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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Return to the 9th Century

by Conservation

7/27/2017

conservation , object conservation , behind the scenes , plate , Islamic Art

This week we return to the 9th C. Islamic plate. After a successful practice run to figure out the right sequence for reassembling the 154 fragments, it was finally time to reassemble the plate with a conservation adhesive. Because the plate is a 3D object with an integral curvature, each fragment had to be manipulated into place while the adhesive was still fluid to get the best alignment at each join.  If the adhesive were allowed to cure before all of the fragments were attached, it might have prevented the perfect alignment of each join. Therefore the reassembly had to be done in one long sitting in order to insure that the adhesive stayed malleable.  The reconstruction took a total of 5 hours and a half hours of concentrated effort by our objects conservator, condensed to 37 seconds in this time-lapse video. With the most difficult part of the treatment finished, the next step is to make fills for areas where no original fragments exist, and the plate is almost ready to go on view in the gallery.

 

Image Credit: Plate, Abbasid Period (9th Century – 10th Century), earthenware with amber and manganese-purple painting over white slip and transparent lead, Given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Williams by their children, Cincinnati Art Museum, 1948.92.