Cleaning, conserving and making moulds of a mammoth humerus and an aurochs skull and horn cores to make replica bones for display.

In early 2021 Nigel Larkin was asked by Buckinghamshire County Museum to make replicas of a wolly mammoth humerus and a partial skull of an aurochs with horn cores.
First, they had to be cleaned. Then preventive conservation measures were deployed to prevent any damage to the specimens during the moulding process. They were tricky objects to mould as they were full of undercuts, gaps, cracks,holes and missing areas. So these issues needed to be taken care of when setting up the bones for the moulding process, including modelling-in missing areas. The horn cores with skull section required a complex 4-part mould, and the humerus a 2-part mould.
The casts had to be made tough enough to withstand being touched by the public, and they needed bolts embedded within them so that they could be attached to the gallery wall. The casts were made out of Jesmonite acrylic resin with woven fibreglass matt and were painted to match the originals with artists acrylic paints.

Above left: the original mammoth humerus (bottom) and the painted replica (top). Above right: the original skull and horn cores of the auroch (top) and the painted painted replica (bottom). They are the same shape, you are just looking at them at slightly different angles.

Above, the original bones showing missing areas that needed to be filled and modelled-in, plus fragile hollows and undercuts etc.

Above, painting the replicas.

For more details about what we can do for you, or for a quote, please contact:
We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

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