May 2017


The Orange Railway Ambulance and Rifle Club First World War Roll of Honour was condition assessed by O’Sullivan Conservation to evaluate its conservation needs. A thick layer of dust and grime, discoloration of the lacquer coating, scratch graffiti, overpaint, and some detachment of the decorative moulding all detracted from its visual appearance, and the darkening of the lacquer impaired legibility. The honour roll is constructed of Queensland Maple and is displayed at the Orange Railway Station.

The scope of treatment to be undertaken included:

  • Inspect the hanging apparatus and determine its suitability for reuse, and to clean the mounting brackets if reuse was intended
  • Clean and brush vacuum the surface
  • Mechanically remove overpaint
  • Reinforce the honour roll’s structural integrity through use of compatible protein glues
  • Reattach detached areas of moulding and replace and colour match areas of loss
  • Fill smaller losses to wood and inpaint losses to lettering and shading
  • Remove friable and delaminating areas of polish and potentially the lacquer as well, and to stabilize existing polish
  • Apply a new coating of wax to the conserved honour roll

Two adjustments to the treatment plan were made early in the project. The first was an amendment that reclassified an identified area of loss to the moulding as an area of damage consistent with age, eliminating the need for replacement. The second was the decision to mechanically remove the lacquer from the undecorated areas of the board, a process which necessitated the partial disassembly of the frame. The lacquer was to be left over the lettering, as the bond was stronger in these areas and mechanical removal presented an unnecessary risk.

The completed treatment restored visual coherence and enhanced legibility. A maintenance program and recommendations for future treatment works were provided for the conserved honour roll.


Have a question?

O'Sullivan Conservation we provide expert conservation and preservation services that maintain and sustain cultural heritage. If you have a question about a project, give us a call on 0419 380 065 or alternatively fill out the enquiry form and we will get back to you promptly.

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O’Sullivan Conservation acknowledges that we operate and function on the lands of the Darkinjung people.

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

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