This week in objects conservation: You may have seen a few Islamic ceramics passing through the objects lab in our recent blog posts, and we hope you’re ready for more as this is just the beginning of a long checklist of objects needing treatment as we prepare to reinstall our Islamic collection. This week we have a 16th C mug decorated with ships, seas, and animals.
This mug had been conserved several decades ago and the animal glue holding the fragments together had started to deteriorate causing instability. The old glue has been removed using a steam cleaner, which warms and softens it to allow it to be easily cleared away from the delicate ceramic edges. Now the mug can be reconstructed with a modern adhesive that will last much longer. As with all reconstructions involving multiple fragments, (this mug has 19,) a plan is made to put the pieces back together in a specific order that ensures none of the pieces get locked out and everything sits in perfect alignment.
Mug, 16th C, Iznik/Turkey, ceramic, Given in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Williams by their children, 1948.142