The skills set within the conservation team also includes design and sometimes manufacture of specialist mounts. These sorts of projects can present interesting technical challenges, designing a mount that will support the object correctly, for long term display. In addition to being well made, a mount should also look good, but not so much that it draws the eye from the centrepiece of the display itself. The big-footed moa is an extinct, large, flightless bird from New Zealand. There are not many specimens of their remains in existence, and we have in the collections at Leeds a pretty much intact specimen. The mount is in two parts. The armatures holding the skeleton were made by a specialist contractor, someone who specialises in mounts for natural history specimens. The elliptical base from which the metal armatures emerge was designed and made by the conservation service. The timber used is North American cherry.
Posted by Ian Fraser