Dish (condiment) + lacquered box + lid. Garden and boating scenes. Made of enamelled ceramic, porcelain.
- Found/Acquired: China
28 October 2004
Reason for treatment
Clean, Secure split in base. Re-instate chip on rim. Check with ceramics re: porcelain
The object, in the shape of a lotus flower, is generally in good condition with minimal light degradation to the lacquer surface, the most exposed being the upper surface. The base and lid, thought to be of dry lacquer technique with a wood trim (not analysed), is decorated with gold powder applied on red lacquer with areas of gold leaf on the box lid applied on black or clear lacquer. The whole object is coated with dirt. The inside of the base has a long stress crack open at one end and reaching across the width of the base. This is probably the result of the weight of the ceramic dishes on the unsupported base. There is abrasion to the wood trim, edges and corners with some loss revealing the substrate beneath. The lid is coated with dirt in the recesses of the design and has stress cracks in the lacquer. There are previous repairs to the wood trim which are stable and well matched. The ceramic dishes inside are coated with dirt and one dish is chipped as a result of transport over to the conservation department (see future recommendations). The detached chip of ceramic is present.
The small ceramic dishes were removed from the lacquered dish and cleaned with small cotton wool swabs soaked in Synperonic 91/6 (1 drop in 100mls de-ionised water). The surface was then rinsed with cotton wool swabs soaked in de-ionised water. The chip from one of the dishes was then re-positioned and glued with HMG (methyl cellulose).The base and lid of the laquered dish were vacuumed and then cleaned with white spirit applied to the object on a piece of washed white jersey cloth wrapped around the finger and used in circular movements.This successfully removed the dirt and resulted in re-introducing gloss to the surface. All surfaces of the lacquer were treated in this way. The crack in the base of the dish was treated as follows: the flakes of lacquer were first re-attached with 25% Primal B60 (acrylic dispersion) applied with a small brush under the flakes and weighted until dry. The crack was then consolidated with 25% cold fish glue, applied in to the back and front with a small brush and left weighted to dry for 24 hrs. Once the crack was stabilised in this way, the open end of the crack was filled. The exposed surfaces were coated with 2% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) (in IMS/Acetone 50:50) applied with a brush. A fill of Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin), Paraloid B72 (15% in IMS/Acetone 50:50) and tinted with raw pigments was applied to the gap and moulded in to shape. The fill was then coated with Paraloid B67 (polyisobutylmethylacrylate) 15% in white spirit, to saturate the surface of the fill and provide a gloss surface. One of the corners of the base and it's corresponding area on the lid was also treated in this way to re-construct the corner.By way of preventative care, the dish is now, supported on a piece of Plastazote (polyethylene) and melinex cut to the shape of the base, to prevent the weight of the ceramic dishes inside from creating further stress to the crack in the base of the lacquered dish. The inside of the base of the dish is also fitted with a piece of melinex cut to shape, on to which the ceramic dishes sit, to try to prevent further abrasion of the lacquered surface. Once fitted in to the base, the ceramic dishes were secured in place with pieces of plastazote and the lid packed with tissue to prevent any movement of the ceramic dishes during transport.
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Object reference number: RRC8791
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