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Cleaning a Napoleonic travelling set

A selection of silver cups, tea pot and spoons.
Travelling service (RCIN 43936) ©
Travelling service (RCIN 43936)©

This Napoleonic silver travelling service was acquired by Queen Mary in 1934 and has been on display at Windsor Castle for much of the time since. Its contents – which range from tea caddies to candlestick holders – are made from silver, which can tarnish and darken over time as it reacts to the environment. As a result, the service required cleaning to restore its surfaces to their original bright appearance.

Royal Collection Trust conservators used solvents and a mild chalk abrasive to remove the tarnish. A whole range of silver pieces in the Collection has been prepared in this way for a catalogue.

Watch the video below to learn more about the cleaning of this extraordinary object.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.