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Conservation of a cabinet at Abington Park Museum

Open decorative floral patterned wooden cabinet door with a plastic clamp on the front edge.


We care for the collections on display at Abington Park Museum and Northampton Museums and Art Gallery according to Arts Council England museum Accreditation standards and guided by our collections care policy.

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The damage

An old repair to a cabinet on display in the Oak Room at Abington Park Museum was becoming damaged. We commissioned Pieta of Drakon Conservation to make the repair. Pieta is an Institute of Conservation registered conservator and has years of training and experience in best practise of conservation.

The cabinet

This cabinet decorated with wood marquetry with birds, tulips, and other flowers, is a good example of a collecting cabinet dating from 1700. The front hides 14 drawers where fossils, minerals, natural history, and man-made objects could be stored. Such cabinets created opportunities to share stories and entertain with the owner able to show-off their learning and interests. The cabinet was donated by T.Jeyes, an early supporter of the museum who was himself a collector of ceramics.  

The repair

Small elements of the door edging at the top and bottom had begun to lift as the old adhesive has failed. From visual inspection the adhesive appeared to be an animal glue. The old adhesive was removed with scalpel. This was necessary for the new adhesive to correctly adhere the wood together. Once the area was clean an conservation grade polyvinyl alcohol adhesive was applied. It has good aging properties and will move with the wood when the humidity changes on the room causing the wood to naturally expans and contract.

Pressure clamps were attached to hold the pieces in place while the adhesive dried.

Wood door with black clamps and white foam.



Once dried the clamps were removed excess adhesive was cleaned off the surface.

Wood door partially open with decorative patterned wood depicting flowers and folliage.


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