Sheesley reducing surface soil using a soft sponge
Two years later, Delisle presented his pupil with round manuscript maps—one showing the Western Hemisphere and the other the World, oriented from the North Pole—which he had drawn in brown and red inks and colored with watercolor. The maps were enclosed in a case covered with deep blue leather, the arms of Louis XV tooled in gold on the lid. In the cartouche adhered to the Western Hemisphere map, Delisle wrote a dedication to the young king:
Au Roy par son tres humble tres obeisant serviteur et fidele sujet
Which translates roughly to:
Presented to the King by his very humble, very obedient servant and loyal subject.
The Jay I. Kislak Foundation, a nonprofit institution that collects and preserves rare books, manuscripts, and maps to make them available for study, recently brought both maps to CCAHA. The varnish that covered the maps had discolored, obscuring some cartographic details and altering the appearance of the colors. After using a soft sponge to reduce surface soil that had accumulated on the surfaces of the maps, CCAHA Paper Conservator Samantha Sheesley removed the varnish by brushing a solvent gel through mulberry paper onto the map surfaces and covering it with polyester film. In time, the solvent softened the varnish and drew it up into the paper, which Sheesley then lifted away.