Ceramic repair case study: broken legs and a lost lamb
There is no greater cause of distress for ceramic collectors when their unique ornaments are damaged and end up in pieces.
This happened very recently for one of our clients whose precious Goldscheider figurine had severely snapped in multiple places.
The figurine is of a young girl with a lamb. It is a very rare and special piece to our client and was created pre-war during the 1930s in Vienna.
In 1885, Friedrich Goldscheider founded the Goldscheider Porcelain Manufactory and Majolica Factory in Vienna, where it became a hugely influential ceramic manufacturer. Over 130 years later and Goldscheider figures are still very much sought after by collectors.
As you can see in the below photograph, the figure of the girl had been snapped entirely at the legs and the lamb’s head had broken off.
Because this is such a special ornament, our client came to us for assistance and our team quickly began the restoration.
Once the ornament and the broken pieces arrived in the studio, they were first cleaned to remove any dirt and contaminants, particularly around the damaged areas. It was important to ensure that the ornaments and the damaged parts were cleaned so that when were rejoined, the finish was as seamless as possible and did not contain any contaminants in the join.
Fortunately, the pieces that had snapped off from the ornament remained intact and did not break further. It would have been a very complex process to complete further intricate repairs on the figure of the girl. Subsequently, this meant that no large pieces of the ornament would need to be remoulded.
The process to re-adhere the broken pieces was very careful and considered.
As you can see on the girl’s left leg, there is a ‘pin’ type protrusion allowing the limb to gain more stability when reattached to the joint.
The weakest parts of many ornaments are at the thinnest point, which was also true of this ornament. The figure was gently reattached back on to the broken points in three places.
Once the repair process was very successful, our conservators then colour matched against the existing pigments and carefully blended the broken areas back in to the main part.
The result is another entirely seamless restoration.
Our client was delighted to have their ornament returned in one piece where it can be safely enjoyed.