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  • Object type

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  • Description

    Bag made of bark.

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Curator's comments

    Register addition "Melville Island".

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    10 February 2011

    Treatment proposal

    Light clean. To stabilise loose root lashing as necessary. To check painted surfaces and to consolidate as necessary. To consolidate loose and lifting resin at seams. To remove previous adhesive as necessary at cracks and to stabilise cracks and splinters. To provide a fitted Tyvek sleeve for packing.


    On the whole the basket is structurally stable with unstable areas at surfaces in places. Lifting splinters of bark at corners from previous impact damage and with bark crushed. Splits in bark and following grain from opening of basket into main body of basket. Basket with some flexibility of the bark as well as due to the splits in the bark and the resulting release of pressure in the bark. Small areas of previous adhesive repairs to the splits in the bark (possibly HMG Paraloid B72 - in appearance and soluble in acetone). Some scratches and abrasion to painted surfaces in places. Disruption to painted surfaces in places due to splits and splinters in bark. Small localised areas of unstable paint, particularly in areas of corresponding unstable underlying bark surfaces. White paint is particuarly unstable with loose and lifting areas. Areas of unstable and loose resin at sewn seams, particularly in areas of underlying root lashing. The root lashing is still largely flexible. Previous large losses to the resin at seams in places with underlying root lashing exposed. Areas of splits and splinters and raised bark surface, particularly around splits and at sewn edges and corners and on the inside of the basket. Some loose areas of root lashing at the opening of the basket and at exposed seams.

    Treatment details

    Surfaces were cleaned with a soft bristle brush and museum vacuum cleaner with nylon gauze over the nozzle to remove loose dust and dirt. Large pieces of loose resin at the seams were adhered/secured in position to the underlying root lashing/bark surfaces with dots of 20% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) w/v in acetone. Loose resin was additionally supported in position to the underlying root lashing and bark surfaces with coloured Japanese tissue paper (used to fill gaps and cushion the resin) and adhered in position with Primal B60A 50:50 in deionised water. Loose and actively crumbling resin at the seams was consolidated with Primal B60A 50:50 in deionised water. The previous adhesive (HMG Paraloid B72?) repairs to the splits in the bark were removed/reduced with acetone on cotton wool swab poultices to soften and then mechanically removed with a scalpel, cocktail sticks and tweezers. The splits were then supported on the inside of the basket as necessary with backing "butterfly" repairs of coloured Japanese tissue paper adhered in position with arrowroot and sodium alginate starch paste 9:1. Bark splinters were laid down with arrowroot and sodium alginate starch paste 9:1 and Primal B60A 50:50 in deionised water as necessary. Areas of unstable, fugitive and loosely-bound paint, particularly the white paint, was consolidated with Lascaux Medium for Conservation applied by brush. A heat-sealed Tyvek slip bag was made for the basket for packing so that acid-free tissue puffs could be placed around the basket without direct contact with the painted bark surfaces.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number



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Object reference number: EOC17235

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