Wallace Collection visit posted 22nd August 20112

I went up to see Alan Williams the metallurgist at the Wallace Collection in London yesterday to see if we could make any progress on the metal rings. Alan was extremely courteous and showed me their three rooms of armor in all its glory. A national museum hardly anyone knows is there in Manchester Square just behind Selfridges – well worth a visit (free). Unfortunately the earliest exhibits he had were 14th century and he had never seen anything like what we found. His view was it did not look like any armor he had experienced and had not seen a metal ring attached to a helm. Which of course was the reason I was there – so it was a rather frustrating day without any conclusion – other than I probably need an archaeological recovery person rather than a metallurgist. Alan did however inform me that they would not be able to identify the source of the metal from tests so that was useful to know. Armour in those days was exceedingly valuable with chain mail often having many thousands of rings – meaning everything was normally recovered from a battlefield (his view). In consequence we are left with the location being the most likely indication of its use and being on a farm he thought it might be a farm item. To be expected I suppose, but I know this is not correct, so I will not give up yet. He had not read anything on helms as early as 1066 so I sent him the reference document and he thanked me.

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