Conservation of a fragment of 14th century illuminated French bible – University of Copenhagen

CC18 > Programme > Friday morning 15 April - Session B > Conservation of a frag...

Justyna Król, Weronika Liszewska, Władysław Sobucki: Conservation of a fragment of a 14th-century illuminated French Bible: Tests of protein consolidants for the flaking lead pigments.

The conservation treatment of a fragment of a 14th-century illuminated French Bible, which will be discussed here, was carried out for a master's thesis in the Faculty of Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art in the Academy of Fine arts in Warsaw, Poland.

The manuscript fragment is in a small "pocket-size" format, and was written on 21 folios of extremely thin vellum and arranged into a quire. The decoration consists of twelve inhabited initials and red and blue pen-flourish initials the extensions of which ornate the margins of the pages. The paint layer was examined with the use of LIBS and Raman spectroscopy. The inhabited initials show signs of deterioration which includes cracking and flaking, as well as colour changes in the parts painted with lead pigments.

An attempt to choose a consolidant for the paint layer was a part of the conservation project. The choice was narrowed down to protein consolidants, due to their sufficient adhesive capacity. A study of optical changes during the artificial ageing of lead white samples consolidated with protainaceous glues was conducted to pick the most suitable consolidant.

This paper presents the course and the conclusion of the research, as well as the problems of the conservation treatment of illuminated folios.