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Publication Detail
The conservation practices for ceramics of Sir Flinders Petrie and others between 1880-1930
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    O'Grady CR, Odegaard N
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    85, 95
  • Editors:
    Roemich H,Fair L
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Language:
  • Keywords:
    ceramics conservation, conservation history, Petrie, adhesives
Publications by nineteenth-century archaeologists such as Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie provide important insight into the surprisingly vast range of natural products and recipes used in the field and laboratory to preserve excavated ceramics. The materials used by these professionals, who were responsible for developing the field of scientifically-based archaeology, are contrasted with those used in the contemporaneous ‘menders’ trade. A survey of the available literature, dating 1880-1930, demonstrates that a wide selection of adhesives, consolidants, solvents, acids, and tools was recommended for treating ceramics during this period. A summary of recommended materials and methods for the preservation of ceramics—in particular those recovered from archaeological contexts—is presented in illustrated charts. These provide a comprehensive summary of materials that may remain extant on ceramic collections that underwent treatment during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This paper advocates for greater attentiveness on the part of the conservator today when examining older collections and considering the retreatment of ceramics collected during this period, as they may encounter residues of these materials.
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