Longleat: George II table (in the manner of Nicholas Pineau) 556-288-7 from the State Drawing Room treated in 2017

 

An 18th century (1684-1754) carved and water gilded console table, possibly George II in the manner of Nicholas Pineau, with associated Portor marble rectangular top, the frieze carved with Vitruvian scrolls and flower heads and centred by a floret on twin-headed winged caryatid supports entwined with serpents, with shaped platform base.

 

The table was collected from Longleat in January 2017.

 

There was a large lateral stress fracture through the base.  The aprons were missing from the front and both sides.  A later replacement section was partly filling the gap at the front.  Otherwise the table was sound.  There were areas of flaking gesso, and some missing carved elements.  The gold was worn through to the gesso on the platform base.  The entire surface was covered with bronze paint, obscuring the original water gilding.

 

The split through the platform base was stabilised and re-aligned by fitting glue blocks underneath to secure the sections in place.  The original Pineau drawings for the table were found (see the Pictorial Dictionary of British 18th Century Furniture Design, by Elizabeth White) and technical designs were created for the replacement of the missing sections of carving.  These sections were carved in limewood.

 

 

 

 

Loose areas of gesso were initially consolidated with hot rabbit skin glue size, pushing the loose fragments back to the substrate.  The thick bronze paint was removed from the whole surface of the table using dichloromethane.  This revealed much of the surviving original water gilding beneath.  Losses to the gesso, and the split on the base, were filled with gesso putty.  The newly carved sections for the apron were gessoed and recut.  All newly filled and gessoed areas were boled to match the original gilded scheme.  These areas were water gilded with 23½ carat gold leaf and toned to match the best of the surviving original scheme.  The newly carved sections were attached to the table with pins and fish glue.  Areas of excessive wear were gilded and toned to match the surrounding areas.

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Before Conservation

Table before conservation

Pictorial dict of British 18C furniture

The original design found

Missing Acanthus leaf carved

Leg acanathus recarved

Newly carved apron

Apron re-carved

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cleaned and retouched-gildede

Removing bronze paint revealing original surfaceyour image

Newly carved and gilded apron