Case study of a silver gilded artifact

A beautiful piece of silver gilded artifact depicting a war scene came to our lab in 2007. It was previously wrongly restored by applying a thick layer of silver acrylic colour to hide the faults. Our first step was to remove the silver paint layer. This took a lot of time and efforts. IMG_0747

Once the silver paint was apparently removed, it was required to study the original silver layer, its problems and thickness etc.

We found that the upper left corner of the artifact was repaired for some past breakage. Silver layer was completely lost at many places and there were other smaller damages in the resin layer underneath. IMG_9908a

Microscopic observations  confirmed the silver loss and brought to light many areas from where silver paint could not be completely removed. This led us to do some more cleaning  under magnified view.

After thorough treatment the artifact was re-gilded with silver.

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Author: namitajaspal
Namita Jaspal, with inherited skills of art and aesthetics and passion for science, opted to pursue post- graduation in ‘Conservation of Cultural Property’ after her graduation in Science from Delhi University in 1992. Four year intense training at National Museum Institute provided the right foundation to start a career in Conservation. She is currently practicing conservation consultancy for Heritage property including monuments and collections. She has been doing independent research in conservation techniques and procedures in Indian context. She is currently working on the conservation of wall-paintings of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden temple at Amritsar. The project is nearing completion and getting a lot of appreciation for the organized and ethical treatment it is providing. It is for the first time in the history of Sri Harmandir Sahib Ji (The Golden Temple) that wall painting conservation and preservation is being done in a scientific manner, keeping the codes of Ethics into consideration while decision making. Another project just completed is of the Conservation of Krishna Temple at Kishankot, Gurdaspur, Punjab. In her private Conservation Laboratory, she is not only providing onservation services, but also mentoring young aspiring conservators and archaeologists by the way of training and paid internships. She has been a guest lecturer at DIHRM (Delhi Institute of Heritage Research and Management). With all the updated knowledge database and innovative practical approaches relevant to the Indian conditions, she could successfully do curative and preservative treatment of very old textiles like a nine feet long flag from nineteenth century that is regarded as priceless memorabilia of second Dogra regiment at Chandi Mandir, and four hundred years old (seventeenth century) Chola Sahib Ji of Sixth Guru of Sikhs, Sri Hargobind Sahib Ji. Apart from this she has done conservation of Photograph collections, archival records, numerous paintings, manuscripts and other cultural objects. She is also involved in preparation of up-gradation proposals for museums and such organizations. Her expertise includes Conservation and preservation technologies and procedures for conservation of varied material like wall paintings, paper, photographs, textile, ceramics, stone, metal and archaeological objects.

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