Consolidating a plate of mosaic glass

This elaborate mosaic glass plate had previously been restored. On examination a conservator noted that one of the joins was not secure. The conservator was alerted to this weak join by a rattling sound when the join was gently tapped with the knuckles.

To remedy the unstable join, the conservator could have chosen to either dismantle the object or consolidate the old join. Dismantling is a time consuming process and there is always a risk of damaging the object while taking it apart. This mosaic glass plate had only one unstable join, and so the conservator decided that consolidation was a more appropriate treatment. A diluted reversible adhesive was introduced to the unstable join using a fine brush and allowed to set. The conservator repeated this process until the join no longer rattled when tapped and was thus considered strong enough to be handled and returned to display.

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