by Kelly Rectenwald, Objects Conservator
This week in objects conservation: a miniature ivory shrine. You may remember a post about conserving this intricately carved ivory shrine from earlier this year. The entire shrine was completely deconstructed with many broken miniature parts that required tiny repairs! Along the outer edge of the back panel, each of the carved boarder pieces was reattached with mini bandages made of Japanese tissue paper. Many of the carved items (such as the bow held in the hand of the figure on left side of the archway) had broken and required repairs to be carried out under a microscope. Several dowels at the base of each figure required replacement to enable the pieces to stand upright. Now, after its conservation treatment and the support of a custom mount made by our skilled mount makers, you can see this piece installed in our new Anu and Mitra Shekhar Gallery of South Asian Art. Although it’s very small, this shrine has enormous presence and demonstrates the extensive skill of the artist who carved it.
Altar with the Goddess Durga Slaying the Buffalo Demon (Mahishasuramardini), 1850-1890, India, ivory, Museum Purchase, 1889.371.