Military dress and boots of a Chinese mandarin: Conservation and the creation of a bespoke mannequin
Helmet & detachable padded hat liner, tunic, skirt, shoulder guards, 3 detachable accessory panels; boots. Figured weave cloth comprising silk and metal wrapped thread embellished with velvet bands, brass nails woven silk tape and decorative metal plates; boots of figured silk and leather. Except for hat, each component very heavy.
Condition before treatment
Mannequin providing inadequate support. Silk element of cloth and velvet, weak.
Client brief/Role of object
Make stable for long term display in gallery.
Documented and photographed at all treatment stages. Surface cleaned using low powered vacuum suction to remove loose particulate soils. Corrosion products removed from nails by mechanical action and with solvents. Splits in cloth and all textile surfaces of boots stitch
supported with semi-transparent patch overlays.
Comprising steel rod, foamed plastic, fabric covered polyester wadding is designed to support the heavy components.
Condition after treatment
The mannequin reduces strain on the shoulder elements assisting in the long term preservation.
Reproduced courtesy of The Wallace Collection and the Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton. Textile Conservation Centre, University of Southampton © 2009.
Kate Gill, TCC Project manager & conservator
Treatment completed June 2006