Tag: conservation

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Guest Post: A Warrior’s Magic Shirt

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Behnaz Atighi Moghaddam is an assistant curator in the Middle Eastern section at the V&A. Since she joined the Museum two years ago, she has carried out research on talismanic shirts and other objects of that type. Thanks to this expertise she was temporarily drafted onto the Fabric of India team when conservation work began […]

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Golden Glitter: Recreating the aventurine speckles on the Dresden Cabinet

Gently heating the film with a hairdryer to soften it ©Tristram Bainbridge

Today’s post comes from Tristram Bainbridge, Furniture Conservator, who has been working on this eye-catching 18th-century writing cabinet for display in the new Europe Galleries. The cabinet will feature in the Fantasies display, which explores fashionable Europeans’ fascination with Chinese and Japanese imagery and the resulting hybrid style that became known by the French term […]

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The Curious Case of the Ox and its Brain

60-1882

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Head of an ox; Marble statue of the head of an ox on a tree trunk, (North Italy) probably Padua, about 1650-1700
Padua
2nd half 17th century
Marble and wood.
In a report dated 6 February 2015, analysis of the wood identified it as an alpine pine, probably Pinus cembra.

Today’s post is simply to express my glee at seeing new photographs of what will be one the galleries’ more unusual inhabitants. This late 17th-century sculpture depicts the head of an ox, in white marble, resting on a section of a tree trunk that was carved from a number of pieces of wood. The skull […]

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Vase Mania!

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(Bit of a longer blog posting…) Just to give you a bit of background, the thinking behind this whole project is very much around ‘Vase Mania’: the vase being a symbol of the ancient world, a practical object and a design motif, I hope to restore its former status as the ultimate accessory. Taking inspiration […]

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Painting like Constable

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Having prepared some Constable style paper boards with Sophie Connor a little while back (read about it here), I faced the daunting prospect of trying to paint like Constable. To try to make this a bit easier I based my sketch on a painting by Constable that I had recently examined, Buildings on Rising Ground near […]

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Painting by Numbers?: An 18th Century Flower Show

Ferdinand Bauer, Iris Germanicus, watercolour on paper (MS. Sherard 245/70) © Bodleian Library, University of Oxford 2015

As the Chelsea Flower Show draws to a conclusion tomorrow, and the masses return to their own gardens inspired, it’s worth looking back to the 18th century, to the golden age of botanical exploration and to an artist who was arguably the finest botanical painter in history – Ferdinand Bauer –  and how expertise at […]

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A Room with a View

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Back in February, after months (really years) of preparation, the V&A formally announced The Fabric of India to the press. Rosemary and Divia spoke with a number of journalists about all the spectacular objects that will be in the show – from Tipu Sultan’s 18th century tent to Manish Arora’s latest designs.  But one piece in particular got maybe […]

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Making a ‘Constable’

Applying the red-brown oil ground. You can already see how the paper is absorbing the oil where there is no sizing.

  This week I’ve been working with Clare, the Senior Paintings Conservator, to make some Constable-style pasteboards (sheets of paper glued together) for a display to go in the Paintings gallery. After several weeks of reading up on it (for example in the essays referenced here), looking at examples of Constable’s works on paper, and […]

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Lighting up the Studio

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Last week a colleague mysteriously encouraged me to pop my head into the Photo Studio, for a ‘nice surprise’. Not knowing quite what to expect, I arrived to find Metalwork Curator Kirstin and Senior Metals Conservator Donna in the final stages of assembling the rather stunning chandelier which will be part of our Louis XIV display. To enable […]

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All that glitters…

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  Sparkly gold embroidery (zardozi) has, to be honest, never been my favourite kind of Indian textile. But during the selection process of pieces for The Fabric of India I have surprised myself by developing a soft spot for other kinds of textile involving metal or metal-wrapped thread, and indeed for the metal materials themselves.   Many of […]

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