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Sunday, May 15 • 4:30pm - 5:00pm
(Book and Paper) Treatment of a Terrestrial Cary Globe

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Over a two year period ending in 2013, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) treated a pair of globes made in 1835 by John and William Cary who manufactured globes in London UK in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The globes were constructed from papier mâché and plaster, supported internally at both poles by a wooden pillar. Each globe was suspended within a brass meridian ring with the ring mounted in a wooden floor stand with a horizon ring. This presentation focuses on treatment of the terrestrial globe that sustained damage during a fall from a window. Impact upon landing had forced the central pillar of the globe to move, pushing the sphere out at the North Pole and pulling it in at the South Pole. Extensive cracking, with losses of paper and plaster at both poles, had been repaired prior to the mid 1970’s with a generous application of polyvinyl acetate adhesive. An area of plaster loss, where the papier mâché foundation was indented, had been filled with thick plaster. Some varnish removal had been attempted with unknown solvents, resulting in loss of colour where cleaned and discolouration at each side, below the varnish. Following the mechanical and solvent removal of the discoloured varnish (colophony) and old PVA adhesive, the large plaster fill was removed, allowing for the insertion of a small video camera to inspect the central wooden pillar and the interior surface of the globe. It was decided not to remove the paper gores, but to locally reduce staining and discolouration via poulticing. Conservators tested and used Gellan gum as a controlled means of cleaning specific areas. In order to access and treat the cracks and losses to the plaster sphere, sections of the paper gores were lifted and rolled back. Distortions to the sphere were re-shaped as much as possible at the poles to create space between the sphere and meridian ring so the globe could move freely. Gore fragments were salvaged, treated and re-adhered to the globe. Losses to the paper gores were infilled with toned paper and digitally printed paper, inpainted, and then sized with multiple coats of gelatin. Six varnish resins were tested and the selected varnish of B-72 was applied via sprayer. Finally, reproduction hour dials, made from digital images of those from the celestial globe, were added to the terrestrial globe. The globe was re-assembled with the south point of the meridian ring placed at the North Pole in order to allow the still slightly distorted sphere to fit within it. A brass disc was placed at the base of the recess in the meridian ring that holds the south pivot to keep it as high as possible and create needed space between the globe and meridian ring.

avatar for Joanna P McMann

Joanna P McMann

Assistant Conservator, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre
Joanna McMann is a graduate of the Collections Conservation and Management program at Sir Sandford Fleming College (2005). Joanna has been Conservator at the Archives of Ontario, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives and the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. During her Fellowship... Read More →


Janet Mason

Conservator (retired), Canadian Conservation Institure
Janet Mason is a graduate of the Art Conservation Techniques program at Sir Sandford Fleming College (1980). Her association with CCI began in 1979 as a curriculum intern, then as an intern in CCI’s Mobile Laboratory Program, and in 1983 she became a staff conservator. From 1986... Read More →

Sherry Guild

Senior Conservator (retired), Canadian Conservation Institure
Sherry Guild graduated from the Art Conservation Techniques program at Sir Sandford Fleming College, now Fleming College (Peterborough, Ontario). In 1984, she started at CCI as a conservator in the Works on Paper Laboratory, specializing in the conservation of works of art on paper... Read More →

Sunday May 15, 2016 4:30pm - 5:00pm EDT
Room 210 AB/EF