Large late C19th Meissen ‘Schneeballen’ vase and cover

Removal of Previous Repair

Firstly, the rusting nut and bolt was removed and the vase and foot separated. There was a ‘plaster-like’ fill material present to the foot, which made up the uneven junction between it and the vase. All fill and reconstruction materials were removed mechanically (scalpel under magnification) and with the controlled used of a Derotor GV Steam Cleaner.

Cleaning

The vase was very dirty. Dirt/dust was firstly removed by soft sable brush and vacuum cleaner. Then all surfaces were swabbed with deionised water. Stubborn dirt was loosened by agitating with a weak solution of Synperonic A7 in deionised water applied with a stencil brush; it was then cleaned with the controlled use of a Derotor GV Steam Cleaner.

Reconstruction of the Handle

Impressions/moulds were taken of the extant handle using Steramould. Then, Milliput was used to make casts from these moulds; a stainless steel wire was placed in the centre of each cast to provide further strength and rigidity. Dental Wax Sheets were then used to make a one-sided mould of the extant handle. This was then placed in the position of the missing handle. The Milliput casts were then adjusted/modelled to form the new handle; each section was inserted into the Dental Wax Sheet support and the gaps in between each section were filled with an epoxy paste comprised of Araldite 20/20, Cabosil Fumed Silica and Titanium Dioxide Artist’s Dry Powder Pigment. Once cured, the epoxy paste fills were refined with scalpel blades, a variety of sanding papers and  various grades of Micro- Mesh™.

Reconstruction of Parrot’s Wings

Research was undertaken using the internet to identify the original gesture and orientation of the parrot’s wings. One-sided moulds were made in Dental Wax Sheets of each wing and these were placed in-situ on the parrot. Milliput was then pushed into the moulds and roughly shaped to form the wings. When this had cured it was refined with scalpel blades, a variety of sanding papers and  various grades of Micro- Mesh™. Further texture was added to the reconstructed wings using a paste of Rustin’s Acrylic Water-Borne Ceramic Glaze and Porcelain Powder.

Retouching/Finishing

All reconstructed and filled areas were retouched with Rustin’s Acrylic Water-Borne Ceramic Glaze, Cryla Colour Acrylic Paints , Golden Artist’s Colours (acrylic paints) and Artist’s Dry Powder Pigments. Retouched areas were polished using Greygate Plastic Polish followed by various grades of Micro- Mesh™. The missing gilded band to the filled chips of the rim of the vase were replicated using Rustin’s Acrylic Water-Borne Ceramic Glaze, Cryla Colour Acrylic Paints and Bronze Powders.