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Subject: Tortoise shell

Tortoise shell

From: Berit Moller <beritogbent>
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2002
Mark Vine wrote

On behalf of a European furniture restorer, Mark Vine
<100436.3447 [at] compuserve__com> writes

>What might be used for infill repairs on a table originally layered
>with tortoise shell. ...

A couple of years ago I was made aware of this article:

    Ruth Vuilleumier: Schildpatt--Verarbeitungstechniken und
    Imitationen. Maltechnik-Restauro, nr 85, 1979. p.40-47.

It deals with the historic use of tortoise shell, the preparations
and the materials used for imitation. Some of the these old
materials may still be usable e.g I remember sheets of cow horn
being used. But also modern materials are suitable: 4 years ago I
visited a furniture conservator in Holland who was working on a 17
century chair covered with tortoise shell. Pieces were missing and
he replaced the missing pieces with pieces of a thick acrylic film
that he prepared himself imitating the genuine tortoise shell. What
sort of acrylic he used I don't remember but one could try to
experiment with paraloid which is stable in color and is fairly

The acrylic could maybe be colored  with epoxy color paste from

Berit Moller
Paintings Conservator
Amalienborg Palace

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:64
                 Distributed: Thursday, March 21, 2002
                       Message Id: cdl-15-64-001
Received on Wednesday, 20 March, 2002

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