Conservation and restoration
The conservation and restoration department represents the backbone of work in Dalmática and includes preventive conservation as well as curative interventions.
The technicians that make up this section are responsible for diagnosing, conserving and restoring heritage assets. This study/work is done based on the type and extent of the pathologies that each element presents, includes the assessment of the causes of deterioration and always gives rise to the implementation of the most appropriate
conservation measures in each case.
Along with each intervention performed, a detailed report of the works is carried out, supported with photographic documentation of the various stages of the process, survey of the techniques and materials used and recommendations for preventive conservation.
We understand that our work does not end with interventions. We excel in monitoring the pieces back to their original place, where we carry out awareness actions for the care to be taken with each element, thus preventing its future degradation – because preserving the heritage implies knowing it!
Carving and Architectural Sculpture
In this great category, we emphasize altarpieces and ceilings covered with carved panels.
This is the area that best specializes us over the years and that elevates us most to other companies in the sector. Therefore, it is that work in which we seek to invest more heavily, with a series of technical specialists in the conservation and restoration of wooden structures – especially carpenters and carvers – and a large workshop equipped with all the means for this purpose.
Working on the structures may be the least visible facet of conservation and restoration, but it is certainly the one that allows for more lasting results. To disinfest, consolidate and rehabilitate the wood of an altarpiece or a carved ceiling is to restore strength and vigor to the pieces that compose it. And it is the first step towards making conservation work effective and lasting.
As for the covering layers, we try to respect the authenticity of the elements, governing ourselves under the ethics and deontology of this profession so complex and so noble, where the quality, durability and reversibility of the materials and methods employed are essential. In addition to these criteria, we try whenever possible to carry out interventions that preserve the history of each piece and highlight its longevity. Eliminating negligent interventions that alter the aesthetic and historical reading of heritage elements, returning to its original aspect, is one of our focuses.
Hundreds of sculptures have passed through Dalmatia throughout our years of service, mostly carved on wood.
The intervention philosophy reflects the same criteria that we use in the hoist treatment, as they have very similar construction characteristics. Stopping the action of degrading agents and restoring resistance to materials, prolonging their longevity, is the basis on which our action is based. We try to maintain the authenticity of the pieces, sensitizing the holders of the heritage to the respect for the original, to the detriment of integral repainting. Motivate our customers to accept the age of each piece and minimize the losses it has suffered throughout its life in the most discreet way possible. Conservation and restoration interventions must be silent and not overlap with the original.
Painting appears in our workshops carried out on various supports, however, it is more common to treat paintings on textiles and on wood. Once again, we are concerned that they are intervened as a whole, understanding that the good state of conservation of polychromy is entirely dependent on the treatment of its support, and it is vital that the stability and functionality of it are restored.
Reintegrations – as in the case of retable structures and sculptures – are considered on a
case-by-case basis, taking into account not to reintegrate, reintegrate mimetically or reintegrate in a different way (tratteggio; pointillism; neutral tone, etc…).
It is an area that we have been working on in recent years and in which we feel increasingly
specialized. Mural paintings require treatments and intervention steps that are different
from those of the integrated mobile heritage, as they cannot be dissociated from the
conditions of the building and its functioning.
It is increasingly important our dedication and commitment to raise the awareness of all
stakeholders in the area of built heritage, in the sense that appropriate materials and
techniques are used in the rehabilitation works and that they contribute positively to the
preservation of these decorative elements. To prevent even that in historic buildings a wall
that is now white can hide a painting that once shone and gave life to a certain room. For
this reason, it is extremely important that interventions are preceded by diagnoses and
prospecting windows, avoiding the total loss of elements of great historical and patrimonial
The awareness that we have acquired today, as a result of the increasing and better research in the area of conservation and restoration, gives us tools to understand the fragility of elements that are apparently resistant. Interventions on stone support deserve the same care and rigor as the others. Often, this material used in ornamental stonework with the delicacy of jewelery pieces, is massacred by atmospheric agents and by the excessive pollution that is felt, degrading it physically and chemically so quietly that it is so often neglected. It is up to us to alert and take care of this secular heritage that is, at the same time, weak and strong.
There are numerous and interesting sets of decorative plaster in our country, with a lot of
quality and diversity of programs.
At Dalmática we have professionals qualified for its conservation and for its volumetric and
The tile has 500 years of production in Portugal and is one of the biggest identity factors in
In Dalmática, we keep this decorative and architectural element, respecting its origin and
looking for durable and stable solutions, in order to restore the sets to their aesthetic and
functional condition, since in our country they were widely used as coating for buildings, to
which the waterproofing function is added. Whenever it is considered peremptory, we make
replicas to allow the integration of the sets.
Century furniture, massive and with volutes, pieces of furniture loaded with history, old and highly crafted safes, almost archaeological agricultural implements – everything has passed
through the Dalmática workshop.
These pieces receive conservative and restoration treatments from our technicians, since many maintain their functionality until today, remaining operational in the functions for
which they were created.
Paper, although it has some mechanical and chemical resistance, is, at the same time, a very fragile and perishable medium, highly sensitive to the environmental conditions to which it is exposed and the impact caused by handling and packaging.
At Dalmática we have a graphic document laboratory prepared for all types of interventions, from simple cleaning to controlled humidification and paper planning.
We do everything to improve the physical and chemical conditions of the graphic collections that come to us and we are consulted several times only for preventive conservation: first step in the maintenance of documents and their enjoyment for generations to come.
Vestments, processional flags, sculptural garments, there are several artistic items in textile
support that have come to us. Our technicians identify the pathologies and the state of
conservation of the tissues and give them the treatment considered most appropriate, opting for mechanical or wet cleaning, performing the consolidation and/or structural reinforcement, carrying out the necessary reintegrations if necessary, when that is the purpose of the intervention.
Several times we only carry out preventive conservation, as it is a decisive step towards preventing the deterioration of textile collections.
In porcelain, faience or other supports, we treat several pieces that come to us of this type. They show dirt, fractures and in some cases total losses in several areas.
Our technicians who are specialists in ceramic conservation remove concrete and dirt, clean the surface, consolidate the object, fill in the gaps, level them, chromatic reintegrate the filling and apply a protective finish.
From small indoor accessories to urban outdoor sculptures, our technicians are qualified to
intervene in all types of metal supports, with experience in detecting the ore/alloy in which
the object is manufactured and knowing how to define and apply the best conservative
method to solve the pathologies that it suffers.
At Dalmática, we carry out the repair and restoration of cases and watch faces, we change
If the problems affect the mechanism itself, we have partnerships with specialists for the complete restoration of the movement of the watch, including the reconstruction of parts
that no longer exist, for the general maintenance of the movement, with cleaning, lubrication and adjustment, and for the replacement of strings, among other interventions.
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