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Interventions

Working with pieces from the exhibition Florencio Maíllo: in Bosch’s garden

Every time the Museum includes pieces from its collection in a temporary exhibition, our Conservation Department carries out an exhaustive analysis of the pieces to be exhibited.

The conservation statuses of all the works are checked and the necessary treatments are carried out so that they can be put on display.

Many of them have common alterations such as grime, decorative wear, repainting, chipping, cracks, volumetric losses, etc.

Here are some examples of the alterations suffered by the pieces in the museum collection and of the treatments we have carried out.

Suciedad Pulse para ampliar
Desportillado Pulse para ampliar
Desportillado Pulse para ampliar
Grietas y pérdidas Pulse para ampliar
Pérdida de volumen Pulse para ampliar
Grieta Pulse para ampliar
Oxidación Pulse para ampliar
Desgaste y pérdida de decoración Pulse para ampliar
Pérdida de decoración Pulse para ampliar
Restos de adhesivo Pulse para ampliar
Grieta y repinte Pulse para ampliar
Oxidación y pérdidas Pulse para ampliar
Limpieza Pulse para ampliar
Limpieza Pulse para ampliar
Eliminación de repintes Pulse para ampliar
Reintegración volumétrica Pulse para ampliar
Reintegración volumétrica Pulse para ampliar
Reintegración volumétrica Pulse para ampliar
Reintegración cromática Pulse para ampliar

Intervention process for two wooden pagodas covered with mother-of-pearl (DE10098-DE10090)

Marta López Alarcón and Sonia García Serrano (students at the College of Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Assets) carried out interventions on two works of art as part of their undergraduate internships.

These are two wooden models covered with mother-of-pearl plates, some of which are polychromed and decorated with gilding.

These works probably came from the Royal Cabinet of Natural History and are now held by the Museum on deposit from the National Archaeological Museum. They were characteristic of the Chinese export trade from the 18th century to the early 20th century.

When they arrived at the Museum, they were displayed as part of the permanent collection until the eastern gallery was dismantled. They have been in storage ever since.

They were in a delicate state of conservation, mainly because the adhesive that joined the wood to the mother-of-pearl plates had crystallised and lost its stickiness, causing many of the mother-of-pearl plates to fall off, break, and even mix with one another. They were also grimy and showed the effects of previous interventions with outdated criteria.

The intervention consisted of restoring the structural stability and intelligibility of the works. For this purpose, the following treatments were carried out:

  • Classification of detached parts.
  • Removal of partially detached and improperly positioned pieces for their subsequent correct positioning. Earlier interventions were found to have made some replacements with low-quality materials, such as cardboard and plaster; in some cases, these concealed original pieces.
  • Cleaning of grime from the mother-of-pearl plates.
  • Removal of crystallised adhesive residues so that the plates could be properly re-adhered.
  • Consolidation of the gilding at the base of one of the pagodas.
  • Evaluation of the detached mother-of-pearl plates to find out which work they belonged to, as there were several that were mixed up.
  • Sorting of the mother-of-pearl pieces to identify their original placement. For this purpose, the plates’ size and any losses were taken into account; plates with losses were placed in the back so that they will be hidden if the work is put on display, allowing it to be better understood.
  • Adhesion of the mother-of-pearl plates in the correct position.
Vista de una de las pagodas expuesta en un antiguo montaje museográfico en la Sala Oriental del Museo. Pulse para ampliar
Vistas del estado inicial de conservación de una de las pagodas. Pulse para ampliar
Vistas del estado inicial de conservación de una de las pagodas con su base desmontada. Pulse para ampliar
Estado inicial de conservación: vista de una de las pagodas con algunos de sus elementos constitutivos y placas de nácar desmontados. Pulse para ampliar
Estado inicial de conservación: vista de una de las pagodas con algunos de sus elementos constitutivos desprendidos.. Pulse para ampliar
Estado inicial de conservación: torre y basamento de pagoda. Pulse para ampliar
Estado inicial de conservacion: detalle de las placas de nacar despegadas. Pulse para ampliar
Detalle del estado inicial de conservación de una de las pagodas. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Eliminación de los restos de adhesivo cristalizado. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento: supresión de la costra de pegamento. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento: proceso de eliminacion de restos de adhesivo cristalizado. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Proceso de sentado del dorado. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Eliminación de la suciedad superficial de las placas de nácar. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Proceso de separación de restauraciones anteriores. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Proceso de eliminación del adhesivo. Pulse para ampliar
Tratamiento. Proceso de colocación de las piezas para su montaje. Pulse para ampliar
Vistas del estado final de una de las pagodas tras la intervención. Pulse para ampliar
Vistas del estado final de una de las pagodas tras la intervención. Pulse para ampliar
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