Fine Art Restoration - Case Studies
With over 40 years experience in the restoration and conservation of fine prints, watercolours, drawings and maps, I provide a comprehensive and reliable service.
I have acquired a reputation for rescuing and conserving valuable works of art on paper, sometimes in very poor condition.
The "strawboard" backing had got wet and spread spectacular straw coloured staining into the margins.
Fortunately it was reasonably soluble, so controlled cleaning and water washing completely removed it.
Repeated folding had caused this map to start falling apart and then someone had tried to repair it with Sellotape.
It cleaned well and the sections were re-aligned on to an archival paper support.
Before treatment: A valuable film poster with ink worn away from the weakened fold lines by repeated folding and unfolding. In time the paper will give way along these lines.
After de-acidification, linen backing and retouching to disguise the ink loss.
Bad framing had caused knot resin to penetrate the paper and also a vertical "burn" line from a gap in the backboard.
Altogether a neater stable with the very stubborn stains cleaned effectively. The worm holes were filled with liquid paper pulp and retouched.
A charming pastel portrait, very frail, with most of the damage fortunately confined to the edges. But with an ugly stain on the shoulder.
Suitable patches were set in and retouched to match. The shoulder stain reduced enough to be unobtrusive.
Here there was a tide mark top left, and general time staining caused by light exposure. The covered edges being less affected.
The freshness of this bright marine scene was restored by very careful cleaning and under-water washing.
Where green watercolour paint containing copper salts had been used, the paper had rotted and in parts crumbled away.
Seriously delicate to handle during cleaning and water washing, it looked transformed when pulped paper was used to fill the holes.
More examples of the damage done by light and by vertical gaps in the old wooden back boards causing ugly discolouration.
Made presentable again by removing decayed cardboard backing, cleaning and under-water washing.
It seems that this watercolour had been "cleaned" by someone who dabbed on household bleach and left it at that.
Remedial action was taken to restore the original tone of the sky and to wash out any traces of chemical residues.
A charming pencil portrait which had probably been left squashed in a drawer for years, with some fox marks.
Some mild bleaching, fully neutralised, followed by "drumming" on to Japanese paper, got it flat again.
Broken glass and dirty water staining had somewhat defaced this watercolour of the M.V. Orion.
After prolonged soaking and selective gentle bleaching treatment it looked presentable again.
A lively Colonial period lithograph with tears, scratches and holes, plus some bad water-stain "tide marks".
After water washing and mild bleaching, followed, as always, by hours of washing to remove all chemical residues.
Over many years the poor quality card backing caused severe discolouration of the sky etc on this watercolour.
Routine treatment de-acidified the paper and restored the original values of the flesh tones and sky.
A watercolour rendered on cheap, brittle, thin card, with a line of rot from between the old wood back-boards. Fox marked.
Soaked in enzymes to remove ultra-thin paper from degraded backboard. Mounted on to acid-free rag board, and retouched.