Polychrome Coffin Lid

Polychrome wood; Egypt; 500 BC; Myers Eton College Collection of Egyptian Antiquities

A top section of an Egyptian coffin lid from the Myers Eton College Collection of Egyptian Antiquities at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts; treated for an exhibition called: Sacred and Profane: Treasures of Ancient Egypt; wood, gilding & polychromy; Egypt; 500 BC

Condition: areas of fragile or delaminating polychromy (mainly along the cracks, including the nose, cheek; proper right cheek, especially in the area of a previous restoration); areas of missing polychromy; discolouration in some areas; blanching of the top surface layer in some areas; structurally sound

Treatment: 1) Areas with fragile polychromy were consolidated.  Several applications were needed in areas such as the proper right cheek.  Lascaux Medium for Consolidation was used and applied with a micro-syringe.  The areas needing consolidation were saturated with White Spirit in order to allow deeper penetration of the consolidant; 2) Some sections with missing polychromy were filled with Flugger Acrylic Putty and consequently modelled to match the surrounding surface; 3) Newly filled sections as well as other sections (where the white gesso layer was exposed) were in-painted with pigments mixed with Methyl Cellulose (MC) / water. MC was also used as a barrier layer to make the in-painting reversible


Barber Institute of Fine Arts

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Polychrome Coffin Lid Before Treatment
Polychrome Coffin Lid After Treatment