There is no record about the ownership or donation history that is currently associated with the Salt-glazed stoneware dish. As previously mentioned, it is part of a collection of study objects for undergraduate students in the Art Conservation program at the University of Delaware and was donated from the Winterthur Museum Objects Laboratory Study Collection. The object is not cataloged in a digital database associated with the collection at Winterthur. Similar examples of salt glazed stoneware dishes can be found within the digital collection on the Winterthur website and resemble the form and decorative element found on the object being treated. These dishes were all produced by the Staffordshire Company in Britain. This evidence lead me to conclude a possible provenance to North Staffordshire, Britain, dating to the mid-18th century.
To begin treatment on the salt-glazed stoneware dish, previous attempts at reconstruction had to be undone via a solvent chamber using acetone. After half an hour, the joints between the sherds began to soften and I was able to disassemble the dish and clean along the break edges to remove the old adhesive. I then cleaned the surface of the dish of excess grime and staining using 1:1 denatured alcohol and deionized water. Sandbags, weighted blocks, and clamps positioned the dish so that gravity helped the pieces being re-adhered fit into place--making tight joins. Once the plate was reconstructed, I removed excess adhesive and again constructed custom housing from polyethylene, Tyvec, and Blueboard. This housing allowed for easy storage, handling, and viewing of the object to prevent further deterioration.
Before beginning this independent study, I had never had the chance to treat ceramic objects. Although I only worked with these two objects, the skills gained from their treatment and care will foster greater knowledge within the field and treatments to come. I was extremely fortunate to be able to study and practice on campus this semester, none of which would have been possible without the support of faculty and staff of the ARTC undergraduate program.
— Nicholas Fandaros, Art Conservation Major, UD Class of 2023