The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford: auditorium and circulation spaces; architectural paint research archive report

Crick-Smith, Ian, Crick-Smith, Michael, Faulding, Rachel and Croft, Paul (2010) The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford: auditorium and circulation spaces; architectural paint research archive report. Project Report. Crick Smith.

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Item Status:Live Archive


During 2010 Crick Smith researched the accumulated historic painted decoration and
archaeological development within the principal interiors of the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford.
This focused on identifying the detail of the original Sir Christopher Wren scheme of 1668.
This research included the cross-sectional analysis of paint samples in association with
archival research, including transcripts of the original decorators bill, historic watercolours and
early photographs.
Analysis of the samples was undertaken by optical microscopy using a variety of different
lighting techniques to reveal the chemical make up within the build up of individual paint
layers. Due to the unique nature of original paint layers from this period further in-depth
material analysis using FTIR, RAMAN, GC, SEM & EDX was undertaken.
Once identified, the nature of the original complex faux marble finishes was confirmed by
removal of later overpaints on site and comparison to known examples of Wren’s decorative
work from this period. The surviving examples were recreated on sample boards for
comparison to the finishes within the Sheldonian interiors.
Following extensive consultation with the client, Crick Smith provided the expertise to
recreate the more specialist decorative paint finishes of the original scheme

Additional Information:Revised and updated document April 2010
Keywords:historical buidings
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K250 Conservation of Buildings
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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Relation typeTarget identifier
ID Code:12445
Deposited On:28 Oct 2013 09:49

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