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Angel Sculptures, Beginning of 18th Century


47 cm in height, approximately 43 cm in latitude
Final facing:
Parcel water gilded, parcel pigmented
Type of treatment:
Remedial conservation
Storage and display:
Museum collection


Sculptures were brought in studio with small mechanical damages along the gilded area of `mantle`. Condition of gilding was quite good. Other, pigmented areas of sculptures were cracked (fig.1. & fig.2.).
Gesso was very firmly attached on wooden surface. There were no traces of delaminating.
Demand was to restrict procedure only on gilded areas of `mantle` in order to deter further process of deterioration and possible delaminating of gesso of this very areas, but this time, not to intervene on the other areas of objects (fig.1. & fig.2).

Technical Analysis

The body of the object was made of Beechwood (Fagus sp.). The `mantle` areas were covered with approximately 3 mm thick layer of traditional gesso (calcium carbonate powder and organic adhesive probable Fish-eye glue) and with layer of light red bole. Other surfaces were cowered with thinner layer of traditional gesso. The `mantel` areas were water gilded and then burnished. Other surfaces were painted.

fig.1. click on to zoom fig.2. click on to zoom
Choice of Treatments and Conservation Process

Initial cleaning of the surface dirt was performed with absolute ethyl alcohol.
Test for repair of damages in gesso was made on one damaged place taken as sample area. Filling procedure was performed with Arkon P-90 on any exposed wood and traditional gesso made of technical whiting (CaCo3), zinc whiting (ZnO2) and rabbit skin glue, as backfill. Sample area was left to dray for 12 ours, and then it was shaped with 3 grades of sandpaper and cowered with 4 layers of bole. Water gilding technique was used for compensation of gilding. Gold hue was selection from the sample list of Noris. Most resembling hue had orange dopel 22.5 karat leafs.
After burnishing, toning was performed by rubbing with 4 zero oil free steel wool (1) in order to equalize new water gilded surface with original one.
Result of the test was very satisfying so same procedure was performed on the other damaged places (fig.4. & fig.5.).
Due to fact that these objects will not be expose to the circumstances of everyday use, final protection was carried out with prefabricated protection spray for luminous surfaces (2) in order to prevent process of dust accumulation and quick patination.

fig.3. click on to zoom
fig.4. click on to zoom
List of Used Prefabricated Materials

1. 0000 oil free steel wool: Liberon, France
2. Protection spray for luminous surfaces: Kurt Vogelsand GmbH, Germany