Although the cup’s clay body and slip are in generally good condition, the lead staples are one of two sets of extensive repairs that together make the object very fragile. The cellulose nitrate adhesive used to make the later repairs, which likely date to sometime between 1850 and 1950, is failing, and many gaps can be seen among the 19 separate terracotta pieces that together comprise the skyphos. The most heavily damaged area, just below one of the handles, has broken into five separate pieces. Cassia’s goal is to stabilize the skyphos so that it can be safely handled and studied. This will require separating the fragments, removing any adhesive residue, and then rejoining the pieces using a strong adhesive that is also reversible, most likely Paraloid B-72. Cassia intends to keep the lead staples in place due to their historical importance, a goal that will require working with special care because they are likely to be very brittle. Should any of the fragments break, Cassia will reassemble these pieces and adhere them back in place with the same adhesive she is using elsewhere in her treatment.
Because the skyphos, which belongs to Bryn Mawr College, is not intended for display, Cassia’s treatment beyond structural stabilization will be limited to a light cleaning and filling and inpainting losses. Cassia enjoys working with objects she knows will be used as learning tools, and she is pleased that when her treatment is complete, the skyphos will help modern-day students at Bryn Mawr learn something about life in ancient Greece.
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