CONSERVATION OF LEATHER AND TEXTILES FROM THE DEFENCE
Kenneth Morris, & Betty L. Seifert
5 A CASE STUDY: A LINEN SHOT BAG
PRIOR TO THE INVOLVEMENT of professional archaeologists and conservators, several artifacts were recovered from the wreck of the DEFENCE. One of these artifacts was a partial stand of grape shot (Fig. 4). It was intended to be fired from a cannon, with an action similar to that of a modernday shotgun pellet. Originally, this object would have been made from wood, metal, and fabric (in this case, the wooden spindle was not recovered). The canvas bag with iron and lead balls inside had been allowed to dry without attention. When the artifact was finally submitted to the conservation laboratory some three years later, the metal balls were corroded and powdering; the textile was concreted in metallic salts. On mechanical removal of the surface concretions, the fabric remained stiff and brittle from the metallic salts still adhering to the fibres.
Stand of shot before treatment.
The textile was woven in a tabby weave from rough spun yarns determined to be linen by microscopic examination. The count was 32 × 26 per inch.