Sunday, December 30, 2018

Wikipedia article of the day for December 31, 2018 John Doubleday (restorer)

The Wikipedia article of the day for December 31, 2018 is John Doubleday (restorer).

John Doubleday (about 1798 – 1856) was a British craftsperson, restorer, and dealer in antiquities. He was employed by the British Museum for the last 20 years of his life as a specialist restorer, perhaps the first person in that role. In 1845 the Portland Vase, a Roman cameo glass piece, was smashed into hundreds of pieces, and Doubleday was selected for the restoration.

Guided by a watercolour of the fragments by Thomas H. Shepherd, he glued the vase whole again within a few months, omitting only 37 small splinters. This restoration would remain for more than 100 years, until the adhesive grew increasingly discoloured. In other work for the museum, he cleaned bronzes from Nimrud and at least twice testified in criminal trials.

  • By the time of his death he had amassed one of the largest collections of casts of seals in the world. In 2006 William Andrew Oddy of the British Museum ranked him "in the forefront of the craftsmen-restorers of his time".

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