Restoration process

The restoration of the globes proceeded in different phases. Globes are complex objects made from various materials. Not only the paper of which the globes were made had to pass through a number of treatments, but also the mountings that support them required a specific approach.

Restoration process

The celestial and terrestrial globes date back nearly 400 years. They showed wear-and-tear and damage caused by their use, previous restorations, and prolonged exposure to air and light. Hence, they were in urgent need of restoration.

The restoration of the globes proceeded in three major phases. First, the old finishing layers had to be removed and, in the same process and to the degree that was feasible, also the surface dirt and residue of previous restorations. Next, the damaged sections were repaired and the total construction was strengthened. Finally, a new protective coating and new laminate finishes were applied.

The paper restoration

The old varnish coating on the globes presented several problems: it was not the original laminate, consisted of several layers, was not applied equally, had yellowed, and showed numerous cracks. As the varnish layer was worn thin in many spots, the paper was no longer adequately protected. Especially in the northern hemisphere of both globes, the paper surface manifested a great many missing sections. Black-grey surface dirt and soot gave the globes a dull greyish appearance.

During the paper restoration process, the earlier varnished layers were removed. Fractures in the globes’ shell, lacunas and missing sections were repaired and the original colours restored. Next, new protective layers were applied to the paper.

Wood and metal restoration

Soot, dirt, and the ravages of time had turned the oaken mountings of both globes quite dirty and darkened their appearance. A few of the wooden connections of these mountings appeared loose and unstable. Furthermore, the central mounting support of the celestial globe had been partially replaced and the replacement part left uncoloured. The wood restorer made the necessary repairs, removed the surface dirt and the dark layer of soot and applied a new protective finishing coat.

The metal components of the globes, such as its hour circle and the metal pole caps, were badly tarnished. The metal restorer removed the surface dirt and applied a new protective coating. The glass was missing from the compass of the celestial globe. A glass replacement was installed with a new metal ring to firmly affix the glass piece into the wooden grooves of the compass.