Posted: 2014-08-26 09:33
A restoration project I have recently completed was a finely executed collection of ink and water coloured, hand illustrations dating from the late 19c and the early Edwardian period. The subject matter being in the main a study of national military uniforms of the era, interspersed with some larger dimensioned portraits and landscapes. The majority of the depictions had been inscribed upon ' carte de visite ' format sized cards, and cuts of Azure/Plain ' laid ' paper which had been paste mounted onto the substrate leaves of a large, multi-sectioned leather album. In general terms the structure of the album was in a sound, functional condition; although re-backing, a number of ' in-situ ' repairs and an overall refurbishment was required. There was presence of inherent acidity in the linen guarded mounts with evidence of minor foxing. Mirrored' set-off ' delineations had also transferred from the images to adjacent verso leaves. Thankfully the quality of the penmanship had not been unduly diminished as a result. To protect the illustrations from abrasion and further acid attack, archival ' Aglas ' Glassine interleaving sheets were ' tipped-in ' along the inner ' gutter margin ' of each mount using an inert CMC (Carboxymethyl Cellulose) adhesive. To follow is a selection of photographs of the project during and post treatment.
The dry, friable condition of the album's leather covering. Colour loss due UV Sun fading.
One of the larger full portaits.
The degraded condition of the leather had lost its tensile strength causing the detachment of the upper board.
A series of ' carte de visite ' format illustrations. Paste mounted and mostly arranged four to a recto leaf.
Strengthening ' in-situ ' repairs undertaken on the front mount, linen guard.
Setting the repairs.
The existing leather spine is carefully removed as a complete panel in preparation for the re-backing process.
Dry degraded leather and the weakness it causes to the binding structure.
New matching grain goatskin leather is cut to the requisite size, pared as necessary for working and then applied to the spine in the re-backing process.
Affirming the newly pasted re-backed leather to the spine linings.
Loose illustrations were retained within a ' Mylar ' fold and kept with the restored album.
The restored album housed within a custom made Drop Lid Box.