Above is an example of a period one dial which had been dropped. The corner painting was the only damaged area as the rest of the dial was unharmed. After carefully recording the unrestored dial, we were able to remove and replace the flaking paint work as shown below.
The dial was photocopied, straightened and filled. After sanding, the base paint was colour-matched and applied in many thin layers. The image was then traced lightly into place. The raised gesso guilding was then applied as a border for the rose. Oil paints were then applied to match the paintings in the other corners. Lastly, after a few days of drying time, a light retouching varnish was applied.
Above is evidence that we use the same techniques and materials, where necessary, as the original dial artists. In this case, using a hand held fine brush to first outline, then paint in the numerals in an appropriate ink
Above is an example of a rocking ship, in this case, ‘The Royal George’, which was barely recognisable as such when it arrived
After careful research, the ship was restored to seaworthy condition
This moon dial was cleaned and the outer edge re silvered, before the paintings were restored. As much of the original painted scenes and moons were retained as possible, before recreating the missing details accurately with oil paint.
The result, as seen above, is a moon dial restored to a similar appearance as it was originally.
We often need to repair the paint work over a damaged dial foot. Firstly, after we have recorded the image on the dial we must ensured the foot is stable and in the right position. This is best done while the movement is there, so we can check that the dial feet still fit before proceeding with paint work. The hole is filled and levelled before paint work is colour-matched etc.
Here is the restored dial. The repair is invisible with as much of the original left intact
This is a six inch unnamed dial that had been repainted before. In this case it was deemed appropriate to repaint it again as there was underlying rust. However we do like to retain as much of the original as possible as a rule
The colour of the dial was accurately matched before repainting. The graphics or black work were replaced identically
Above is an unrestored rocking ship dial. The old varnish has yellowed all the paintings. As only the paintings were originally thickly varnished, only these need the varnish removing to restore original colouring.(see below).
Here is the restored dial with the varnish removed and renewed. The gold band around the numerals has been restored with an appropriate paint. We can use gold leaf if the customer requires
Above is a photocopy of an unrestored Scottish dial. There are two points of interest to notice here.
Firstly, the varnish is heavily yellowed concealing beautifully bright original colouring. This often surprises people (as when the Sistine Chapel was cleaned). So we are happy to leave this on if the customer preferes a conservation approach.
Secondly, The original artist has painted over silver leaf where greater luminosity is required. This was common practice with this type of dial. The silver deteriorates and so does the paint on top of it as well. Ideally this would all be replaced, as in the picture below, however we can simply patch and match to the existing original.
The above picture shows the Scottish dial restored to its original appearance. Note, this is not a conservation of its aged appearance, instead we have removed the yellowed varnish and damaged silver leaf. This made it necessary to repaint over the silver leaf. We used oil paints to restore the original appearance