2011 – Bangkok, Thailand. Julia Brennan conserves a remarkable piece of Thai-Danish history.
The traditional Royal Thai honorific robe dates from the reign of RamaV. The robe was presented by King Chulalongkorn to Admiral Andreas du Plessis de Richelieu, a Dane, and Admiral of the Thai Navy. The robe, known in Thai as sua kluah, is constructed of white cotton netting and gold wire netting ground cloths, embellished with an elaborate and extensive network of floral and nautical motifs in gold metallic thread, soutache, buillon, braid, beading, and sequins.
Conservation included repair of multiple holes in netting, patch supports, reconstruction of lost sequins, buillon, soutache; construction of a special support; design of a customized case which showcases both the front and back.
After treatment the robe is positioned on the glass deck of the case.
The back of the robe is visible with double mirrors.
Details of nautical themed metallic gold embroidery (left)
Floral vine embroidery, before (above, right) and after (below, right) restoration.
Khun Usnisa (editor of Life BKK Post), Mr. Normann, and Julia with robe installed.