Conservation of a 3-light window by Valentin Bousch (circa 1490 -1541) and a 13th century grisaille window, in preparation for display at the Met Cloisters Museum, New York
We often work for private clients, ensuring confidentiality. This section highlights work for antiquarian connoisseur and dealer Sam Fogg, including repairs to a grisaille window, in preparation for its public display in the Met Cloisters Museum, New York.
The term ‘grisaille’ refers to delicate geometric or leaf patterns of regular design painted on or leaded into white glass, produced predominantly in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. These particular panels are Norman French and date from between 1270 – 80. The pot-metal red and blue latticework overlay the intricate painted patterns applied to the clear glass. Prior to conservation the panels were in a poor condition. Therefore Holy Well Glass removed the failing lead and carried out necessary edge bonding repairs to regain the clarity of the original design. Finally the panels were re-leaded.
Other work has included the conservation of a truly superb 3-light window by Valentin Bousch (circa 1490-1541) a Renaissance glazier and painter from Strasbourg. He was particularly active in the Lorraine and Metz regions; his glass predominates in the choir and south transept of Metz Cathedral. He carefully designed the lead matrix in his panels, so that it would not interrupt the scene, and he pushed the boundaries of the medium; the pieces of glass he used were large and technically difficult to produce, but they allowed freedom of painted expression.
The condition of the Bousch window was reasonable, but there was scope for improvement through removal of later repairs to improve legibility, which was carried out in close consultation with the client.
Working with private clients is fascinating and challenging, as they often have different aspirations and expectations- particularly with regard to the extent of restoration, when compared to mainstream conservation practice.