Conservation Projects

At the heart of the Morris Museum’s mission is the preservation of historically significant artifacts so that future generations have the opportunity to experience, study and learn from them.

The Guinness Collection represents a complex mixture of human technical ingenuity and rich musical history, with all of its 750 pieces not only being fine decorative arts, but also designed and crafted to be played; it is the root purpose for which they were created. The collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with numerous objects still in crucial need of conservation treatment.

Below are three exceptional pieces from the Guinness Collection in need of urgent care. We invite you to become our partner in their preservation and protection by making a gift to move these special conservation projects forward.

All gifts are fully tax deductible. We thank you deeply for your support.


Title: “Pierrot Ecrivain”, automaton
Maker: Gustave Vichy, Paris, France
Date: c.1895
Object ID#: 2003.18.281a-c
Dims: 25″h x 21.5″w x 14″d

Treatment needed: Costume/textile cleaning, stabilization & repair; painted surface cleaning; internal clockwork mechanism cleaning, lubrication, linkage adjustment & re-application of original costuming after treatment(s).

Cost to conserve: $4,750
Balance to raise: $0 Our thanks go to Ted & Ida Matejus (Cranford, NJ.), Paul Lacorte (Cranford, NJ.), Elise Roenigk (Eureka Springs, AK), Ellen Hanauer (Livingston, NJ.) and the Guinness Conservation fund for their donations to conserve this automaton.

Title: Animated Tableau of Venice canal w/Ponte di Rialto
Makers: Attributed to A. Tharin w/timepiece signed “Henri Marc, Paris”, France
Object ID#: 2003.18.725
Dims: 32″h x 46.5″w x 11″d

Treatment needed: Complete frame restoration including plaster molding, gesso & multiple types of applied (gold leaf) gilding; repair & stabilization of oil-painted papier mache scenic structures, animated water scene w/masted ship, waltzing figures in gazebo, etc..; repair & remounting of timepiece into clock tower and cleaning of oil painting-on-paper behind; Replacement of lacking protective glass w/painted & gilded edging.

Cost to conserve: $15,000
Balance to raise: $15,000

Title: Large Interchangeable Cylinder Musical Box Full Band – Orchestra Complet”
Maker: B. A. Bremond, Geneva, Switzerland
Date: c.1875
Object ID#: 2003.18.255a-e
Dims: 43.75″h (lid closed) x 52.25″w x 26.75″d

Treatment needed: Recreate lacking lower portion of 1 cabriole table leg stabilizing the entire cabinet; minor veneer & marquetry conservation, stabilization & surface cleaning of original french polish finish; Minor mechanical cleaning, adjustment & lubrication.

Cost to conserve: $4500

Balance to raise: $0 – Our thanks go to the East Coast Chapter of the Musical Box
Society International for making a donation to conserve this musical box.


If you have questions about these conservation projects, please contact Jere Ryder, 973.971.3724.