A BRIEF HISTORY AND REVIEW OF THE EARLY PRACTICE AND MATERIALS OF GAP-FILLING IN THE WEST
An understanding of traditional mending practices and filling materials used may aid in dating the repair of an object, in understanding its historical importance and context, or when warranted, in removing that fill for conservation reasons. Traditional fills of known composition can also serve as indicators of the longevity and appropriateness of a particular material for conservation applications and act as an in situ aging study, either ruling the material out or indicating its present usefulness. It is hoped that the brief discussion of these materials contained in this article will at least alert conservators to the possibility of their presence and lead to positive identification and documentation of these substances in the future. It is also the author's hope that this knowledge will contribute to an increased appreciation of the often elegant solutions of our professional antecedents.