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).
Upon arrival at ICS, the photograph was in quite poor condition, with surface dirt, accretions, yellowing, discolouration, and several 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. (Whilst Masonite backings provide good support, they are quite acidic, and the acids can easily leach into artworks over time.) In addition to this, a coating had been applied to the photograph in the past, contributing to its yellowing and discolouration.
ICS was commissioned by the Sydney Cricket Ground & Sports 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 many 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, which was carried out by Sophie Brown Conservation Framing in Stanmore.
"Many thanks for your hard work and dedication over the course of the treatment period and the subsequential framing of the item. It looks fantastic and I'm glad it now has an extra level of protection for many years to come." - Anthony O'Carroll, Sydney Cricket Ground & Sports Ground Trust
Sydney Cricket Ground & Sports Ground Trust
Before treatment and reframing
After treatment and reframing (Photograph courtesy of Sydney Cricket Ground)
Close-up before treatment showing gouges
Close-up after treatment showing infilling and inpainting of gouges
Masonite backing removal
Close-up of Masonite backing removal