Statue of St James
The statue of Saint James, the niche and the flat wall behind were all initially cleaned using vacuum cleaners and soft brushes to lift and remove the surface dust and dirt. Once all the surfaces were clean, all the gilded and painted surfaces were conservation cleaned using a specialist chelating cleaning solution with water. The alabaster stone statue of Saint James was cleaned using a poultice cleaner and then polished with Renaissance microcrystalline wax. Gallery photos illustrate the emblazon of the Royal Spanish Coat of Arms after cleaning and correction with some additional cleaning tests on the base of St James. Once all the surfaces were cleaned we could then assess any damage. On the gold leaf decoration there were numerous areas that were worn through due to over cleaning in the past. We also discovered several lose pinnacles in the canopy and that the Spanish Royal coat of arms was emblazoned incorrectly. Photos 1 and 2 illustrate the results of the cleaning and correct emblazon of the Royal Spanish coat of arms. We regilded the worst areas of gilding using genuine 23.5crt gold leaf to match the best of the original cleaned gold. The lose pinnacles were drilled, dowelled and refixed and the areas that were filled were coloured to match the existing paint work. To protect and enhance the colours, all the painted surfaces were given a non yellowing, transparent, reversible protective coating. Click on gallery photos to view restorative processes.
Image credit ©Stephen Bellion