Ancient Artifax Restoration

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Breaks and Replacements

Repair to breaks and replacement of losses are among the most common forms of repair. Pieces found broken or broken during excavation sometimes have "field repairs" and need professional rework. Many broken items will have shards or pieces missing and may need some degree of replacement work. Also, old, crudely executed restorations often need to be redone.


Jalisco Crouching Figure — Very large Jalisco (Ameca style) crouching figure. The broken arm and hand were reattached and the breaks restored. Previous repairs were stabilized and redone as needed.
Jalisco, Ameca Crouching Figure - Before
Before
Jalisco, Ameca Crouching Figure - After
After


Nopiloa Figure — Lovely Vera Cruz Nopiloa whistle figure with headdress losses and missing whistle. The losses were replaced and the whistle mechanism was recreated and returned to working order.
Vera Cruz Nopiloa Whistle Figure - Before
Before
Vera Cruz Nopiloa Whistle Figure - After
After


Mimbres Bowl — Large Mimbres black on white painted bowl with multiple breaks and moderate losses. Several misaligned breaks were reset, missing areas recreated and the breaks were restored. Paint was touched up as needed.
Large Mimbres Pottery Bowl - Before
Before
Large Mimbres Pottery Bowl  - After
After


Nazca Portrait Vessel — Nazca portrait kero wearing a headwrap decorated with rodents. Assembled from original pieces, the breaks were restored, minor losses were replaced and the paint touched up as needed. Also, the vessel was round-bottomed and would not sit upright on its own. A simple custom tripod stand was created for added stability.
Nazca Portrait Kero Vessel - Before
Before
Nazca Portrait Kero Vessel  - After
After


Jaina Whistle Figure — A rare Jaina figure with a whistle incorporated into the back. Broken and badly glued, detached feet and headdress losses. The old glue was removed, the feet were reattached, breaks repaired and the headdress restored along with other minor losses. These figures who wear the large knotted rope chest emblems are described in Linda Schele's book, "Hidden Faces of the Maya" as being officers of the court. Likely military elite, they are typically shown wearing tall "drum-major" style headdresses, waist-length capes and sandals known as "exob".

Note: I would like to thank Gerald Alderman for his help in researching this figure. His expertise in Maya art and iconography were vital to the accuracy of this restoration project.
Jaina Warrior Whistle Figure - Before
Before
Jaina Warrior Whistle Figure - After
After


Moche Lobster Vessel — An unusual Moche Phase II stirrup vessel depicting a lobster. The claws and one leg were broken. The pieces were reassembled and the breaks were restored. Also, the vessel was uneven on the bottom and tilted forward precariously. A custom stand was created to safely display the artifact and prevent it from tipping forward.
Moche Lobster Stirrup Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Lobster Stirrup Vessel  - After
After


Tang Figures — Pair of white-glazed ceramic Tang Dynasty figures. Both with old and new breaks and areas of previous restoration. Also, both figures had been permanently attached to wooden and metal bases. The figures were removed from the bases, the pieces were assembled and the breaks were restored. Old, poorly executed restoration was redone as needed.
Chinese Tang Dynasty Figures - Before
Before
Chinese Tang Dynasty Figures  - After
After


Vera Cruz Figure — Large and very ornate Vera Cruz female figure. The arms were missing along with losses to the headdress and other regalia. The losses were restored as needed. This exceptional artifact is from a private collection. Photos are being shown with the consent of the client.
Vera Cruz Figure- Before
Before
Vera Cruz Figure Bowl - After
After


Cocle Pedestal Bowl — Very large Panamanian Cocle pedestal bowl. Once broken into approximately 25 pieces and badly assembled; there were extensive poorly executed repairs. This project required a vast amount of rework, surface contouring and paint touch ups.
Panamanian Cocle Pedestal Bowl- Before
Before
Panamanian Cocle Pedestal Bowl - After
After


Moche Figural Vessel — The stirrup handle was broken in several places. The pieces were assembled and breaks were restored.
Moche Diseased Person Stirrup Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Diseased Person Stirrup Vessel - After
After


Moche Stirrup Vessel — Beautifully painted and finely sculpted Moche figural vessel. The head was broken and the stirrup handle badly shattered. The pieces were assembled and the breaks were restored as needed.
Moche Stirrup Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Stirrup Vessel - After
After


Tairona Vessel — Large Tairona human effigy vessel. Broken into several large and numerous smaller pieces. The vessel was assembled, minor losses replaced and the breaks were restored inside and out.
Tairona Effigy Vessel - Before
Before
Tairona Effigy Vessel - After
After


Nazca Vessel — An exceptional Nazca polychrome stirrup vessel depicting four distinctly different faces separated by two serpents. Badly broken and assembled from numerous original pieces. The breaks were restored, minor losses were replaced and the paint touched up as needed.
Nazca Stirrup Vessel - Before
Before
Nazca Stirrup - After
After


Nazca Beaker — Broken Nazca beaker with minor exterior paint loss. The pieces were assembled, the breaks restored and the paint was lightly enhnaced.
Nazca Cylinder (beaker) - Before
Before
Nazca Cylinder (beaker) - After
After


Maya "Scribe" Plate — Large Maya tripod plate depicting a scribe. There were multiple breaks and surface losses. The plate was disassembled and the pieces properly aligned. The breaks were restored and the painted design was touched up as needed.
This piece is from a private collection. Photos are being shown with the consent of the client.
Maya Scribe Plate - Before
Before
Maya Scribe Plate - After
After


Chimu Cactus Vessel — Unusual Chimu vessel in the form of a stylized San Pedro Cactus. The handle and spout were detached and there were breaks around the base. After assembly, the breaks were restored and the vessel was lightly cleaned.
Chimu Cactus Vessel - Before
Before
Chimu Cactus Vessel - After
After


Vera Cruz Figure — Extremely large Vera Cruz "Coast Watcher" figure. Missing one arm, legs and broken across the head. Being very dirty, the figure was lightly cleaned, the losses were replaced and the break was restored.
Coast Wacher Figure - Before
Before
Coast Watcher Figure - After
After


Chupicuaro Figure — Unusually large Chupicuaro "pretty lady". Badly broken with significant losses, but a nicely detailed example and worthy of restoration. The breaks were repaired and the losses were replaced as needed.
Chupicauro Figure - Before
Before
Chupicauro Figure - After
After


Teotihuacan Miniature — Very small Teotihuacan seated figure. The bowl was detached and one leg was missing. The leg was recreated and the bowl was repositioned.
Teotihuacan Figure - Before
Before
Teotihuacan Figure - After
After


Costa Rican Tripod — Very large rattle vessel from Costa Rica's Central Highlands, Atlantic Watershed Zone. The broken legs were reattached and the missing rattle balls were replaced. The cracks were repaired. Also rim and body losses were replaced as needed.
Costa Rican Tripod - Before
Before
Costa Rican Tripod - After
After


Colima Figure — Rare seated Colima figure. One leg was missing and the head had been badly reattached. The missing leg was replaced. The neck break was properly restored and the smears of excess glue were removed. Also, the chipped nose was repaired.
Colima - Before
Before
Colima - After
After


Tumaco Figure — Very large Tumaco standing female figure. There were glued breaks and losses. Luckily, the previous owner had an old photo showing the piece prior to the arms being broken and lost. The reference photo allowed for accurate reconstruction of the missing arms.
Tumaco - Before
Before
Tumaco - After
After


Jamacoaque Figure — Large and highly adorned Jamacoaque shaman figure. The breaks were repaired and losses replaced as needed.
Jamacoaque Warrior - Before
Before
Jamacoaque Warrior - After
After


Marajoara Plate — Extremely rare Marajoara pottery plate from the Brazilian Amazon. The plate had been partially repaired, but never properly restored. Being very finely incised with complex geometric designs, the plate required extensive work.
Marajoara Plate - Before
Before
Marajoara Plate - After
After


Nazca Bowl — Flared Nazca bowl with major losses. A large section of the bowl (approx. 30 percent) was missing. That area was reconstructed and the painted design was added; accurately duplicating the (dart-bodied) AMB design from the opposing side.
Nazca Bowl - Before
Before
Nazca Bowl - After
After


Narino Bowl — Footed Narino bowl from Columbia. It was very badly broken, pieces were missing and it had areas of poorly matched over-painting. The breaks were restored, the losses replaced and mismatched surface color was corrected.
Narino Bowl - Before
Before
Narino Bowl - After
After


Teotihuacan Figure — Quite small, but very detailed Teotihuacan figure depicting the "Old God". There were numerous glued breaks and one foot was missing. The excess glue was carefully removed, the breaks restored and the losses replaced along with minor paint enhancements.
Teotihuacan Figure - Before
Before
Teotihuacan Figure - After
After


Nazca Globular Vessel — This Nazca vessel was almost beyond help. It was highly eroded, badly broken and had been poorly repaired. Very little paint remained, but there was just enough to accurately recreate the original design. The painted decoration is an example of the rarely seen "Nazca Eyes" design. The Nazca eyes motif is an abbreviated abstract trophy-head design, seen only for a short time during Phase V.
Nazca Vessel - Before
Before
Nazca Vessel - After
After


Teotihuacan Rattle Figure — A highly detailed Teotihuacan seated dignitary with elaborate ornamentation. The figure had been broken and there were several areas of loss. The breaks were restored and the losses replaced as needed.
Teotihuacan Figure - Before
Before
Teotihuacan Figure - After
After


Teotihuacan Figure — Beautifully sculpted terracotta Teotihuacan seated female figure. It had been broken and was missing one hand and one foot. The breaks were restored and the losses replaced.
Teotihuacan Figure - Before
Before
Teotihuacan Figure - After
After


Cocle Pedestal Plate — Very large Panamanian pedestal plate (fruitero). The rim of the base had been broken in several places and a portion was missing. The previously restored breaks were redone and the missing piece was replaced. Also, the interior painted design was slightly worn. Minor paint touch ups strengthened and ehnanced the complex design pattern.
Fruitero - Before
Before
Fruitero - After
After


Moche "Ai Apaec" Vessel — Moche vessel with Ai Apaec carved scenes. The spout and base had losses and one handle was missing. The losses were replaced as needed.
Moche Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Vessel - After
After


Song Dynasty Tea Set — Rare, complete Song (Sung) Dynasty celadon glazed tea set. Comprised of one large cup, six smaller cups and serving platter. The cups had been glued to the plate and two were broken. The glue was dissolved, the cups detached and the damaged cups were restored. The set was also very dirty and was carefully cleaned.
Song Tea Set - Before
Before
Sond Tea Set - After
After


Tang Dynasty Plate — A very rare pink terracotta Tang Dynasty plate with Sancai glazed rim. The plate had been badly repaired; it had considerable rim damage, minor rim losses and was quite dirty. It was cleaned of excess glue and dirt. The rim damage and breaks were repaired and the glaze replaced as needed.
Tang Plate - Before
Before
Tang Plate - After
After


Tumaco Figure — Very rare Tumaco - La Tolita whiteware seated elder from Columbia with losses and eroded areas. Both feet, one arm, one hand and the top portion of the headdress were replaced. Two holes were also repaired. The restored areas were matched to the existing light colored, sand tempered clay.
Tumaco Figure - Before
Before
Tumaco Figure - After
After


Mixtec Tripod Bowl — This beautiful Mixtec tripod rattle bowl had been broken into a half-dozen pieces and very poorly restored. It was disassembled and all previous restoration was removed. It was then reassembled with the shards properly aligned and the two missing rim pieces were replaced. Paint was lightly touched-up.
Mixtec Bowl - Before
Before
MIxtec Bowl - After
After


Nazca "Condor" Bowl — This rare (interior painted) Nazca bowl had been badly broken in a shipping mishap. The shards were carefully assembled and the cracks restored. Paint was touched-up as needed.
Nazca Bowl - Before
Before
Nazca Bowl - After
After


Tiwanaku Kero —This Tiahuanacan kero from Bolivia had been broken into approx 10 pieces and had heavy deposits which were obscuring the rich colors and detailed painted design. The calcium deposits were disolved and cleaned off, the breaks were restored and the paint touched-up as needed.
Bolivian Kero - Before
Before
Bolivian Kero - After
After


Chimu Llama Vessel — Unusual Chimu stirrup vessel depicting conjoined llama heads, broken in two pieces. The pieces were assembled along clean breaks. Only minor restoration was required.
Chimu Llamas Vessel - Before
Before
Chimu Llamas Vessel - After
After


Aztec Turtle Pipe — Buff terra-cotta incised pipe in the form of a turtle. It was missing its head and several appendages as well as the rim of the bowl. The missing areas were replaced and the color matched.
Aztec Pipe - Before
Before
Aztec Pipe - After
After


Tang Dynasty Horse — This large Tang horse needed several problems addressed. It had been poorly restored and had elements missing, the head was broken in shipping, and the left side of the face had been restored but lacked detail. The previous attempt at restoring the old breaks needed to be corrected. The head and neck breaks were repaired. The face details were added and the ears made slightly larger. Also, the slotted elements (mane & tail) were missing. The slot down the back of the neck was present, but the tail slot had been plastered over & needed to be reopened. The missing mane & tail elements were recreated to compliment the style and period of this horse. Also, the integral base was not level, causing the horse to be unstable when displayed. A custom stand was created to provide stability. Note: This beautiful item is from a private collection in Texas. Photos used with the consent of the client.
Tang Horse - Before
Before
Tang Horse - After
After


Puerco Bowl — Large Anasazi "Puerco" black on red painted bowl. The bowl had been broken and glued together from six large pieces. The cracks were filled as necessary and the missing area, approx. 20%-25% was replaced and painted to match. There were two ancient rim cracks that had been drilled in order to "restore" the cracks in ancient times. The ancient drill holes and the cracks associated with them were left unrestored.
Anasazi Bowl - Before
Before
Anasazi Bowl - After
After


Anasazi Bowl — Very large Anasazi "Wingate" black on red geometric painted bowl. This bowl had been quite poorly repaired. It required disassembly and removal of all previous restoratation. The bowl was then reassembled and cleaned, the cracks were filled as necessary and the missing areas (approx. 35% - 40%) were replaced.
Anasazi Bowl - Before
Before
Anasazi Bowl - After
After


Quimbaya Figure — Large redware Quimbaya figure reassembled from original pieces with restoration over the break-lines and minor replacement of losses.
Quimbaya Figure - Before
Before
Quimbaya Figure - After
After


Moche Warrior Vessel — This small Moche piece was badly shattered and required reassembly and restoration over the cracks.
Moche Warrior - Before
Before
Moche Warrior - After
After


Lambayeque Vessel —Large Lambayeque double-spout vessel missing its bridge handle and having both spouts reattached. A new handle was created, appropriate to the style and period of this vessel. The breaks were restored at the base of each spout as well as two small chips on the bottom rim.
Lambayeque Vessel- Before
Before
Lambayeque - After
After


Mixtec Bowl — Mixtec painted bowl, broken into a half-dozen pieces & badly glued together. The bowl was disassembled and the old glue removed, then reassembled with the shards properly aligned. Cracks and chips were restored inside and out. Paint was touched-up as needed.
Mixtec Bowl - Before
Before
Mixtec Bowl - After
After


Nayarit Polychrome Vessel — Small West Mexican bowl, broken in half with some eroded areas in the bottom. The dirt and excess glue were removed. The single break was restored and the eroded areas lightly filled. Paint was added where necessary.
Nayarit Polychrome Vessel - Before
Before
Nayarit Polychrome Vessel - After
After


Nayarit Vessel — West Mexican painted bowl had been badly repaired. The bowl was disassembled, shards realigned and cleaned of excess glue and dirt. Breaks were restored inside and out, with minor paint touch-ups.
Nayarit Vessel - Before
Before
Nayarit Vessel - After
After


Moche "erotic" Vessel — Moche vessel with one head missing. A new head was created and attached to complete the erotic scene.
Moche Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Vessel - After
After


Chimu-Inca "Pakay" Vessel — Seed-pod stirrup vessel, missing the "chimney". The spout was recreated and body decoration received minor paint enhancement.
Pakay Vessel - Before
Before
Pakay Vessel - After
After


Colonial Period Blackware Vessel — Colonial vessel with missing spout. The new spout was created and the surface was matched to the existing patina.
Colonial Vessel - Before
Before
Colonial Vessel - After
After


Nazca Cylinder Vessel — Large Nazca vessel with badly reglued breaks needed glue removed, shards realigned and minor overpainting.
Nazca Vessel - Before
Before
Nazca Vessel - After
After


Moche Stirrup Vessel — Moche stirrup vessel with badly broken handle. Pieces were reset into proper alignment and breaklines were restored.
Moche Vessel - Before
Before
Moche Vessel - After
After


Nazca Trophy Head Vessel — Large Nazca piece missing its entire bottom. A new bottom was added.
Nazca Trophy Head - Before
Before
Nazca Trophy Head - After
After


Nayarit Bowl — Shallow West Mexican polychrome bowl had been broken into 4 pieces. The breaks were well aligned & the joints were tight. Only minor restoration was need the conceal the cracks and minimal paint touch-ups to enhance the overall appearance.
Nayarit Vessel - Before
Before
Nayarit Vessel - After
After


Nazca Centipede Vessel — Nazca Olla, probably broken during excavation, needed restoration over the breaks as well as replacement of small shards.
Nazca entipede Bowl - Before
Before
Nazca Centipede Bowl - After
After


Large Nayarit Bowl — Nayarit bowl, broken and badly repaired with smears of excess glue, probably a field repair done at the time of excavation. It needed cleaning to remove the old glue, filling of the cracks and minor painting to enhance the design.
Nayarit Bowl - Before
Before
Nayarit Bowl - After
After


Large Nayarit Bowl — Bottom view.
Nayarit Bowl - Before
Before
Nayarit Bowl - After
After


Nazca Bowl — Nazca bowl, broken with a small shard missing.
Nazca Bowl - Before
Before
Nazca Bowl - After
After


Vera Cruz figure — Small Vera Cruz "Coast Watcher". This figure was missing areas around the mouth and headdress. The losses were replaced and patinaed to match.
Vera Cruz Figure - Before
Before
Vera Cruz Figure - After
After


African Terracotta Sculpture — Cameroon ancestoral totem with minor losses. One ear was missing as well as some areas at the bottom. The missing areas were recreated and replaced.
African figure - Before
Before
African figure - After
After


Costa Rican Tripod — Costa Rica tripod rattle vessel with anthropomorphic figural legs. The bird head of one of the figures was missing. A replacement was sculpted, attached, textured and painted to match.
Costa Rican Tripod - Before
Before
Costa Rican Tripod - After
After


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