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This page is about finds updated and other general information. when you find out more info that is worth sharing  


Brining an old canvas back to life

 I acquired this old canvas oil painting of Tonbridge Priory many years ago from the Lawson’s antique shop Tonbridge. Although unsigned it depicts stone being taken from the Priory and is from before the railway coming and demolishing the Old Priory and dates around 1820 – 40 

The canvas was very thin so badly damaged very water stained holes sagging it was impossible to re- stretch and attempt to clean without the risk of further damage. 

 I carefully removed it from the damaged frame and found a very tightly stretched blank canvas the same size which I covered  in a PVA glue and put the old canvas over the top and applied weights

Water Damage and very brittle

 After three days it finally dried and was stuck firm and flat the holes I was tempted to repair with acrylic filler but they did not show too much.

I was very happy with the result but wanted to go another stage by attempting to clean the painting I was a little reluctant at first as oil Paintings or even watercolors of the priory are something you struggle to find, As far as I know I have the only two oils.

But it got the better of me so after searching on the internet I finally found a solution which at first again was hesitant to try and it was not recommended for an old master painting.

Holes when held to the light also you can see how thin the canvas is 

Oil painting restoration is so expensive to be done professionally but this was not a turner but equally to me was as priceless.

So with fingers crossed I gave it a try and to my amazement the old painting started to come to life bringing back the colors like the day it was painted. After cleaning I washed it a few times and again left to dry .  



 Homemade Cleaning Solutions

Whether you found a fabulous but dirty oil painting at a thrift store or you have a family classic hanging on a wall, oil paintings sometimes need cleaning. This is largely due to dirt and pollution accumulating on the painting's varnish.  Only attempt home cleaning methods on paintings which have little value; never attempt to clean a valuable painting yourself. Ask an art conservator, found through your nearest local art museum, for help with valuable art.

Using a few drops of a mild dishwashing detergent on a damp, clean cloth. Test an inconspicuous area of the painting, such as the part hidden under the frame, by rubbing the solution gently over the dirty paint. Stop if any paint comes off. If the dishwashing detergent doesn’t do the job, she suggests using a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to clean the painting.


Finally applying a acrylic varnish and a frame from the local charity shop.


Brining the world of collectors together

In the continued search for information on new finds this generally leads you to the internet.

During your searched on many occasions this brings you into contact with many other collectors both far and wide, giving you a opportunity not only to aid your knowledge in different fields of collecting but a chance to share information points of view and always learn something new.

As in this case with this lovely water color I picked up a few years ago of a German Junkers Ju88A bomber that crash-landed in a field at Tanyard Farm, Hadlow Road, Tonbridge.

Now knowing more about the crash and even finding out the artist of the painting was Charlie Harding, a member of the Auxiliary Fire Service who attended the crash site at the time was just a click away in another story I covered on the Fire Service is fantastic.

I wonder if Charlie Harding below portrayed himself in the painting one of the three members fighting the fire.

Now to see and read the story associated with this painting please click on the picture of the bomber to link  for more information from the Hildenborough History Society.

Do you have a postcard, photo that has the name Hildenborough mentioned? the society is always on the lookout for pictures and information no matter how small you might help fill some missing links.