JAIC 2002, Volume 41, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 12)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2002, Volume 41, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 01 to 12)




As previously mentioned, the guidon ground is in a weak physical state overall because of exposure to light. The resultant texture of the guidon silk is powdery. Originally a dark navy blue silk, as evidenced by the color of the reverse, it is now a pale green color on the front. Other colored features such as the front of the sleeve and the double-sided embroidery have also faded.

The incompatibility of the weakened lightweight silk ground and the disproportionately heavy applied ornamentation, such as the metal fringe, the tassels, the grommet, and the double-sided appliqués worked in heavy metallic threads, have caused vertical splits of the ground silk in some adjacent areas (fig. 4). In figure 4, the two black vertical lines immediately adjacent to the honor are deep creases of the ground. Small splits in the surrounding area appear dark because faded silk on the front powdered away, resulting in exposure of navy ribs. The silk ground was previously repaired in numerous areas by hand, using a darning technique with coarse navy silk threads, also evident in the photograph. These extensive repairs disrupt the aesthetic integrity of the whole. The threads used have also faded over time but are darker than the ground. In some areas, these repairs have failed, and further splits have formed adjacent to the original splits.

The guidon has tide lines visible on front and reverse surrounding the battle honors, casting a slight shadow underneath the crests. A gray cast is visible in areas where the metallic elements of the tassels and cord rubbed against the surface of the silk.

Fig. 2. The First Guidon of the Royal Canadian Dragoons, before treatment

Copyright © 2002 American Institution for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works