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March 2015 - Vatican Musuems
A generous Patron supported the restoration of a collection of manuscripts, including a volume recounting the trip of the English ambassador Lord Macartney who, appointed by King George III, traveled to the Chinese imperial court of Emperor Qian Long as well as countries of the tartars. This is the first Italian translation published in Venice and is followed by a second edition in Florence. The document material was comprised of the memories of Lord Maccauley and of Sir Erasmus Gower, who were placed at the head of the expedition. The illustrations were completed by Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society.
These volumes had several damages on the spine. Colored pages were fading and some of the covers were also losing their colors. The interior pages had deteriorated and the incisions were damaged by oxidation. In some places the tissue paper between the leaf was ripped and contained holes due to the weight of the book.
The restoration process included a scientific analysis of the pages, dust suction and micro-dust suction, an overall cleaning, mending the spine, reparation of the binding’s color, mechanical cleaning of the backand front, detachment and replacement ofthe protective tissue paper reinforcement of the borders, as well as the creation of an historically appropriate box forfuture conservation.