Women’s upholstered armchair, 19th century

Painted, metallic-coloured beech, silk fabric, cotton, steel, 86×90×53 cm, Budapest History Museum – Kiscell Museum, inv. no.: 68.38.1.


Scientific investigations conducted and manufacturing techniques observed suggest that this rococo-styled women’s armchair was made in the late 19th century. The variety and patchiness of its fabrics, and the technical solutions apparent in the decoration of its wooden parts, reflect the theatricality often seen in the Schmidt collection. The chalk ground layer of paint was peeling, the carved parts had pieces missing, the fabrics were ragged and soiled, and the upholstery nails were to a great extent corroded. The padding had suffered extreme insect damage. The surfaces of the wood were cleaned using foam of aqueous fatty alcohol sulphate, while reattachment of the grounding layer was effected with isinglass. The sculpted parts were repaired with beech and the ground was made good with putty. Retouching was performed using paints made by mixing metal powders and pigments with solutions of Mowilith in acetone.  After wet cleaning of the textiles, gaps were filled by means of thread implantation supported underneath by cotton fabric.


The photos were made by Gábor Nyíri, Krisztina Szabó and Fruzsina Papp