Skip to content

Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Pottery Puzzle

by Conservation


behind the scenes , conservation , Pottery , Islamic Art , objects conservation

shattered pieces of a ceramic plate


This week in Objects Conservation: This 9th Century plate may look a little familiar. It is part of our collection of Islamic pottery that has been coming into the lab over the past two years due to failing adhesives that were used to repair the objects decades ago. It has been in the lab for the past few months undergoing examination, and was the topic of a past blog post when it was X-rayed. From the information gathered from the x-ray the conservator had a better idea of how many fragments were present. With this knowledge, the unstable adhesive was slowly removed in a humidification chamber allowing the plate to fall back into fragments. Now the plate exists in a staggering 135 fragments! These will need to be cleaned and sorted in order to ensure they all belong together before being put back together with a more stable adhesive. Keep an eye out for more updates on its reconstruction in the months ahead.


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.