Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Eagle Sculpture Revisited

by Conservation

5/10/2018

behind the scenes , conservation , scuplture

This week in objects conservation we revisit our stone sculpture of an eagle wrestling a serpent. The sculpture has been disassembled and the old rusty dowel rods have been removed. Though rusty and bent, the old dowel rods played an important role in keeping this sculpture standing. The joins in the fragile limestone are abraded and only a few areas of contact exist between each join.

These small areas of contact cannot support the weight of the stone alone, so dowel rods sit between key contact points to help maintain stability and alignment of the heavy stone fragments. To replace the old dowels, three new rods made from carbon fibers will be used with the existing holes. The new carbon rods are extremely light but very strong, and will not rust inside the sculpture or harm the surrounding stone. Each dowel will be set in place to provide secure contact points between each join for reassembly.