Conservation of a dressed monkey with a rat as pig, at Haden Hill House .

Remedial and cleaning work was performed on an unusual case containing a monkey and a rat simulating a pig at Haden Hill House near Birmingham.

These specimens were dusty, with dull eyes. The leather and skin areas were dry and starting to delaminate. The ‘Pigs’ right ear tip was torn off and embrittled. The umbrella was torn, detached in several places and with spokes detached, several in the mossy area alongside. Some old repairs to the umbrella were peeling away. All the eggs that were supposed to be in the basket were detached. The monkey’s tail tip was missing and therefore the wire armature was protruding.

The specimens and their clothes were dusted using a soft-hair brush. The groundwork was also brushed free of dust. Bollmann compound was brushed into the dry skin and leather areas. This improved the overall appearance dramatically and halted the delamination process. The eyes were polished, the ‘Pig’s’ ear glued back into place, likewise the detached eggs were glued back into the basket.

The umbrella was patched with 8 gsm Gampi tissue and neutral pH PVA adhesive, then re-tinted. Detached spokes were replaced (some still appear to be missing but there was no trace of them). The umbrella patches we re-tinted using Indian ink. The case was sealed using gummed paper tape, subsequently painted black, to effect a more thorough seal to keep out pests. The wooden beads were replaced.

The labels reads:
'The Urdigurdy Monkey'
The last monkey known
To have been used
For begging by the Italian
Issi ---. Black Country.

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