Conserving a complete ichthyosaur skeleton for a private collector.

Here is a picture of the ichthyosaur after work was completed

This fantastic specimen, set in a classic mahogany frame, is almost six feet long and is nearly 100% complete. However, over the last hundred years or so since it was collected in eastern Europe it had suffered in a variety of ways. There were serious cracks running across the skeleton and the matrix which need securing and filling, the surrounding matrix needed cleaning and the remnants of adhesive from old labels needed to be removed. The skeleton itself was concealed under dirt, dust and deteriorated consolidant which was removed with a suitable solvent and an airabrasive machine utilising the softest of powders. We investigated the matrix underneath the rear limb section as there was a possibility of pyrite decay, but we found it to be sound. The wooden frame surrounding the specimen had been given a bad paint job in the past, so this was removed and the frame was sanded and waxed with natural products. All fillers, adhesives or consolidants used were those recommended by National Museums' Conservation Departments and will be easily reversible in the future.

A picture of the ichthyosaur before work started:

The owners of this ichtyosaur skeleton are allowing a small number of high quality painted casts of the conserved specimen to be sold. Please visit or email if you are interested in a cast of this perfect specimen and would like to know more about prices.

For more details about what we can do for you, or for a quote, please contact:
We are members of the United Kingdom Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, and committee members of the Natural Sciences Conservation Group.

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