Tag: conservation

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GUEST POST: My Qur’an pendant from Syria

My collection of talismans and amulets  © Victor Borges

Victor Borges is a Senior Sculpture Conservator at the V&A. One day when I was delivering a sculpture object to Victor in Sculpture Conservation I noticed he was wearing a chain full of small and curious pendants. Looking at it closer, I suddenly noticed a beautiful small gold pendant in the shape of a Qur’an with Arabic […]

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Disobedient Objects

The heavily-decorated ‘Tiki Love Truck’ and its many wonderful embellishments

Clair Battisson Senior Preservation Conservator ‘Disobedient Objects’ explored the powerful role objects can perform in support of movements for social change. ‘Immediate’, ‘alternative’ and ‘bold’ were just a few of the words used to shape the design concept and also Conservation’s decision making for repair and display. The exhibition in the V&A ran from the […]

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A Testament of Faith: An Indian Talismanic shirt

Talismanic shirt photographed after removal of old repairs and humidification

Elizabeth-Anne Haldane Senior Textile Conservator   The Fabric of India exhibition focused entirely on textiles and featured around 200 objects ranging from the third to the twenty-first century. Amongst the many V&A textiles prepared for the exhibition was a rare Islamic Talismanic shirt that was displayed alongside other Indian sacred textiles representing the main faiths […]

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The Tilliard Daybed


Zoe Allen and Isabelle Rehault-Wills Senior Conservators   As part of the redisplay of the Europe 1600-1815 Galleries, several pieces of seat furniture were selected for re-upholstery. Among these was a daybed (W.5-1956), or ‘veilleuse’, by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard (1686 – 1766) (Figure 1). This article focuses on the work carried out on the carved and […]

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Salome with the head of John the Baptist by Carlo Dolci

Oil painting depicting 'Salome (or Herodias) with the Head of John the Baptist' by Carlo Dolci. Italy, ca. 1665-1670.

Clare Richardson, Paintings Conservator Paramita Sarkar, Intern, Paintings Conservation   The V&A painting of this subject is one of several known versions by Carlo Dolci and his followers, and is dated to the artist’s mature career, c.1670 (Figure 1). Dolci’s biographer, Baldinucci, described three autograph versions of the painting: of these, the only one that can […]

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Conservation and compromise: mounting eighteenth-century men’s dress

Formal ensemble

Rachael Lee Textile Conservation Display Specialist   In July 2014, preparatory work began on the mounting of historical dress for the new Europe 1600-1815 Galleries. As part of V&A FuturePlan, around 1,100 objects of European art and design have been re-displayed in the restored south-east wing of the museum, featuring star pieces and new acquisitions […]

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Tula Fireplace

Fireplace with fender, mantel ornaments, and fire-irons, of burnished steel with applied decoration of gilt copper and brass and cut steel.

Donna Stevens Senior Metals Conservator   For most people the word ‘Tula’ probably conjures up the idea of luggage and small leather goods, but it is actually the name of the town in Russia where Peter the Great set up workshops to produce arms and munitions. The workers also used their skills in iron and […]

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Armchair Revolution

Arm support for armchair drying

Phil James Museum Technician   This article addresses the approach undertaken to treat upholstered furniture in an ethical and non-invasive way. Re-upholstering an object using tacks would irreversibly alter its condition, risk harming existing decoration and might destroy or obscure traces of original and later coverings. For example, fibres of materials can sometimes be found, […]

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In harmony: sharing skills on a virginal

Furniture conservator Dana Melchar retouching a resin restoration

Fi Jordan, Senior Ceramics Conservator Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator The conservation of an early seventeenth-century virginal (402-1872) for the Europe 1600-1800 Galleries provided an opportunity for the sharing and development of skills within the V&A Objects Conservation Section (Figure 1). The virginal is composed of materials – wood, leather, glass, enamel and various metals […]

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The Ethics of Dust: Trajan’s Column

Art installation made of conservation latex that has been used to ‘clean’ the hollow inside of the cast of Trajan’s Column.

If you missed Jorge’s installation at the V&A, or would like to see more of his work, a new commission for ‘ The Ethics of Dust ‘ is currently on display in Westminster Hall, Palace of Westminster, London. https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/the-ethics-of-dust/   Sarah Healey-Dilkes, Senior Sculpture Conservator Jorge Otero-Pailos, Artist, Architect, Preservationist SHD: Your artwork, ‘The Ethics of Dust: […]

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