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Subject: Bloom on lead

Bloom on lead

From: Linda S. Roundhill <artsconservation<-a>
Date: Friday, February 18, 2005
Maria Saffiotti Dale <msaffiottidale [at] lvm__wisc__edu> writes

>I am seeking information on the recommended treatment, routine
>maintenance, and optimal display of a lead sculpture (Raymond
>Duchamp-Villon, "Le Cheval", 1914, cast 1950s; ex-Morton Neumann
>Family collection) which regularly "blooms." We have been
>maintaining it in-house by gently reducing the white oxide layer
>with very fine #0000 synthetic pads followed by the application of a
>coat of Renaissance wax.

I am not sure the integrity of the surface has been preserved if the
corrosion has advanced so far and if abrasive methods have been
used, but an experienced conservator should be able to determine
this.  The wooden case and other materials inside it may be
responsible for the white bloom (due to evolution of organic acids
that lead is very sensitive to).  Furthermore, the wax coating may
be enhancing localized corrosion and could complicate any future
treatments.  I suggest that the object be removed from the case and
provided with a dry, clean-air environment if possible until a
trained conservator can asses it and provide a treatment plan.  If
there is no budget for this, fund-raising or grant monies might be
obtained to cover treatment and the construction of a safe case with
a suitable microclimate.

Linda S. Roundhill
Art and Antiquities Conservation
18121 157th Ave NE
Woodinville WA 98072

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:40
                 Distributed: Monday, February 28, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-40-005
Received on Friday, 18 February, 2005

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