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Subject: Saddlebag


From: Louise Cant <louise_cant>
Date: Monday, January 27, 2003
The following is posted on behalf of Pauline Stanley, Conservator.

    I would be grateful to hear from conservators or curators who
    have experience of the object described below.

    I am preparing a saddlebag, for exhibition in an Ethnography
    gallery, at Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery, due to be opened
    later this year. The saddlebag is probably of Moroccan origin
    and is made from leather.  The outside of the bag is very plain
    but when opened the flaps of the bag and the individual
    compartments are embroidered with a Moorish style design of
    stars, flower petals and swirls.  There are moon shaped inlaid
    areas of red, blue and yellow velvet along the outer edges of
    the flaps.

    The embroidered areas are worked in a yellow coloured silk
    thread, beneath a dull grey covered slip.  Examination suggests
    that this material is a metal or a wax but tests have failed to
    conclusively confirm its identity.  It is very uniform in the
    linear shape it takes around the yellow thread but is this
    because it is a metal spun around the thread or a wax that has
    settled in the spun thread?  Should the material appear dull
    grey or is it a discoloured wax which originally showed the
    yellow or was it originally a brighter white or yellow metal
    that has corroded to the grey and hidden the thread beneath? If
    you have any suggestions or examples to be referred to it would
    be much appreciated.

Louise Cant
Principal Conservator
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:46
                 Distributed: Friday, January 31, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-16-46-028
Received on Monday, 27 January, 2003

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