A porcelain table fountain at the V&A Museum in London is so big that it was originally made in several pieces and has never been reassembled by the museum.
Now, curators have turned to 3D technology to discover how the Meissen Fountain – a copy of a much larger architectural version in Dresden – fits together, and to help them create new displays for visitors.
Each piece of the fountain is large and unwieldy, and there are no photographs to show how it should look. Fortunately, the original fountain, from which it was copied, still exists in the grounds of a palace in Dresden.
Individual parts of the V&A’s artefact have now been scanned, modelled in 3D, and virtually reconstructed using Fragment Assembler software. PhotoCloud technology has also been used to show the relationship between the 3D models, the original Dresden fountain and historical records.
Work now continues at the V&A to complete the virtual model of the table fountain and develop new displays, which explain the history of both fountains through 3D technology.