Blue John Vase 02

Blue John stone (fluorspar); English; early 18th century; black marble stepped base

A vase with a hollow shaped neck and scroll side handles of empire form; a circular stemmed foot on stepped base; white/yellow and purple/reddish/blue bands; height 40 cm, diameter 17.2 cm; Blue John stone (fluorspar; from Derbyshire); English; early 18th century
Construction: the body is made of wide round bands of Blue John joint together with a resin (FTIR tests revealed that it might be a pine tree resin); there are 6 sections in total; the vase slots into a square black marble base with the help of a metal dowel at the bottom of the vase; Blue John crystals were impregnated with the pine tree resin and the same resin was applied to the surface inside of the vase
Condition: broken into many pieces; old restorations (in several areas) are visible (e.g. a white powdery fill on the upper rim, joins and iron rivets on the handle); the stem of the vase is broken but not detached; the base is in a good condition; the surface is very dirty and dusty inside; some surface dirt in the crevices on the outside side
Treatment: 1) All pieces were swabbed with Acetone to remove the dry resin (a great care was taken not to loose more Blue John crystals from the fragments); 2) Sections of the fragments were assembled and adhered together; 3) Areas with missing stone were filled; pigments were used to give the fill appropriate colour


Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery collection

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Blue John vase Before Treatment
Blue John vase After Treatment