Wood | The Panorama of the Town of Schillingsfürst in Straw Marquetry
The straw marketer's picture shows a view of the town of Schillingsfürst on the Franconian Heights in the 19th century. The special technique involves assembling coloured pieces of straw into a scenic representation.
Property: Citizens' Office of the City of Schillingsfürst
Object: Straw marquetry picture
Date: Early 20th century (before 1912)
The straw-mâché painting shows a view of the town of Schillingsfürst on the Frankenhöhe in the 19th century. The special technique involves assembling coloured pieces of straw to create a scenic representation.
These are then glued onto a support surface. The outer frame of the picture is formed by a chessboard-like pattern. It was set in a gilded stucco frame. The object was most likely commissioned by the honorary citizen Anton Roth to the artist J. Schuh. Their signature was integrated into the work of art in straw.
The town of Schillingsfürst acquired the painting at a later date. The landscape scenes are very precisely observed according to nature. The use of geometric shapes to depict vegetation is outstanding. These techniques were probably inspired by French productions.
The object shows a variety of damages. Poor climatic conditions have caused the support wood to warp, some pieces of straw to come loose and generally caused the painting to become very dusty.
Conservation and restoration
After a very careful damp cleaning of the object, various restoration measures were taken. Loose marquetry pieces were laid down with a methyl cellulose glue. Furthermore, old restorations that did not correspond to the current colour and material (putty) were replaced with straw and missing parts were added. These had become visible mainly in the UV examinations. The support structure was carefully dismantled, cleaned and then fixed with screws – instead of wire pins – to prevent further damage. The deformation was left as such an intervention would probably have led to further loss and damage to the straw image. The frame was considered and treated separately. Dry cleaning of the gilded surfaces and removal of old restorations were carried out. Loose stucco parts were glued back on or supplemented with gilding compound and retouched. In addition, it was decided to exhibit the marquetry without the stucco frame due to the different materials and states of age.
A special box frame was made to meet the restoration requirements of the object. Since the end of 2020, the straw marquetry has been on display again in the Ludwig Doerfler Museum in Schillingsfürst and is accessible to the public.