Museum of Applied Art, Belgrade, Serbia
IZ KONZERVATORSKE RADIONICE MUZEJA PRIMENJENE UMETNOSTI: kivot Stefana Prvovenčanog: konzervacija drveta, intarzije i metalnog okova
ACTIVITIES OF THE CONSERVATION WORKSHOP OF THE MUSEUM OF APPLIED ART: Coffin of Stefan the First-Crowned: conservation of wood, inlay and metal casing
Journal 14/2018 (Museum of Applied Art), pages 9-14
Article category: contribution
The coffin of the holy king Stefan the First-Crowned was made in 1607 by the "sinful master Antonje" on commission from Metropolitan Kyr Simeon. Since 1629, when the king's relics had been placed in it, the coffin witnessed the tumultuous Serbian history of the 17th and 18th centuries. Having been repeatedly moved far and wide in the territory of Serbia and Austria-Hungary, the coffin and the relics were returned to the monastery of Studenica in 1839. During World War I, the coffin was relocated once again, to be eventually placed in Studenica in 1919.
The coffin was subject to the necessary conservation treatment based on the expert assessment provided by the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments of Kraljevo, in cooperation with the responsible institution, the National Museum in Kraljevo, and with the consent of the hegumen of Studenica, Tihon. The challenging conservation procedure, compliant with the current standards of museological practice, was carried out between November 2017 and November 2018 at the Conservation and Restoration Department of the Museum of Applied Art in Belgrade.
After the condition of the wood and inlay elements, the body of the coffin and the metal casing had been assessed, all materials used in the making of the coffin were subject to analysis. Surface cleaning tests were carried out using chemical procedures adjusted to the type of deposits. The metal casing and nails were treated with acid. The condition of the coffin had been documented in detail, after which it was undertaken to reconstruct the missing fragments and glue them to the surface.
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