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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Conserving Delicate Folding Fans

by Conservation


conservation , folding fan , Decorative Arts , behind the scenes

This decorative folding fan is in the objects conservation lab for treatment. Two of the delicate mother of pearl sticks are broken and one has become detached from the paper leaves. The thin mother-of-pearl sticks are less than a millimeter in thickness, leaving very little surface area to apply adhesive to and making it difficult to repair. With such a thin join, a repair using only adhesive would be fragile and very likely to break in the same place again.

In order to provide strength to the broken sections, a clear support will be attached to one side of the break for added reinforcement. This support will provide enough strength for the fan to open and close normally while being virtually invisible. Look for this fan on display at the museum this fall.