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Various sections of the crown had to be recarved and attached using a restoration grade reversible glue. Once this had been allowed to set, the next process is to build up layers of gesso prior to gilding.
Damage to body
As you can see, there are a number of cracks all over the pine sculpture. A large number of hairline cracks were filled with gesso before sanding back flush with the surrounding pine. The larger cracks were filled using microballoons, sanded and then layers of gesso were applied, some requiring carving to match in with the original shape.
Crown and robe detail after restoration
This shot shows the crown after the restoration process, complete with all crown sections that had previously snapped off over the years.All the gold leaf on the crown was coated in a reversible glaze to age and blend it in with the rest of the crown.
The final restoration work to the hair involved apllying gilded highlights, using a bespoke brush consisting of only a few hairs to apply the size before gilding with 23ct gold leaf. This was then toned to blend in with the aged look of the surrounding hair.
After carefully filling in any cracks, applying gesso and water polishing to create a completely smooth surface, goauche paint was applied, toned and aged to blend in with the surrounding colour.
A close up shot of the restored robes with all major damage repaired and aged to retain the character of the piece.
After restoration work
After the restoration work, Missing sections of the crown have been replaces, paint has carefully been matched to the original colour and damaged gold areas have been re-gilded.