Replication of a Roman amber ring
Conservation Technologies was asked by the Tullie House Art Museum and Gallery in Carlisle to replicate a rare Roman ring carved from a single block of amber. The ring, measuring approximately 25mm across and decorated with the head of Minerva, was excavated in 1980 by the Carlisle Archaeology Unit but is now kept in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University.
The ring is considered too fragile to mould directly and so non-contact methods were required. The ring was laser scanned and a 3D computer model created.
This was then used to produce a master pattern using one of the latest '3D printing processes'. A mould was created from the master pattern and the replica cast in a transluscent casting resin. Conservators at Conservation Technologies then applied some finishing touches to give the ring an antique appearance. The replica ring is now on display in Carlisle. Visitors to the Tullie House museum can also enjoy a short 3D animation of the ring which is being shown in the gallery.
Have a look at images taken during the replication process in the image gallery.