AIC 43rd Annual Meeting- Book and Paper Group-Case Study: A Practical Approach to the Conservation & Restoration of a Pair of Large Diameter English Globes (Lorraine Bigrigg & Deborah LaCamera)

This talk presented the multi-disciplinary treatment involved in conserving two English globes- one celestial, one terrestrial. Overall it took 1400 studio hours! That is no typo! Deborah has kindly forwarded some screenshots of the powerpoint that you will find below.
1. Title slide
The globes were made between 1845-51 by Malby & Co ( jump to “Malby”) and they were acquired in 1851 by the University of Deseret, the university founded by the Church of Later Day Saints, now University of Utah.
The structure of these globes goes back to the early 16th century. Globes are essentially 2 hemispheres molded over a form and joined at the equator with an adhesive. The globe is then covered with plaster and paper gores (a gore is the name for the printed sections of paper that contain the informational content of the globe) and the entirety is burnished and varnished.
The Malby globes of the University of Utah were in poor condition, with cracks and losses and discolored varnish. The speakers considered the options for treatment of the two globes and decided they needed to treat them differently, since the terrestrial globe was so damaged that all of the gores needed to be removed and the hemispheres realigned, while the celestial globe had only small areas of damage so it did not need to be completely disassembled.

2. Terrestrial Sphere Condition
Terrestrial Sphere Condition

3. Celestial Sphere Condition
Celestial Sphere Condition

The treatment involved removing the varnish, removing the paper gores with a hand-held steamer, realigning the terrestrial globe’s hemispheres, cleaning the gores, mending, filling losses, reattaching the gores, burnishing, then varnishing.
Gore Removal
Gore Removal

Filling Holes
Filling Holes

Where there were¬†areas of loss to the information on the gores, the TKM studio found gore reference sheets from Malby at the Royal Geographic Society in London. These were copied and then printed using pigmented ink-jet printer for the celestial globe. Gores from another globe, also at the RGS in London, were used as a reference for the terrestrial globe replacement gores. The reproductions were inserted as fills in the specific areas of loss in the cartography. Since this treatment, carried out in 2007, new techniques have become available, and the TKM studio has been using Pronto plates ( ) for the past year or so. These plates use traditional printer’s ink, which is light, solvent, and heat stable.
The filled gores were registered and reattached to the hemispheres using a wheat starch paste-methyl cellulose mix.
Remounting Gores
Remounting Gores

After mounting the gores, the globes were burnished, then sized with 3% gelatin mixture. After in-painting, the globes were varnished with Dammar containing Tinuvin. The authors stressed that the entire project was multi-disciplinary as the stand was repaired and the metalwork was cast and engraved to form the completed object.
The treatment is published in the most recent Journal of the Institute for Conservation, volume 38 no.1 2015