Today's Object of the Week is a portrait of a soldier that needs a little TLC.

MEET Edward Bruce, a Green Howards soldier whose portrait is the subject of today’s Object of the Week.

He’s looking a little tired and dirty, but is still magnificent and – with a little help – staff at the The Green Howards Museum in Richmond are hoping he’ll soon be back to his splendid best

The portrait of this Victorian soldier has never been on display, but it is currently playing an important role on show in the museum’s latest special exhibition, Treasures in Store.

The Northern Echo: The painting of Colonel Edward BruceThe painting of Colonel Edward Bruce

“Displaying the painting helps visitors explore the different ways objects end up in the museum’s care, and the responsibilities we face when looking after them,” said The Green Howards museums director and curator, Lynda Powell.

“A phone call from a relative of Colonel Bruce was the start of this painting’s journey to the museum. It arrived by courier in a large cardboard box. Only when we peeled back the wrapping did we get our first glimpse of him.

“Bruce joined the regiment in 1869. He was also a skilled cricketer and was selected for the Gentlemen against the Players match at Lords in 1872, playing against W G Grace.

“The oil painting has lost its frame and is slightly battered, but Colonel Bruce’s character shines through the dirt.

“We also have in the collection a silver candlestick; presented to Bruce as a thank you for his kindness and hospitality, so it is lovely to piece these treasures together to build a picture of the man.”

A scheme to ‘Spruce up Bruce’ has been launched. Visitor donations made during the exhibition are being ring-fenced to help fund vital conservation work on the portrait, so it can be displayed in all its original glory in the future.

The painting has been assessed by a conservator. Their report, part of which is also on display, describes the painting’s current condition and the repairs required.

Treasures in Store explores the secret life of a museum. Its stores are a quiet, hidden world where objects sit, carefully wrapped, catalogued and concealed behind the scenes, waiting for their time to shine.

From the spoils of war, plundered pieces and sentimental mementos to regulation kit, equipment and official logs and lists plus intensely personal possessions, this special exhibition puts the spotlight on objects which have rarely been on display.

Whilst admiring the Colonel’s portrait, museum visitors can scan a QR code displayed nearby to make a donation to help fund the conservation work, which would involve delicate cleaning to reveal the original work.

An intriguing origami handout is also supplied to each visitor, helping them spot more treasures, all hiding in plain sight, throughout the rest of the museum. Donate online via the museum’s website.

l Treasures in Store runs until December 19 at The Green Howards Museum, Trinity Church Square, Richmond, DL10 4QN. Monday to Saturday 10am to 4.30pm. Plan your visit.