Tracing the Historic Meaning of Two Books of Hours: The Interdisciplinary Research Underlying Conservation Decisions
Casanova, Conceição; Lemos, Ana; Araújo, Rita; Carvalho, Isamara (2019-04-03)
Artefacta – The Finnish Network for Artefact Studies
Conceição Casanova – Ana Lemos – Rita Araújo – Isamara Carvalho: ”Tracing the Historic Meaning of Two Books of Hours: The Interdisciplinary Research Underlying Conservation Decisions”. Artefactum 10. Helsinki: Artefacta, 3 April 2019.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
The new focus on material culture draws attention to the way people and objects’ histories interact and inform each other, originating singular life stories. This article focuses on the relevance of “the biography of objects” for the conservation decision-making process, through an analysis of two Books of Hours. These important items in our cultural heritage show impressive “biographies”, as they passed on from the first owner onto their family descendants, and finally the institutional environments of this day. A team of researchers, spanning from art history to conservation science, has been revealing features of the current physical and conservation condition of two Books of Hours kept in the library of Mafra National Palace, Portugal. This work enabled the team to track down the trajectory of these objects through time, to discuss aspects of their meaning, and to put forward a biographical interpretation for each. Bearing close relation to individual “objects’ biography”, the conservation decisions and the treatment of text-block and bookbinding will be presented in this paper. Two distinct conservation solutions for each case will also be examined and compared, discussing the significance of their interpretation versus the conservation aims.
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