Onyx Topped Water Gilt Pedestal Table
Accession #F-706

'Iolani Palace
Honolulu, Hawai'i


Before cleaning

After cleaning

Brief Outline of Treatments:

Broken off dowels removed from finials and mounting faces with new ones of maple inserted. Broken torus section of upper finial rebuilt. Detached finials reassembled/joined onto body with hot hide glue. Hot hide glue instilled into loose areas of joinery and detached finials.

Silica and phenolic microballoon epoxy bound mixture injected into areas of termite damage and filled/formed to surface profile of edge.




Surfaces vacuumed and cleaned with cotton swabs wetted by hexanes and/or water/ethanol/surfactants.

As the gold leafing was applied by several different techniques (burnished and unburnished water gilding and oil gilding), no single solvent cleaning strategy could be utilized overall.

Separate areas were tested and examined under microscope to determine the gilding scheme in specific areas.


Before paint removal

After paint removal

Removal of the brown over-paint by the application of various combinations of solvents and gelled solvent systems was only partially successful.





The oxidized layers of bronze paint proved to be largely impractical to remove without causing further damage to underlaying layers of gilding and bole/gesso.

Where overpaint had been successfully removed, the original gilding was only partially extant and very eroded.



In order to harmonize the degraded and overpainted areas with the rest of the piece, it was agreed upon to regild these areas.
Areas in need of regilding were isolated with Acryloid® B-72 acrylic resin (20% solution in EtOH/acetone/toluene 40:40:20) and gold leafed in 23 Kt gold leaf, sealed with tinted rabbit skin glue size and toned to closely match original water gilt passages.

Top outer edge bullnose and cove coated with layers of gesso and bole and traditionally water gilt in 23 Kt gold leaf; agate burnished. Leaf toned as necessary to match existing burnished passages.



Queen Kapiolani's Bedroom
'Iolani Palace (click above photo)

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Link to: 'Iolani Palace Web Site


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