The marble lion sculpture was presented to O’Sullivan Conservation in at least eleven individual pieces for a comprehensive conservation repair. The sculpture’s base had broken into two sections, all four legs had been separated from the body, and the tail was in three separate pieces. Areas of loss were present around the edges of the breaks, and both of the sculpture’s glass eyes were missing.
Prior to repair, a conservation clean was conducted to remove accumulated dust and debris. Initially the treatment proposal had allowed for pinning the breaks with fibreglass rods for additional strength however this requirement was reassessed upon close inspection and dry fitting of the detached components at pour studio. Given the nature of the breaks and the overall weight of the sculpture a custom plinth deigned to evenly distribute the sculptures weight over its base when on display and during handling was settled upon. The detached sections were adhered with a conservation grade reversible acrylic resin adhesive and areas of loss were filled and shaped to suit, then inpainted to improve visual cohesion. The missing glass eyes were replaced. The custom-designed plinth was fabricated from solid maple coated with shellac and a wax finish and returned to the client with the sculpture.