Furniture Conservation

So. I got to go up to the furniture conservation studio a couple of weeks ago, and learnt some interesting facts about our collection and furniture conservation in general.

We spent some time looking at Japanese lacquer, which is toxic when it is wet, causing allergies in 8/10 people. It has to dry in a wet box (not sure of the physics behind this…) and whilst it is often used as a coating on other things, it is possible to create dishes etc. out of just the lacquer if a mould is used (I wasn’t too keen on these, they are very light which makes them feel a bit plasticky).

I also looked at a Riesener cabinet, which was signed multiple times. Probably more than necessary…imageimage

imageRiesener cabinets have a slide-on back panel, and in fact most of the furniture can be taken apart without unscrewing anything. This is something the Wallace will be capitalising on soon, displaying several items of furniture in pieces, to give more information about its construction. For someone who finds overly ornate French furniture a bit ghastly when complete, it is much more interesting to appreciate the workmanship that went into it!

For the bits that don’t come apart, furniture can be CT scanned to find out more. Apparently a local hospital lends its services to this, which must be interesting for the other patients in the waiting room…

Lastly, the conservation department has a strange gun thing that looks like a taser or a badass water pistol but it doesn’t do either of those things.

image

It is supposed to detect the materials used in an object, but there are many problems with this, such as the fact it does not penetrate very deeply into the surface, so will read a gold plated item as gold, not registering its underlying material.

Advertisements

About bookfetcher

Librarian. 26.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s