’ mechanisms, and whole object was coated with ‘Waxoyl’ in order to protect the metal.