Eleanor Gaines-Burrill

I thoroughly enjoyed completing my BA (Hons) Conservation of Cultural Heritage. During the course I gained experience working with conservation and care of archaeological objects, metals, wood, textiles, ceramics, gilding and glass, as well as planning and presenting preventive conservation measures. Furthermore, I have analytical experience of using stereomicroscopes, digital microscopes, UV microscopy, polarised light microscopy, X-Ray analysis, portable X-Ray fluorescence and Fourier-Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. I also have some experience of record photography and drawing.

I hope to be continuing onto the MA Conservation course in September 2020, and, having spent my life visiting historic properties, my interests lie in conservation of historic interiors with aims to move into Architectural Paint Research.

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Owner: Peter Marshall 

UL No. 19 / 054 

Images produced in Boston, Lincs., circa. 1856. Case produced in US, circa 1850s. 

Ambrotype photos produced using the wet collodion process, where the metal plate was exposed in the camera while still wet and then developed and fixed. The case is thermoplastic, made by heating shellac and wood fibre in a mould as is the case with modern plastic. The photos display children, so the object would have had sentimental value for their parents. The case was to protect the photos as well as display them. 

Condition before treatment: Each photograph was held inside the case by a metal frame with a glass cover. While one of these glass covers was in good condition, the other had broken apart and was not holding the photo in. The case was also dusty and dirty inside and out. 

Conservation treatment: All the parts of the case and covers were cleaned. The photos were left alone as they were clean and I did not want anything to happen to the negatives printed on them. The broken protective cover was repaired using epoxy adhesive. However, the photos and covers were still falling from the case, and a solution to remedy this was not found in the time allowed.

Two Ambrotype photographs in hinged case dish, decorated circa 18th century

 

Lalique Blue Glass Bowl

 

 

Owner: Sarah Cheng 

UL No. 19 / 087 

 

Produced in Wingen-sur-Moder, France, circa. 1931 

A fine example of press moulded Lalique glassware exhibiting a muguet (lily-of-the-valley) decoration. It would likely have been used either purely for decoration or to hold fruit. The opalescent effect (looks blue when light shines on it, looks yellow when light shined through it, created by slower cooling of the glass), crispness and detail in decoration and maker’s mark on the base all indicate it is genuine Lalique. 

Condition before treatment: The bowl had suffered a major trauma, possibly as a result of being dropped, which had caused it to break into many pieces. It had been rebonded using an epoxy adhesive, which had discoloured. There were some holes along the larger breaks where a repair using staples had been attempted and many chips and losses to the muguet decoration. 

Conservation treatment: Testing was carried out to find the best chemical to remove the old epoxy as it is very hard to remove. The best was found to be Paramose, which could only be used inside a fume cupboard with chemical resistant gloves on. A different epoxy was chosen – epoxy when dry barely shows on glass - and used for rebonding the pieces. Following this, treatment should have been to fill the losses, however unforeseen circumstances prevented this.

 

 

 

 

 

Owner: Metheringham Airfield Museum Visitors’ Centre 

U.L. No. 18 / 099 

Medals and badges produced in the UK, circa. 1940s. Case is modern. 

The case contained: the 1939-1945 Star, the France and Germany Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal and the Tribute to the Aircrew of Bomber Command medal, along with a signaller patch, a Warrant Officer patch and a Pathfinder badge. These would all have been awarded for service during WW2. The Stars were yellow copper alloy, and the other three medals were all white copper alloy. They will have been struck using a die in the same way that coins are. 

Condition before treatment: The medals and badges had fallen from their positioning within the case so they were all loose inside it. The ribbons from the medals were badly frayed and discoloured from light, and were covered in adhesive from where they were attached to the display bar. The metals all showed some corrosion. 

Conservation treatment: The case was opened and all components removed. The ribbons for the two Stars had to be replaced as they were too frayed and covered in adhesive, while the other three were mounted on unbleached cotton. All metal was coated to prevent corrosion occurring. The backing of the case was replaced and all the medals and badges stitched onto this.

Group of medals and insignia

 
Medals%20After_edited