Orbis were commissioned to clean and repair a pair of marble busts for the Royal Hospital Museum and Archive.

The busts were looking unloved and had been rather neglected, and one had even acquired a small eco system in the drapery! However once cleaned, their dignified status returned and now they are ready to resume their positions at the museum.

An interesting part of this project was the cleaning and repair of a scagliola (imitation marble) column belonging to one of the busts.

In order to repair the large losses to the plinth as seamlessly as possible, treatment was carried out using traditional scagliola methods and materials, applied over reversible barrier layers.

Using animal glue plaster and lime resistant natural pigments, fills were manufactured, applied and then polished to a high shine. The project provided an interesting and enjoyable opportunity to employ a historical technique we seldom have the occasion to use.

Orbis Conservation