Tapestries Revealed: Novel methods of characterisation, conservation and presentation

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Ruth Cox


The digital conservation of cultural heritage has received significant attention in recent years. This active area of research endeavors to digitally conserve culturally significant items. The digital archives produced serve as an important resource for conservators. These records allow the accurate tracking of the degradation of the materials used in the construction of these artefacts.This project outlines the digital conservation and subsequent presentation of a historically significant tapestry held by the Royal Collection at Hampton Court Palace. The tapestry is one of The Story of Abraham set constructed by Willem de Kempeneer in Brussels in the 1540s. These tapestries were commissioned by King Henry VIII and were displayed as a reflection of his wealth and power. The materials used in their construction included wool, silk, silver and gold threads. The objectives of the Thesis are as follows:1) To digitally conserve the tapestry, the Oath and Departure of Eliezer.2) To produce a colorimetrically accurate projection system. This system will be used to project an accurate representation of the original tapestry colours onto the current photofaded version.3) To investigate the photo-fading properties of the natural dyes used to produce the Oath and Departure of Eliezer and their interactions with the metallic threads woven within the tapestry.The work presented in this Thesis contributed to a visitor exhibition called "Henry VIII's Tapestries Revealed" held at Hampton Court Palace between April 2009-October 2010 as part of Historic Royal Palaces' celebrations of the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's accession to the throne.


Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date1 Aug 2011