MoMu conserves: gentlemen's round-neck waistcoat, 1750 - 1770
MoMu is reopening its doors in September 2021. Although the museum building is closed for renovations, we still inspire at other locations with our museum collection. Following thorough conservation, an 18th-century gentlemen's waistcoat from our collection is travelling to DIVA Museum. Discover how this waistcoat was refreshed and prepared for exhibition.
STATE OF THE OBJECT
This item was conserved for the ‘Masterpieces in Miniature’ exhibition at DIVA. The waistcoat was in poor condition; the silver threads of the fabric were loose in several places. The side panels of the waistcoat were originally finished with a pink silk twill fabric, which was completely missing from the right-hand side of the waistcoat. It was not possible to pose the waistcoat on a bust in this state, because of the missing piece. If being mounted on a bust, the fabric would fall open without some added stability. What was clearly visible in the remaining fragment in the right-hand side of the fabric was the very bright pink colour that the fabric originally had. The remaining fabric on the left-hand side of the waistcoat is extremely discoloured and no longer as bright as it once was.
The missing right-hand side of the waistcoat was completed with a strip of silk in twill, which was dyed to match the same faded colour on the other side of the waistcoat. The decision to dye this piece of fabric stemmed from the fact that, had it still been present, would probably have been faded as well.
The silver threads were reattached 1 by 1 with couching stitches and silk thread. Resulting in a refreshed looking waistcoat, ready to be shown to the public again. Without this intervention, it could never have been included in the exhibition.