Friday, 7 December 2012

Roundhouse Objects Conservation - Dec. 4, 2012

December 7, 2012

Glass, and Ceramics Cleaning......continued

Butter dishes with maker's marks
I continued the cleaning process on mixed objects of different materials this week.  The ceramics consisted of 5 butter dishes which just needed wiping with a soft cloth and Orvus soap mixed with distilled water followed by rinsing with distilled water and a different soft cloth.  The photograph to the right shows all five dishes displaying the makers marks. These objects are in relatively good shape but with some red, rust like staining patches and a few scratches.  The rust patches are clearly visible on the dish in the lower left of the photograph.  The flip side of these dishes have no markings.  Although they appear to be very simple and of little importance, they, in fact, give us a glimpse into the purchasing practices of the railway at the time and into the manufacturer.   All show that they were made in England and two show that they were supplied by Nerlich & Co. This is an import company founded in 1858 in Toronto by a German immigrant to Canada.  My research shows that they imported goods from Germany originally but expanded to include goods from England after 1908 and wholesaling throughout the maritimes and most of Canada after 1891.  We can see several different makers marks with four showing the company name "Grindley England",  "W.H.Grindley & Co" and "Grindley Hotel Ware" while one other simply says "Made in England".  These different marks represent different batches very likely purchased at different times. W.H. Grindley & Co (Ltd) was established in 1880 at Tunstall in Stoke-on-Trent England and remained in business until 1991 when they went into receivership and were bought out by Woodlands Pottery.

Bottle main body with crack
Bottle top with material deposit

Bottle interior material removed
I cleaned a large brown bottle which had some material deposited inside.  The first photograph above shows the main body of the bottle with a large crack in the middle before it was cleaned.  The second photograph above shows the top of the bottle before it was cleaned with material deposited along the neck and top of the main body.  The photograph to the right shows the material removed.  Again, I carefully removed whatever would come loose inside by using a shish-kabob stick and Q-tips attached to the end of it.  I then rinsed the inside and out with Orvus soap and distilled water followed by rinsing with distilled water.  I used several Q-tips to wipe off any leftover material from the inside.  The outside was wiped with the soap mixture and a soft cloth and then rinsed with distilled water and a different cloth.  I decided to keep the material removed in a separate, sealed container because it appears to have some material that may give a clue to what it originally contained. By keeping this material it would be possible to do testing to determine what it is at a later date if needed.  There are no makers marks or copyright marks of any kind on this bottle.  It is likely that it held alcohol of some kind, possibly wine.

Conservation Tip:  Material cleaned (removed) from an object should be stored in a sealed container made of inert material such as glass to preserve the contents in as original condition as possible.  In the example above I used a glass container with a glass top and a rubber washer to hold the glass stopper in place.  The rubber washer is not exposed to the material inside.  It was purchased at a local dollar store and cleaned with the soap mixture, rinsed with distilled water, and dried before use.

No comments:

Post a Comment