20 October 2000
Reason for treatment
.. Check gilding is secure. Check old repairs are sound. Adapt mount for AFA loan.
Very dirty . Object has been on open display since 1981, when it was last cleaned.Tarnish on gold of crown.Unsightly number on base.Double plumes and sun-disc tilting forward.Figure slightly tilts over to its proper right.For other details see the description field.
X-radiographed to establish how the object is fixed into the modern wooden base,onto which it was fixed in the Department of Egyptian antiquities.The object has no tangs or other supporting dowels, and appears to be stuck directly onto the wooden base; as this was carried out in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities, it is not known which adhesive was usedthe object seems to be secure on its base so the join was left in place. The base was drilled for the placing of a locating pin to secure the object while on display during loan. A short legth of 5mm stainless steel rod was cut, inserted into the drill hole and fixed using plastic padding polyester resin. The statue was placed on a wooden block pre-drilled with a 5mm hole in order to ensure that the dowel set straight. A template was made of the position and depth of the dowel at the request of the designers for the loan.The varnish on the wooden base was matted to key it for repainting with emery paper and micromesh abrasive tools. The base was then re-painted with two coats of cream base coat as requested by Egyptian antiquities. The object has a slight tilt over to it proper right side.This is not visible on the older black and white photographs in the Department of Egyptian Antiquities.It is not clear whether this is as a result of an incorrect restoration of the ankles possibly in the 1981 intervention.The other possibility is that the plinth was raised to compensate for the lean of the figure. The photographs are not clear enough to confirm this.The 1981 conservation entry is confusing as it does not say the lead solder repairs at the ankles were taken down but it does state that the ankles were stuck with Super-epoxy. In fact there are no proper joins at the ankles and the epoxy acts as a gap fill to missing areas. I contacted Hazel Newey who conserved the object in 1981, but she did not think she had taken the ankle repairs down. The excess epoxy adhesive on the object was removed by softening with acetone on cotton-wool swabs and removed under magnification.Exposed epoxy fills were retouched with silver poster colour. The object was cleaned with acetone and Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) on cotton-wool swabs.Tarnish on the gold sheet on the crown removed using Silvo (cotton wadding, white spirit, Newburgh chalk, china clay) and degreased with acetone. A red corrosion product on the edge of the gold sheet covered plumes was left in situ. No silver cleaning materials were used on the silver of the statuette, as solvent cleaning was adequate. It is also not known whther that statuette would have been bright silver or patinated in antiquity. A disfiguring large number was removed from the top of the base and the object renumbered discreetly on the back of the silver plinth with Magic colour ink and brush. The double plumes and sun disc were tilting forward and slightly loose so it was decided to take the old restoration and improve the angle of the headdress. The old join on the plumes were stuck in place with epoxy adhesive, this was removed as far as possible by softening with acetone on cotton-wool swabs and paring away the epoxy manually using scalpel, under x40 magnification. The old join is very worn and may have been filed. A modern dowel has been inserted in the underside of the broken headdress plumes which had been stuck into the epoxy filled hole in the top of the red crown of the figure.(See videoprints) The epoxy adhesive was removed as far as possible and the plumes stuck back by winding HMG heatproof and waterproof adhesive (cellulose nitrate) soaked cotton-wool around the pin and inserting into the hole in the red crown.The break-edge was stuck in position using HMG adhesive (cellulose nitrate).Gaps were filled using microballoons (silica or phenol resin) in HMG (cellulose nitrate) and touched in using powder pigments in shellac in Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol, methanol) and silver and gold poster colour appleid by a fine brush.One area of gold sheet at the lower edge of the double plumes was in a fragile and condition, it was repaired using HMG adhesive (cellulose nitrate) reinforced using fibreglass tissue.