This Mognat of Paris family steamer trunk ca 1900, has been round the world many times. The heirs brought it to us to clean, stabilize the inner lining, create new handles, and to preserve the character of the outer trunk memories if possible — stickers!
NOTE: We were posting and Covid hit, and suddenly our business became about finding ways to navigate the many issues Covid brought about, such as finding supplies from closed companies, etc. We are beginning to post again regularly, but first I am picking up on two projects from over a year ago to finish!
The Mognat of Paris family steamer trunk ca 1900, begins here.
Test cleaning and prep for new leather handles is here.
The upper insert with its degrading lining (above)
and ties will be removed, cleaned, and stabilized.
Bottom and top lining is is good condition: we will test it for cleaning
and see if it is a good candidate for cleaning while attached.
To begin, a thorough vacuuming of the textile insert to remove debris, and also find missing tacks. Some of the “dirt” on the inside top was removed with the vacuum
The lining inside was badly ripped around the main lock when it came to us, above left.
We would prefer to carefully reglue it as we have done below in corners;
this is important to collectors, and while this is a piece for our clients,
unless directed to replace it we will not. However, we hand-dyed fabric along with our internal gimp in case we need any bits with which to lay behind it before regluing.
Above, an example of carefully regluing tattered ends using a water soluble glue.
The sagging ripping insert lining was in decent condition;
we took a very sharp blade to remove it as it was tucked deep into the crevices. Additionally it was glued into corners and along a flange coming from under the top inserted shelf. It is our intention to reuse the original lining.
This original insert lining was gently cleaned, blocked, and backed with a second lining underneath to stabilize the original. A small gimp trim (reversible as it is applied with water soluble glue) will be the only visible new addition to the the clothing insert tray.
Additionally, the inner handles and strappings were gently cleaned while attached.
The exterior of the steamer trunk was very grimy and had what might have
been very old gum attached to it. First the metal parts were cleaned, but not overly brightened. We want the trunk to look old and well-appointed, rather than new.
Finally the body of the exterior of the trunk
is gently cleaned of layers of grime.
When the cleaning is complete, we can see a real difference.
The aging wood is treated to layers of new platina shellac,
which warms the color of the wood as well.
The trunk was waxed with clear Black Bison to protect.
Leather handles were created, fitted and ready for installation, above.
We had to wait a long time
for proper rivets during this pandemic!
Rivets installed, finally, below!
Final post, the completed chest,
will be posted this week!
Written by Kate Powell ©MPF Conservation.
©MPF Conservation. May be printed for your own use.
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