Armoire cabinet

Holland, end of 17th century
polychrome wood; gilding; gilded brass
h. 106 cm; w. 56 cm; depth 34 cm
no. ATM 1853

Bibl.: Ratković Bukovčan, 2001., pp. 18 and 19; Ratković Bukovčan, 2007.; Ratković-Bukovčan, Bogdanović, Petrinić, Desnica, Šatović, 2015., pp. 5-8, 16-19. Lit.: Kružić Uchytill, 1976., no. MUO 15355; Kružić Uchytill, 1985., pp. 64-76; Baarsen, 2000., p. 11; Payne, Charles (ed.), 1989., p. 35.

The restoration work was conducted in several stages, but before it started the contaminated object was disinsected, and a consolidation of the ground and the painted layer was done (on around 30% of the surface). A large number of parts of the cabinet were disassembled, allowing for restitution and constructive repair of dilapidated parts. Using probes it was discovered that the object had two layers of non-original, darkened varnish, which were removed chemically and mechanically. The old fillers and repaint of poor quality were removed in the same way. The missing parts of the ground were reconstructed using chalk preparation, on which integral repainting was done in the local tone of a black background. The repainting was only applied to the parts of the missing painted layer which were found to be original based on clear data.

Goran Petrinić
senior conservation technichian
at the Mimara Museum

Condition of the cabinet before
conservation and restoration work

Investigations: 1. The original painted layer; 2. The first layer of non-original varnish; 3. The second layer of non-original varnish

Reconstruction of the glue-chalk preparation
and the missing parts of the painted layer

Taking into account the historical integrity of the artefact, the non-aesthetic age-related changes in the original painted layer and varnish were treated to the extent that is consonant with appropriate conservation and presentation of the authentic condition of the object. Old darkened varnish on gilded brass parts was removed using ultrasonic bath treatment. Reconstruction of the missing rosettes and handles were carried out using the authentic material (brass).

Reconstruction of the missing brass handle with a rosette:
A – the original, B – the copy

Reconstruction of the missing parts of the ground using a chalk preparation
Condition of the drawers after the completion of conservation and restoration work

The cabinet after the completion of conservation and restoration work:

Armoire cabinet, ATM 1853