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Queen Isabel II’s corset

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The corset Queen Isabel II was wearing on the day of an assassination attempt

Inventory no.: 54917Salto de línea Material: Linen, metal, cottonSalto de línea Technique: Twill, sewn seams, embroidery, laceSalto de línea Dated:mid-19th century

State of conservation:

The corset is relatively well-conserved, although some changes have affected Its structure and appearance. Some of these changes are due to the use of the piece as part of the Queen’s clothing on the day she was attacked on her way to the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, and others are due to the natural ageing of its component materials and its reaction to environmental conditions over the last hundred years.

After an exhaustive analysis using visible light - incident, transmitted and raking - and ultraviolet light with a microscope, we observed tears in the fabric close to the metal eyelets on the back; various types of dirt; surface wear to the fabric; loss of flexibility in the whalebones; slightly rusty metal elements; deformations of the fabric in the form of folds, some more marked than others; tears at the seams and in the embroidery trimming the whalebones.

Conservation and restoration treatments

This piece has been treated as a document in itself of an important historical event of 19th century Spain, and therefore the damage to the fabric and whalebone caused by the attacker’s blade has been retained, as has the bloodstain around it.

To mitigate the other damage, the piece was cleaned mechanically, and the fabrics were aligned and consolidated using chemically inert, reversible procedures which are compatible with the original piece; in other words, by sewing.

Finally, after intervening in the piece and to enable it to be shown to the public, a conservation display support was designed to fit it, avoiding tensions in the structure and materials of the corset. It was made with chemically inert, stable polyethylene and cotton.

Anverso corsé antes del tratamiento Pulse para ampliar Anverso corsé antes del tratamiento
Reverso corsé antes del tratamiento Pulse para ampliar Reverso corsé antes del tratamiento
Análisis de daños a través del microscopio Pulse para ampliar Análisis de daños a través del microscopio
Detalle de zona dañada por el estilete con el que fue agredida Pulse para ampliar Detalle de zona dañada por el estilete con el que fue agredida
Detalle con luz UV de la zona dañada Pulse para ampliar Detalle con luz UV de la zona dañada
Vista del corsé con luz transmitida Pulse para ampliar Vista del corsé con luz transmitida
Detalle del cierre Pulse para ampliar Detalle del cierre
Detalle del cierre con luz UV Pulse para ampliar Detalle del cierre con luz UV
Deformaciones acusadas Pulse para ampliar Deformaciones acusadas
Elaboración del soporte para exposición Pulse para ampliar Elaboración del soporte para exposición
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