Using the Mantis Elite in Art Restoration

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The art (and it is an art) of antique restoration is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding, professions in the art world today. While a fresh canvas holds a world of possibility for the artist, a conservator must work to restore an already completed piece. This means that any and all changes made to the piece must fit seamlessly in with the whole, as if no damage ever took place.
This kind of work is incredibly detail oriented, and can be exceedingly complex as many pieces incorporate several materials such as precious metals, wood, cloth, and even gemstones. The conservator must work around and with these materials to repair the piece to it’s original glory using techniques such as wood, stone, and metal shaping, painting, and engraving just to name a few.

Mantis Elite – The Next Stage in Magnification.

To do all this the conservator must have all the proper tools on hand that he or she may need for that day’s project. But these tools go well beyond simple scissors and brushes. As we move on well into the 21st century, even age old professions such as this have begun to adopt new technology. When before, large, simple magnifying glasses were used for delicate work, today’s art conservators have a much more advanced option available to them.
Vision Engineering, a British based manufacturer of several inspection based products, have a line of video inspection systems that have proven themselves perfect for this particular application. The Mantis Elite line of 3D microscopes seem almost tailor made for the task of aiding the art conservator. The Mantis Elite has several features that make it a superior choice for detail work:
Working Distance – The Mantis Elite provides a very generous amount of space in which to work, up to 96mm with a 4x lens. This is invaluable when using tools for tasks such as inlaying gemstones.
Flexibility – The Mantis Universal Stand is highly adjustable, and can be clamped directly to the side of the work bench. This allows the Mantis head to be placed in such a way that the apparent distance is the same as the distance of the actual object being observed.
Illumination – Featuring over 20 LEDs, the Mantis Elite is able to provide superior lighting along with superior magnification. The bright white LEDs also produce zero heat, which can be a problem during longer projects with heat sensitive materials like those harvested from animals.
With such a great feature set, it’s easy to see why the Mantis Elite has become the magnifier of choice for many people in the art world.

Mantis Case Study

Lloyd Williams, an antiques restorer for over 37 years, uses his Mantis microscope for the delicate task such as apply gold and silver foil to antique rifle butts with a technique known as damascene. This technique needs absolute visual clarity as well as a generous working distance, both of which the Mantis Elite provides.
“Without a doubt, Mantis has met with my expectations and has delivered an outstanding alternative to conventional magnification.  The ergonomic advantages of the Mantis stereo viewer are unparalleled with any conventional microscope.  I have been highly recommending it to other antique and art restorers in the field and will continue to do so.”
– Lloyd Williams
Art Conservator, 37 years.

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  • Chris Huckabay