Press Release: Conservation Specialists Appointed Subject Leaders at West Dean College

Malcolm Archer F.B.H.I has been appointed the new Subject Leader for Clocks, and Maickel van Bellegem ACR is the new Subject Leader for Metalwork at West Dean College. Each has honed their skills working in the heritage industry and in high profile museums, such as the British Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the V&A. The College attracts students nationally and internationally for its practice-led and interdisciplinary approach to the development of conservation and craft skills, and for its dynamic engagement across these sectors.

Malcolm Archer F.B.H.I, Subject Leader, Clocks and Related Objects

Malcolm's extensive experience with private clients, as well as the museums and heritage sector, lies behind his in-depth understanding of horology. He brings a comprehensive knowledge of traditional craft skills, theory and contextual history. He also has an interest in new and innovative ways of applying conservation to mechanical objects.

A former Assistant Curator of Horology at the British Museum, Malcolm was more recently lead conservator on a major project with Temple Newsam House, Leeds Museum. He led the work to conserve an 18th century mechanical organ clock made by George Pike., and restore it to working order. Originally from an engineering background, Malcolm began his horological training at Hackney College in the 1990s. He followed this by entering into a business partnership and further developed his knowledge and skills as a student at West Dean in 2004-2006. He has continued to successfully run his own private practice and has taught at West Dean College in Clocks since 2010.

Malcolm is an associate member of the Institute of Conservation (Icon) and is a Fellow of the British Horological Institute (BHI), and is the lead tutor for:

FdA Historic Craft Practices - Clocks. This is a unique new Foundation degree teaching clockmaking using historic crafts skills, with the opportunity for innovative skills application.

Graduate Diploma - Conservation of Clocks

Postgraduate Diploma Conservation of Clocks, leading to MA Conservation Studies

All are awarded by the University of Sussex

Maickel van Bellegem ACR, Subject Leader Metalwork

Maickel van Bellegem ACR is a goldsmith and metals conservator who has worked both independently and in museums, notably the Rijksmuseum, the British Museum and the V&A Museum. He comments, "Having supervised students during their placements at the British Museum previously I'm very much looking forward to working with students building their expertise in both craft skills and conservation techniques."

He has worked on a range of metal objects for display, loans, storage and research purposes, and has published regularly. Topics of publications included historical manufacturing techniques such as patination of alloys in 19th century Burmese lime boxes and their conservation, authentication, as well as developing conservation treatments.

Maickel is an accredited member of Institute of Conservation, a member of the International Council of Museums, the Historical Metallurgy Society, and the Nautical Archaeological Society.

He is the lead tutor for:
FdA Historic Craft Practices - Metals
Graduate Diploma Conservation of Metalwork
Postgraduate Diploma Conservation of Metalwork, leading to MA Conservation Studies
All are awarded by the University of Sussex

Open Day

Students can explore their study options for Clocks and Metalwork, meet the tutors and students, and see the workshops in action at the next Student Open Day on Friday 1 December. For details visit

Notes to editors:

West Dean College is part of The Edward James Foundation, a charitable trust also comprising West Dean Gardens, West Dean Estate and the West Dean Tapestry Studio. Charity No. 1126084.
All photography is copyright free for editorial purposes.
Research publications in English by Maickel van Bellegem:
M. van Bellegem, Philip Kevin, Manuela Lehmann, Neal Spencer. 'On-site conservation at Amara West in Sudan: 80 years in the making.' In: Engaging Conservation: Collaboration Across Disciplines. Penn Museum Conference October 2016; expected Archetype Publications 2017
A.Meek, 'Chapter 13 Technical Examination of the Waddesdon Bequest: Recent Discoveries, Future Avenues', in: British Museum Research Publication 212: A Rothschild Renaissance: A New Look at the Waddesdon Bequest in the British Museum, P. Shirley and D. Thornton (eds.), London 2017, pp155-167.
M. van Bellegem, D. Thornton, P. Buck and S. La Niece, 'Conservation treatment and technical observations on two objects from the Waddesdon Bequest with life castings' in: The British Museum Technical Bulletin (9) London, November 2015, pp.15-23
M. van Bellegem and L. De Beer, Chapter 16 Conservation history and technical observations on the Hildesheim Portable Altar, in: Matter of Faith, J Robinson, A. Harnden and L. De Beer (eds), 2014, pp.126-136
P. Craddock, J. Ambers, M. Van Bellegem, C.R. Cartwright, J. Hudson, S. La Niece, M. Spataro, The Olokun head revisited, in: Afrique: Archéologie & Arts - 9, Paris 2013, pp.13-42.
M. van Bellegem, Q. Wang, and P. Fletcher, 'A scientific study and experiments for electrolytic reduction of corroded lead inlays on Japanese lacquer objects in: Metal 2010. P. Mardikian, (ed), Charleston 2010.
M. van Bellegem and S. La Niece, 'The British Museum Ciborium: Conservation and Scientific Study' in: The Heritage of 'Maitre Alpais', S. La Niece, S. Roehrs, B. McLeod (eds.), London 2010, pp.10-15
P. Craddock, M. van Bellegem, P. Fletcher, R. Blurton and S. La Niece, 'The black bronzes of Asia' in: Metallurgy and Civilisation: Eurasia and Beyond, J. Mei and Th. Rehren (eds), London 2009, pp.44-52
M. van Bellegem, S. Roehrs, and B. McLeod, 'A Spanish Medieval altar 'set': new investigation and assessment of its date and manufacture', in: The British Museum Technical Bulletin.(2) London, November 2008, pp.67-76
M. van Bellegem, P. Fletcher, P. Craddock, S. La Niece, and R. Blurton, 'The Black Bronzes of Burma' in: The British Museum Technical Bulletin.(1) London 2007, pp.55-63
M. van Bellegem, P. Fletcher, P. Craddock, R. Blurton, 'Mylar, reproductions of a traditional Burmese patinated alloy' in: Metal 07. Book 1, Amsterdam 2007, pp.22-29
M. van Bellegem, H. A. Ankersmit, R. van Langh, and W. Wei, 'Solder on Silver: historical usage and the problem of fretting', in: Metal 04, J. Ashton, D. Hallam (eds.), Canberra 2004, pp. 104-113

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries including filming opportunities, interviews and high-resolution digital images contact:
Freya Simms, Golden Squared Consulting
[email protected] / +44 (0)207 439 2822
West Dean College, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 OQZ @westdeancollege