Altarpiece’s Central Portion – Lettering, Part 1

Our Altarpiece restoration continues. Mylar covered the altarpiece in the first week of June though by Sunday, June 5 it was off.  Meanwhile the conservator Cleo Mullins had written this on May 27 to Catherine on a recent discovery and looking at the origin of the letters

Friday May 27, 2016 from Cleo Mullins, conservator

"Since your vestry meeting, I was able to determine that there is a second layer of brown paint on top of the initial brown toning. I have been able to get off a bit more of that brown layer, exposing quite a bit of the gold "curliques"

"..I think that the scrollwork and raised lettering design derives from early illuminated manuscripts. Examples –

"Fancy lettering of the type was used for handbills, posters, and advertisements in the 17th – 19th century. In the mid-19th century, these designs were adapted by popular culture. Theaters and circuses routinely used the lettering into the 20th century.

"You can find good examples in the work of George Shelley (above) in the early 18th century and in the mid-to-late 19th century by Daniel T. Ames (below) who taught scrollwork lettering in the 1860’s and who also published a book on scrollwork lettering

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