Gilded picture frame with cast compo decoration, 19th century.


This frame had many losses of compo decoration and in some areas an unsightly bronze powder paint was obscuring the gilding. The surfaces were cleaned and all the losses were replaced, gilded and toned to match the original.

Ivory plated bird, part of a day bed, Indian, 19th century.

This ivory bird was missing a number of pieces and many of the existing pieces were warped and coming loose. First the surfaces were cleaned,  then new pieces were cut and cast to fit the losses, and the warped ivory was flattened and re-adhered. 

Shagreen covering for a silver case

Automata conservator Brittany Cox restored the little ship and made this silver case. Abby figured out how to work with shagreen and used it to cover the box. Read more about the project on the West Dean blog: part 1 and part 2 are about the shagreen; part 3 details the work on the automaton. 

Japanned panel from a tavern clock, 18th century.

This panel had losses to the raised and gilded gesso decoration. The losses were replaced.

Dragon Fire Clock,
Chinese, 19th century. 

This lacquer dragon fire clock works by the burning of incense which burns through strings, causing the lead balls to drop into a pewter tray. The stand, tray and balls were missing and the lacquer was flaking and heavily soiled from the smoke. The lacquer was cleaned, consolidated and the missing stand and metalwork were fabricated. 


Distempter painted cornice from a state bed tester, 17th century.

This painted cornice is made to look like crewel work embroidery. It was very dirty and flaking in places. Some areas of braid were also detaching. The matte paint surface was cleaned and consolidated and the lifting braid re-adhered. 

Norfolk House Music Room, V&A British Galleries, 1750s.

Ten years since a major refurbishment of the room, it was showing signs of wear. Flaking paint had to be consolidated and losses filled and colour matched. The gilded and painted surfaces were cleaned.