Conservation of French 18th Century Paper Screen

This was one of my all time favorite projects. It was a six panel screen, that had been hanging in my client's home, in a low lit room , for quite some time. When she decided to move, and wanted to hang it in a much more prominent location, we decided to do the work it needed to really make it sing. You can see the end result above. We had to shorten the screen by two panels, for it to fit in it's new location.

There had been several other rounds of restoration. The most recent had been tear repairs, that were not only quite noticeable, but also poorly done, causing further stress, and tearing. Below you can see some of the areas where bad repairs were removed.

All old repairs were removed, but first each panel had to be carefully taken off the frame, old glue removed, and a new acid free backing applied.

The original lighter background can be seen around the pagoda in the photo below. The darker areas are over-painting that I cleaned off, once the paper was on a stable surface.

I discovered when removing the original backing to the screen, that the panels were painted on billboard notices, dated 1791, advertising flea markets, and house sales. Really cool. Between the front and reverse side panels was a thin deteriorating piece of burlap, the only support for the paper.