In these incredibly strange and increasingly difficult times, I just wanted to extend my best wishes to all my clients, both present and past, and I hope you are all well and safe.
The future for the heritage sector is going to be a bit bumpy in the short term I fear, particularly those who rely on visitor income, and I am committed to helping all my clients in whatever way I can to support them and their objects and collections to get through this tough time, both during and after the current situation has passed. If you have any concerns about your collection in this closed period please do not hesitate to get in touch; as always I will be very happy to help you.
Meanwhile work continues here at the bench. I am just completing the repairs to a very damaged document that has a fantastic back story. This mid C17th account book survived the Great Fire of London in 1666 only to be blown up when in storage during the Second World War. With true grit, it was still not beaten and held itself together until being scheduled for conservation through the generosity of a grant from NMCT. The main damage has been caused, I suspect, by the water used to extinguish the fire, with extensive staining, mould softening and losses. The following image shows the extent of the damage to some of the most effected leaves.
Iron gall ink areas and those most damaged by mould were supported with remoistenable tissue, using gelatin as an adhesive. Infills were made only where necessary: I am not trying to restore the item but support it for use in research and display in its current condition. After this, the textblock will be sewn on alum tawed supports and given a smart and durable handmade paper cover.
A phoenix rising from the ashes. A lesson of hope for our time, perhaps?
With thanks to The Salters’ Company Archives for allowing me to use the image
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