Blue John Vase 01

Blue John stone (fluorspar); English; 1775 - 1800; black marble base

A vase with a hollow shaped neck and a black marble base; white/yellow and purple/reddish/blue bands; height 36.2 cm, diameter 14.8 cm; Blue John stone (fluorspar; from Derbyshire); English; 1775 - 1800

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 5 sections in total; the base is fixed to a square black marble base with an iron screw, a bolt and a washer; a black substance was used at the bottom of the base (which is hollowed) to disguise and probably protect the screw and the bolt; Blue John crystals were impregnated with the pine tree resin and the same resin was applied to the surface inside of the vase

Condition: horizontal breakage across the whole vase at the widest point in the body of the vase along an original horizontal joint; minor loss of original crystals; thick dirt layer and dust deposits inside; the layer of resin covering the surface inside of the base is pealing off in places

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 were adhered together; 3) small areas with missing stone were filled; pigments were used to give the fill appropriate colour


Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

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Blue John vase Before Treatment
Blue John vase After Treatment