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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: 18th Century Chinese Lacquer Table

by Conservation

6/25/2020

behind the scenes , objects conservation , conservation , Lacquerware , chinese lacquer , chinese furniture

This week in objects conservation we are working on a 18thC Chinese lacquer table with shell inlay. The table suffered from structural damage sometime before entering the collection in 1944 and existed in several pieces before treatment. The legs and sides had become separated from the top and many of the edges were splintered and suffered from losses that meant they no longer fit together. Our objects conservator has worked to consolidate the splintered edges and repair losses to enable the tabletop and edges to be rejoined. In this photo you can see band clamps being used to hold the edges in position while an adhesive sets.

The legs of the table are unfortunately unable to support weight, so an invisible mount has been made that will bear the weight to keep the table upright and allow the legs to be displayed as part of the table once again. Now that the structure of the table is improved, we will work to stabilize and repair minimal losses in the lacquered surface.

Check back later to see the final results!