Ancestral admiration: the restoration of historic Chinese portraits

Guides and Advice, History Of Art, Latest News, Useful articles, Works On Paper

The respect and worship of ancestral heritage has been practiced in China for many centuries, resulting in the creation of portraiture of artistic and familial significance. Dating as far back as the Ming dynasty, these paintings on silk, paper and canvas are so detailed that they can provide historians with vital evidence of lineage, rank… Read more »

Illustrated interiors: the history and restoration of antique wallpaper

Collection Care, Guides and Advice, History Of Art, Latest News, Useful articles, Works On Paper

Whilst old wallpaper might be a reason for many to renovate a room, older properties often have valuable and unique designs that benefit from professional conservation. If it is not already on display, antique wallpaper is often uncovered during an interior restoration. As tastes have changed, decorative elements are often hidden by new owners, who… Read more »

Shin-hanga: restoring woodblock prints of the early 20th century

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Whilst ukiyo-e flourished for centuries in a commercial Japanese market, the opening of world trade at the turn of the 20th century saw new audiences for traditional prints – a westernised movement that would become known as shin-hanga.  Above: shin-hanga prints by Komori Soseki, Ito Sozan, Yoshikawa-Kenjiro Kanpô, Hiroshi Yoshida, Yamakawa Shuho, Ohara Koson and… Read more »

Preserving posters: conservation lining options

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Both historic and contemporary posters may require conservation treatments to ensure their stability and safe preservation. Paper is a notoriously fragile material that can be damaged in numerous ways, from mould growth to brittle deterioration. One of the most frequently requested and required conservation treatments is the professional lining of posters, strengthening and protecting them… Read more »

Electronic preservation: digital restoration of important photographs

Digital Restoration, Guides and Advice, Latest News, Photography, Useful articles, Works On Paper

Photographs can be vitally important as both personal and historical artefacts, capturing the faces of loved ones and ancestors as well as famous figures and significant events over the course of the 20th century. However, this modern medium does not always face the test of time well and may encounter devastating damage that cannot always… Read more »

Fascinating flora: botanical illustration care & restoration

Guides and Advice, Latest News, Useful articles, Watercolour, Works On Paper

Botanical illustrations recording natural history are a popular and important art form, with original plates and reprints of historic watercolours used for both scientific and decorative purposes. These works on paper can often be fragile due to their medium and age, requiring specific atmospheric conditions, specialist framing and professional conservation treatments to ensure their longevity. … Read more »

Mesmerising mezzotints: the restoration & safe display of antique prints

Guides and Advice, History Of Art, Latest News, Specialist Items, Useful articles, Works On Paper

Monochrome engravings, etchings, mezzotints and aquatints require specialist care and attention due to their high value and historic significance. With some antique engravings dating as far back as the 15th century, these delicate works on paper may have been stored and displayed in a variety of challenging environmental conditions. Now hundreds of years old, they… Read more »

Banksy on paper: protecting contemporary prints

Artists, Contemporary Art, Guides and Advice, Latest News, Murals & Street Art, Specialist Items, Useful articles, Works On Paper

For the last decade, the renowned yet mysterious street artist Banksy has continued to grow in popularity. And whilst his influential murals are central to his artform, their location and complexity in ownership make them hard for a collector to obtain. Therefore, the market for Banksy prints is stronger than ever, with numbered pieces often… Read more »

Cinema memorabilia rescue: how to save damaged posters and lobby cards

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Movie memorabilia is an appealing area for many collectors, whether this is through connections to nostalgia or famous franchises, or the ever-rising monetary value or rare items. When collectibles are met with damage through natural or accidental means, it can be devastating and some may be more vulnerable to deterioration than others. Works on paper,… Read more »

Japanese woodblock conservation: specialist methods for distinctive prints

Artists, History Of Art, Latest News, Specialist Items, Works On Paper

Japanese woodblock prints are highly collectable, they are prized for their unique and appealing style, as well as their long history which dates back over a thousand years. When traditional woodblock prints, also known as mokuhanga, face damage or deterioration, they require a specialist conservator who is experienced in this area. Above: a detail from… Read more »

Photography restoration: protecting and reviving moments from the past

Guides and Advice, History Of Art, Latest News, Specialist Items, Useful articles, Works On Paper

Photographs can have value both as important family pieces and valuable artworks. Although today we have great emphasis on the ability to digitally copy and reproduce what was once physical media, the material significance of a photographic print may still require treatment from a professional conservator.  There is often a debate over whether the physical… Read more »

The history and restoration of Chinese panel art

Case Studies, Guides and Advice, History Of Art, Latest News, Specialist Items, Useful articles, Works On Paper

Our paper conservator recently restored a pair of Chinese panels. The illustrations featured a busy scene of everyday life at a grand house and the countryside beyond. This article will share the rich history of these beautiful works on paper as well as exploring their delicate restoration process. What is Chinese panel art? The history… Read more »