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Sir William Johnson: Major General of the British forces in America, mezzotint by Charles Spooner, 1756, Georgetown University Art Collection

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Sir William Johnson: Major General of the British forces in America

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Sir William Johnson: Major General of the British forces in America, 1756, by Charles Spooner (ca. 1720-1767).

This rare 18th-century mezzotint engraving was conserved in 2009. The engraving was formerly owned by the Riggs family, a member of which, E. Francis Riggs (1851-1910), donated the funds for the construction of Riggs Memorial Library in Healy Hall. Sir William Johnson was a distant relative of E. Francis Riggs’ mother. Conservation of the engraving included: surface cleaning; separating the engraving from its acidic backing and treating aqueously to reduce acidity; reducing staining and discoloration; mending tears and breaks with Japanese paper; filling in paper losses with matching western paper; and retouching areas of loss with Winsor and Newton watercolors.