This large panoramic photograph depicts the second test match in the 1892 Ashes series between Australia and England, at what is now known as the Sydney Cricket Ground. An iconic game in the history of Australian cricket, it helped spark the birth of the Sheffield Shield (the England team was known as Lord Sheffield’s XI).
On arrival at ICS the photograph was in quite poor condition with surface dirt, accretions, yellowing, discolouration and several small losses and gouges. This was largely due to its age and because it had been on display for many years without glazing. It had also been adhered to a thick Masonite backing, which had contributed to its deterioration.
While Masonite backings provide good support, they are quite acidic and the acids can easily leach into artworks over time. Additionally a coating had been applied to the photograph contributing to its yellowing and discolouration.
ICS was commissioned by the Sydney Cricket Ground & Sports Ground Trust to conserve and reframe the photograph and its original title in preparation for the Australia vs Pakistan Test in January 2017. The first and most laborious part of treatment was the careful removal of the photograph and its title from their Masonite backings – a meticulous process that took hours to complete.
The photograph and title were then surface cleaned, provided with new archival-quality backings and losses and gouges were infilled and retouched. ICS then coordinated the reframing of the piece in preparation for its reinstallation at Sydney Cricket Ground.
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