Sir John Soane's Museum, London

The Soane's Museum in Holborn is based within the home of renowned 19th Century architect Sir John Soane. In addition to it's unique architectural style and decorative interiors, the building also houses Soane's extensive collection of paintings, prints, sclupture, architectural ornament and other antiquities. The interior has been preserved as close as possible to how it was left at the time of Soane's death and conservation work is steadily being undertaken to remove later additions and alterations. Conservation treatment was carried out on behalf of Hare & Humphreys to the faux prophyry scheme of the main entrance hall. In addition to paint loss caused by water ingress and general wear and tear, past restorations had resulted in deteriorated and disfiguring areas of retouching, overpaint and a thick wax layer.

Previous retouching coupled with continued water ingress had resulted in flaking and loss of original surface and disfiguring overpainting

Wall in raking light, highlighting the brushmarks and blooming of wax applied to the decorative surface

During removal of dirty wax coating, revealing the vibrant original painted surface beneath

One panel of the original Soanian porphyry decoration had at some stage been damaged and poorly overpainted in a previous restoration.

This restoration had degraded and become highly disfiguring, disrupted the unity of the scheme. 

The faux porphyry effect was reinstated using traditional methods to more closely match the surrounding original surface. 

 

 

Progress of wax removal to upper section of wall

Entrance hall after conservation works

JM

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