Housing: Two coffin masks
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The Fitzwilliam Museum
In addition to the technical examination of these two Egyptian coffin masks, I also constructed mounts to securely support the masks during storage and transport, and minimize handling. I based my design from the mounting system devised by former conservation technician Robert Law, which was also utilized by Cathy Tully, UCL graduate intern, to house the collection of archaeological glass. Cathy showed me some of her mounts and gave general instructions on how they were constructed.
In general a coroplast sheet is cut to create the mount base then covered plastazote foam sheeting (adhered with archival double-sided tape). Small pieces of thicker block plastazote are then cut and strategically placed immobilize the object on the sheet. Rather than using adhesive the smaller, block pieces are held in place on the sheet with wooden toothpicks or bamboo skewers. The pointed end of the stick is pierced through the block and the top of the coroplast sheet. The excess stick is then snipped off flush with the top of the plastazote block.
The main advantage of this system is the efficiency of creation and use of materials. While archival double-sided tape was used to adhere plastazote sheets and coroplast together, not other adhesive was needed. The stepped base also facilitates lifting the object from the floor of the mount, as it provides space for fingers to grasp and lift the object.