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Subject: Tortoise shell

Tortoise shell

From: Ulisses L. Mello <ulissesmello>
Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2006
We received a small jewelry box with broken and warped tortoise
shell lid. Also, there is a missing part in the center of the lid
which will be completed with stained resins. The warpage is still to
be flattened and we plan to use heat, high humidity combined with
pressure in a confined environment. Some tests were carried out
using some spares pieces of real tortoiseshell under the above
mentioned modified environment with success.

In order to deal with the material memory, clamping was necessary to
keep it flat until it was completely dry. The parameters were: 10
minutes at 70 deg. C and 90 Kgf/cm2.

We would be pleased to hear about other experiences, so that we can
choose the less aggressive method.

Also someone qualified to comment about the risks of reactions over
the keratin and its potential degrees of hydrolysis would be very

Ulisses Mello - Dip.,PG
Objects Conservator
Ulisses Mello Restorations Ltd.
Rua das Laranjeiras, 390 casa 11
Rio de Janeiro - Brazil 22240-000
+55 21 25587749

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:54
                    Distributed: Friday, May 5, 2006
                       Message Id: cdl-19-54-018
Received on Tuesday, 2 May, 2006

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