Mazarin Chest conservation: Reconstructing surround to metal corner plate


The video sequences listed below show some of the processes used during the conservation of the Mazarin Chest, which was completed in summer 2008. The two conservators shown at work are Shayne Rivers, V&A Conservation Department and co-manager of the Mazarin Chest Project, and Yoshihiko Yamashita, freelance Japanese conservator and member of the project team.

2008年夏に終了したマザラン・チェスト保存修復計画の作業過程の数面をVTR で以下に紹介いたします。作業にあたる二人のコンサバターは、シェイン・リバーズ(当プロジェクトの共同マネージャーであるV&A保存修復部員)と山下好彦(プロジェクト・チームの一員である日本の漆芸修復家)の両名です。

Ten videos showing successive steps during the reconstruction of the surround of one of the four metal corner plates on the lid, from the application of fillers to colour testing of tin powder and final toning with diluted lacquer (urushi).


Preparing soft kokuso filler - 充填材に使う軟らかい刻苧の準備

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Preparing mugi-urushi and mixing it with sawdust to make kokuso filler.


The film shows the urushi being squeezed out on to filter paper, but leaves out the filtering of the urushi that takes place prior to it being mixed with the mugi paste.


Applying soft kokuso filler - 軟らかい刻苧の充填

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Applying thin layer of soft kokuso filler to corner plate surround.


The film shows the kokuso being applied to an initial brownish-coloured bedding layer consisting of cellulose powder and micro-balloons mixed with Paraloid B72. The kokuso used at this stage is softer, i.e. has a lower sawdust content, than usual - this is because it is being applied to act as a binder between the bedding layer and the standard, harder kokuso that will be applied in the next stage.


Preparing hard kokuso filler - 硬い刻苧の準備

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Preparing round lengths of hard kokuso filler.


Applying hard kokuso filler - 硬い刻苧の充填

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Applying round lengths of hard kokuso filler to corner plate surround. Applying and shaping kokuso with a bamboo spatula.


Applying protective coating - 保護塗膜の塗布

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Applying dissolvable plastic coating to edge of metal corner plate and surrounding lacquer surface.


Making shitaji foundation mixture - 下地作り

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Applying shitaji foundation mixture - 下地付け

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Applying thin layer of shitaji (clay and urushi) to provide a smooth surface over the kokuso fill of the corner plate surround.


Mixing tin powders for colour testing - 色合わせ用の錫粉の調合

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Preparing for colour testing using light and dark tin powder combined in different ratios.


Preparing a colour testing strip - 色合わせ用の手板の準備

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Mixing tin powder with shitaji and applying it to a colour testing strip.


Colour toning with diluted urushi - 希釈漆による色の調整

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Preparing diluted urushi and applying it to new restorations to lower mouldings and surround to metal corner plate.


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