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We are always looking for help with the conservation of our collection

Oil on board by an unknown artist

​We have recently acquired this fascinating oil on board by an unknown artist. A 19th century gentleman holds a plaster cast model and vulcanite denture in his hands. In the background there is a vice on a workbench.


It’s an intriguing picture but it’s in desperate need of cleaning and repair and possibly a frame so that it can be displayed. Conservation work may reveal some more details as to the identify of the sitter and the artist. It measures 230mm x 280mm.


It will cost in the region of £1,500 to carry out this specialist conservation work. Please make a donation to this vital work.


Make a donation



American dental chair

We have recently acquired this fascinating dental chair made by the Harvard Dental Company, Canton, Ohio.


The high back rest is typical of an American style dental chair but the most intriguing element of this chair is its ability to easily fully recline. It has an adjustable headrest and footrest, arm restraints and its four legs attach to original castors.  Manufactured just before the introduction of the hydraulic chairs we think it dates from the 1890s. Further research is needed to clarify whether it was designed for surgical purposes too.


Harvard Dental Company dentist chair in upright position Harvard Dental Company dentist chair in flat position

As you can see the chair is in desperate need of conservation work. Although complete, the leather upholstery is very fragile and dirty and the metal work, despite being in working order is rusting and needs cleaning and stabilising.

This is a time consuming and expensive task for a specialist conservator.


BDA Museum-8.jpg

Before:​ ​
​ ​After:

​​Conservation work carried out by Janie Lightfoot studios has removed the dirt and rust from the upholstery and metal work. This has revealed some of the original paintwork underneath.

This work has been generously funded by Professor Nairn Wilson through the Gelbier Acquisition and Conservation Fund.

We still have a number of other objects that are in vital need of restoration work, if you would like to help, please consider making a donation to the Stanley Gelbier Conservation ​​​and Acquisition Fund.​