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Subject: Ceramic funerary wreath

Ceramic funerary wreath

From: Will Murray <w.murray.smc>
Date: Thursday, June 26, 2003
I have been asked to provide an estimate for the conservation of a
ceramic funerary wreath. These objects are sometimes called
"immortelles". The wreath in question dates from 1906 and sat on a
grave in a churchyard in Perthshire, Scotland, until very recently.

The wreath sits in a zinc tray, and is protected from the weather by
a glass dome. The wreath has a base layer of zinc leaves which are
surmounted by bouquets of roses, lilies and other flowers. The
flowers are made of unglazed porcelain supported on fabric-wrapped
galvanised steel wire, similar if not identical to modern florists'
wire.  The whole thing is about 50cm in diameter and 30cm high.

All parts of the wreath are now broken and/or deteriorated, but this
is not my main problem, as the various options for conservation are
straightforward, if time-consuming. What I have found difficult to
access is any information about the manufacture, sale and use of
these wreaths, especially in the UK in the late 19th century,
despite inquiries to a number of social history and specialist
ceramics curators.

Any information, or pointers to sources of information, about this
type of ceramic wreath would be gratefully received.

Will Murray
Conservation Officer: Artefacts
Scottish Museums Council
Conservation and Collections Care Service
c/o Royal Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF
UK


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:6
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 26, 2003
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Received on Thursday, 26 June, 2003

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