Conservation Practices

Here is a set of videos from the British Royal Collection Trust on restoring a previously shattered and repaired blue & white porcelain vase. The vase, one of a pair, was originally made in China around 1700. In January 1892, a housemaid accidently broke the vase into 34 pieces. The first video shows the repaired vase, stuck together with animal glue.

The second video shows how the conservator disassembles the repaired vase by submerging it in a water-based solution to dissolve the animal glue.

The 3rd video illustrates the tedious process of reassembling and re-gluing the vase. Watching the process is strangely satisfying.

In the 4th video the conservator completes the reassembly.

Finally, the 5th video the conservator describes how he smooths the repaired surface of the porcelain vase, then prepares and applies pigments to retouch missing portions of the surface painting. The final, repaired blue & white porcelain vase is striking.

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