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Updated: 14 April 2015
Fragment (one of three) of a polychrome tomb-painting divided into two registers: upper - six women seated at a banquet; lower - five musicians seated on the ground with remains of nine vertical registers of hieroglyphic text above.
- 1350BC (circa)
- Found/Acquired: Tomb of Nebamun
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Tomb of Nebamun (Thebes))
- Width: 50 centimetres (painting only)
Inscription CommentRemains of nine vertical registers of black-painted hieroglyphs.
Published: PM I Part 2, p. 817;
N. Strudwick, Masterpieces of Ancient Egypt, London 2006, pp. 172-3.
Full publication: R. Parkinson, The Painted Tomb-Chapel of Nebamun: Masterpieces of Ancient Egyptian Art in the British Museum (London: British Museum Press 2008).
A. Middleton and K. Uprichard (ed.), The Nebamun Wall paintings: Conservation, Scientific Analysis and Display at the British Museum (London: Archetype 2008).
1 October 2005
Reason for treatment
examination / analysiscleaning, stabilisation and rebacking of fragment - join into one mount with 37984
The object was conserved and re-mounted in 1987. A wooden box frame surounds the object. The fragment is supported on a detachable polyester and fibreglass resin backing plate and surounded by a polyurethane collar seperated from the arricio(mud plaster) by cling film. In general the mount seems to be stable.The arricio appears to be overall stable no structural cracks are immediately apparent. There is, however, evidence of loss of the straw component in the arricio and some small shrinkage cracks. The intonacco appears stable but there are detaching areas between arricio and intonacco, mainly in the perimeter area of the fragment, identified by a hollow sound on gently tapping the surface. There are losses to the surface caused by abrasion and there is impact damage as well as losses caused by wasps nests and some powdering. There is also a glossy white material, possibly an old consolidant or resin and several small white particles, possibly salts, on the surface. All along the edges are small craquelee cracks most likely a result from the drying of the plaster mount which the painting was first mounted in before its conservation in 1987. The paint layers are flaking in many areas and there are many losses. The blue and green frit are particularly fragile due to loss or shrinkage of the binding medium.Areas along the edges are worst affected. Several hairline crack are visible across the entire paint surface. There is evidence of a thick waxy coating over some paint layers possibly an old attempt at consolidation. There is evidence of previous attempts at removing the coating mainly on hair and dresses, which has left such paint areas disturbed and abraded. There is also loose dust and other fine particles on the surface.
The object was thoroughly examined under a microscope. Observations on ancient painterly techniques, past treatments and present treatments were recorded individually as technical information hard copy (see envelope for detailed information) and are also available as detailed Photoshop layered digital image files on memory stick.The object was lightly dry cleaned with low suction vaccuum cleaner. Loose paint flakes were consoilidated with 12% w/v Primal B60A (acrylic) in deionized water over a layer of White Spirit (composition variable - petroleum distillate) used as wetting agent. Powdery areas of intonacco were consolidated with several applications of 1.5% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol)(1:1). Fragile areas of arricio were consolidated with 20% Primal B60A (acrylic) sprayed on over White Spirit (composition variable - petroleum distillate) used as wetting agent.The object was required to be joined into one object with EA37984. The old mount was removed and discarded. The exposed original arricio was consolidated with 20% Primal B60A (acrylic) sprayed on useing White Spirit (composition variable - petroleum distillate) as a wetting agent. Tin foil coated with 20% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol)(1:1) left to dry and then reactivated with a heated spatula was adhered to the arricio sides. A paste of microcell glass balloons in 20% w/v Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol)(1:1) was applied to the arricio underside and over the tin foil on the sides to act as an interface between original material and the new mount enabling future reversibility. The object was then aligned with EA37984(Banquet with dancers) and a new single mount was cast around both objects using Araldite CW2215 (foamed epoxy) foaming epoxy resin. In order to strenghten the mount of the newly joined object a solid hard wood cross braced frame was encased into the foaming Epoxy resin. To enable the fragment to be positioned just above EA37986(Banquet with guests) the collar on the lower edge was kept to a minimum and strenghtened with a metal steel plate fixed to the wooden frame inside the resin mount.The new resin mount collar was kept approximately 5mm below the top of the arricio. For display purpose a thin layer of Polyfilla Plasta Repair was applied to the top surface of the collar. The gap between the join edges of EA37981 and EA37984 was only filled with Microcell glass balloons in 20% w/v Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone)/Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol)(1:1) and retouched to match the appearance of the arricio.
Acquired by Waddington and Hanbury in Egypt in 1821.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
- EA175 (original Big Number)
Fragment (one of three) of a polychrome tomb-painting representing a banquet scene, divided into two registers: upper - men and women sit together and are attended by one standing servant-girl; lower - four musicians (two shown full-face) are shown seated on the ground while two dancers provide entertainment for the guests, fifteen vertical registers of hieroglyphs survive.
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Object reference number: YCA67993
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