Lascaux and its application in the restoration of taxidermy and entomology collections

Bethany Palumbo


Materials historically used in the restoration of natural history collections have not always demonstrated good reversibility or long-term chemical stability. However, with the increasing influence of the wider field of art and artifact conservation, there is currently a movement among professionals who work with natural history collections to embrace materials that are consistent with its standards.

One such product is ‘Lascaux 498-20X’, an acrylic adhesive that is commonly used in textile and painting conservation. The aim of this paper is to supplement our knowledge of these existing usages with a selection of recent case studies describing the use of Lascaux on taxidermy and entomology collections. These examples demonstrate the use of Lascaux 498-20X as an adhesive, a consolidant, and a loss compensation material. Applied with Japanese tissue, either in multiple layers or mixed into a paste, it provides a strong yet flexible base for a variety of applications. It can be used in repairing torn or broken skin, and rebuilding areas of loss as a fill material. If mixed with pigments, Lascaux provides a realistic fleshy appearance in the restoration of fish fins and tissue. Diverse in its applications and easily removed with acetone or toluene if required, Lascaux shows much promise as a standard adhesive in the conservation of natural history collections.

2021 | Virtual | Volume 28