17 July 2006
Reason for treatment
Extensively examine and document previous treatments, painterly techniques and condition.
Consolidate as necessary.
Replace plaster collar with foaming epoxy.
The object is mounted in plaster of Paris set into an inner wooden box frame covered with a wood veneer. The front of the frame is glazed. The plaster of Paris mount is flush with the paint surface completely covering the original arricio(mud plaster). The plaster of Paris mount appears stable.
The arricio appears to be overall stable but is slightly crumbly at the edges where visible.
The intonacco appears overall stable but there are several cracks across it.. 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 intonacco, particularly in the lower proper left corner where breakages have aoocured and plaster fills have been applied to the break areas. There are also impact damage and deliberate scratches on the proper left side. Abrasions are present in the paint layer and intonacco on Nebamun's legs and his wife's body. There is yellow staining and small craquelee cracks in the perimeter areas most likely a result from the drying of the plaster mount. There is evidence of salt efflorescene on the chest of Nebamun's wife. Previous presence of a wasps nest is evident in the reed bundle on the proper right.
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. Hairline cracks are also visible but confined to the perimeter edge.
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 a detailed layered Photoshop file 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 Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) 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).
The collar of the old plaster mount was reduced mechanically with a minidrill to leave 5mm of the arriccio exposed. Fragile areas of the exposed arricio(mud plaster) collar were consolidated with 12% Primal B60A (acrylic ) applied with Industrial methylated spirits (ethanol,methanol) used as wetting agent. In order to give the a smooth display surface to the old collar Polyfilla Plaster repair, a ready made acrylic paste, was applied over the old plaster of Paris. 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 where it would be in contact with the Polyfilla Plaster repair paste to act as an interface and to enable future reversibility.