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Subject: Woven papyrus sandals

Woven papyrus sandals

From: Jack C. Thompson <tcl>
Date: Friday, August 11, 2000
Teresa K. Moreno <t.k.moreno [at] durham__ac__uk> writes

>I am looking for suggestions on how to go about cleaning and
>consolidating woven papyrus sandals....
>The sandals are eventually going to go on display, and because of
>this they will need to be consolidated.  I am planning on running
>tests with various consolidants including cellulose ether, Mowilith
>DMC2 (PVA emulsion), PEG 1000, and PEG 1500.  Are there any
>suggestions regarding these or other consolidants?

While I have not worked with sandals, I have worked with
papyrus fragments over the past 25 years, mostly cartonnage.

Some years ago a collection of fragmentary Sumerian cartonnage came
to me and after separating the pieces which were willing to be
separated using mechanical, dry methods, there was a clot of
resistant cartonnage.

Extending a leaf from Plenderleith & Werner's The Conservation of
Antiquities and Works of Art I immersed the clot in a bath of
distilled water.

To my pleasant surprise, neither the writing nor the papyrus
dissolved in the bath; the clay/plaster did dissolve and left a
faint haze.

In the end I was able to divide the clot into its constituent parts
without undue loss of material and the resultant fragments were less
friable than before due, no doubt, to the uptake of moisture.

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
Portland, Oregon
503-735-3942 (Voice/Fax)

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:13
                  Distributed: Monday, August 14, 2000
                       Message Id: cdl-14-13-004
Received on Friday, 11 August, 2000

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