The Case Studies below are a selection of recent work undertaken by M.U.S.E.S

Case Study: Re-mounting of Horse Skeleton - Manifesto

Manifesto was a duel winner of the Grand National who ran in the late 1800’s. His skeleton is on display in the Tate Gallery of the Victoria Gallery & Museum. He was a bay with a white star on his forehead; a tough, well proportioned and powerful horse that holds the record for: the highest weight carried by a winning horse (12st 7 lbs), the record weight for a placed horse (12st 13 lbs), and the record for the most number of runs in the Grand National - he ran 8 times.
Manifesto’s skeleton had been mounted for display in the past, however MUSES identified that several bones had been mounted incorrectly, there was excessive over- painting present and his stance was awkward. The skeleton was also extremely dirty, several bones were delaminating and one section was missing. The brief was to re-mount the skeleton so that it had a more natural stance, to ensure all bones were in the correct place and orientation, to rectify unstable surfaces and restore missing areas.
MUSES worked in collaboration with EDGE Conservation & Restoration Services to conserve the skeleton prior to re-mounting.

Re-Mounting
316 grade stainless steel plates were fixed in position to the base plinth. Then stainless steel rods, engineered to the appropriate contour to support the legs were inserted and fixed into the base plates. A 316 grade stainless steel rod was inserted through the spinal column. At the same time, the original mounting rod was removed; as the new rod was inserted at one end of the spine, the old rod was removed from the other end. Fine stainless steel wire was used to re-wire the ribs to the thoracic vertebrae, using the original assembly holes.

 

Images reproduced courtesy of Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool



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Case Study: Display of Hippopotamus Skull

This specimen is on display in the Tate Hall of the Victoria Gallery & Museum of the University of Liverpool, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool.

The brief for mounting this skull was for it to be presented with its mouth open.The armature has been constructed in 10mm 316 grade stainless steel and has a matt finish. It is clad in silicone tubing at all strategic points of contact with the bone to act as protective cushioning. The armature has been designed to be fully adjustable with hardened grub screws that can be operated with an Alan key to give height and lateral adjustment; this enables the stainless steel structure to be fully removed from the skull in its entirety.
The base unit/plinth is constructed from MDF, which has been sealed with three layers of Dacrylate acrylic varnish. The plinth has been further treated with a water-based primer and then painted with an oil-based paint. Two internally hidden stainless steel supports have been manufactured and fixed within the base unit. The base unit is also fitted with two curved stainless steel fittings that support the lower jaw of the specimen. 
The stainless steel mount was manufactured to be as unobtrusive as possible.

 

Images reproduced courtesy of Victoria Gallery & Museum, University of Liverpool

Click on an image to zoom in