Project: Marischal College, Aberdeen. Type: Conservation.

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The main part of the contract was for supply and fix of over 180 square metres of leaded lights to the North West Tower. However, the Senate and Ante rooms contained some interesting stained glass much in need of conservation.

 

These heraldic shields were set on a background of leaded quarry glazing. It soon became apparent that during World War II the glass had been covered with bitumen and hessian sacking as a preventive measure against blowing in from bomb blasts as the building is near both the harbour and railway station.

 

Although this worked well for that particular purpose, efforts to remove the coating after the war were unsatisfactory with the criss-cross of the hessian still remaining on the stained glass and much residue smeared over the painted surfaces.

 

It was as if they started, caused damege, got worried and abruptly stopped!

 

Once the leaded panels had been removed we carefully detatched the heraldic shields and cleaned them carefully under a microscope using organic solvents to remove the residue and any remains of attached hessian. On almost all there was 98% removal obtained and only one panel that had obviously suffered from the last cleaning has to be satisfied with a lesser result.

 

Old mending leads were removed and cracks edge-bonded. Lost blue enamel was reinstated on backing plates of 1mm glass sealed to the existing in a reversible technique.

 

The main lights were re-installed and the heraldic shields set in bronze frames as local isothermal glazing on the inside of the primary glazing. The isothermal system was specifically designed for this project by Iona Art Glass tailoring conservation needs to aesthic requirements.

 

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