Prints by Four Artists

Prints by Four Artists

Artist book of prints by four artists
c. 1641
Fully bound in green parchment
343x504x53 (WHD)

CONDITION

BINDING The heavy parchment cover was damaged in several places, including a piece missing from the back-board and a frayed split down the spine. The cover was pasted onto the boards, and also either lined or placed on lined boards. The boards were warped and had heavy corner damage. Other than this they were fairly solid and reusable.

TEXTBLOCK was packed sewn, though it was mostly broken. There was heavy paper damage with tears along the spine, the edges of the book and two loose leaves. The edges were brittle throughout the book . It was extremely dirty throughout.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION There were two heavily damaged and unusable green ties.

TREATMENT

  • Mechanically cleaned throughout with a chemical sponge.
  • Pulled apart the sewing, keeping the back board and final section attached together as it was part of the last section.
  • Carried out paper repairs to the textblock and section folds using various appropriate Japanese tissue.
  • Consolidated corners of the boards,including recreating one using layered grey board. They were left uncovered.
  • Pressed the boards to flatten where possible, without humidification.
  • Attached new cords to the old cords by sewing and pasting them together.
  • Resewed the sections with packed sewing, using the back board as the primary section to sew from, as final section was still attached.
  • Cords were laced into the boards using the original method.
  • Spine backed with PaperNao K37.
  • Rebacked with parchment, toned with Selaset Dyes.
  • Created and attached a net pouch to preserve the green ties.

The scraps are scraps no more

Well I definitely passed a marker today, as I have finished the paper repairs for the toys scrapbook – Mrs E. Nevill Jackson’t Scrapbook from the Museum of Childhood. They have taken a long time as many of them protruded from the edges of the book, meaning they have been crushed over the years.

Some pictures of the book and its inserts before I completed the work.

Mrs E Nevill Jackson’s Scrapbook
The head of the book with crushed inserts
The foredge of the book with crushed inserts

In order to repair these pages, many of them had to be locally humidified first, as they were folded in on themselves, and opening up the folds without the introduction of moisture, would have broken them. I separated the local humidification from the rest of the book using melinex and effectively sectioned off a page at a time. Once humidified, they each had to be dried between blotters before I could repair them. The repairs were then done using japanese tissue (usumino) for the support and a toned thicker tissue for any infills, as can be seen in my last post.

The repaired pages…

The front of the book with paper repairs complete
The head of the book with repaired inserts
The foredge of the book with repaired inserts

So obviously now the inserts are much bigger than the book, as they would have been originally. In order to prevent them being crushed again, I am going to have create some sort of chemise cover to extend the boards and protect the inserts – so watch this space!!!

Scrapbook from the Museum of Childhood

Some time back in a post earlier in the year, I mentioned that I would potentially be working on a scrapbook from the Museum of Childhood. Well I was lucky enough to be allowed that project to work on as part of my MA final project, along with a recipe scrapbook that I am working on at college.

So I thought I would write an update of the work I have been doing on this second scrapbook, whilst at the V&A. This past week, I have been working on substantial paper repairs for the material that is sticking out of the scrapbook. These are items that, due to their oversize, have been bashed and damaged – so I am repairing them.

Marking up for a new infill to fill in the gaps of the paper
Lining up the infill, freshly cut using a needle from toned tissue
The new infill stuck down with wheat starch paste
Trimmed and done!
Local humidification of a particularly bent bit
Freshly flattened after humidification

It’s quite short and picture heavy, this one, but I will try and post some more soon!

Making Methyl Cellulose

Methyl Cellulose is on a par with wheat starch paste in its usefulness to conservators. It is most commonly used as an adhesive, which is both reversible and water soluble, though not as ‘wet’ as wheat starch paste. It can also be used in a poultice form for removing spine pieces, and is regularly used for consolidating paper edges, where they may have lost strength over time. In each case, the material and media must be tested before MC is used.

This particular recipe is used at the V&A to make MC that can be kept for a month or so, out of the fridge.

Methyl Cellulose 5%

5g Methyl Cellulose
100ml water – 75ml hot and 25ml cold

– put the MC powder into a jar which has a lid.
– pour the hot water on top and stir.
– pour the cold water on top of this and stir again until powder is gone.
– leave for about 1 hour to cool.
– put lid on and leave until clear, about 24 hours.

A visit to the Museum of Childhood

I’ve just spent a fabulous morning at the Museum of Childhood having a look for books for my MA project, thanks to Catherine at the museum and Jane at the V&A, I am hopefully going to be taking a book from this museum and working on it under Jane’s supervision at the V&A – very exciting!! Pictures of the chosen book will hopefully come soon!

In the meantime, I did have a peruse of the shelves in the museum itself and felt like I had stepped back in time and onto the playground at my primary school! So here are some pics if you remember any of them!

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This little monster plagued my best friend for much of her youth!

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I still have this doll somewhere!

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And one of these, I think it’s going on eBay at some point soon…

Mondays at the V&A

Yesterday was my last Monday at the V&A until May – this is due to a series of varied events including some bank holidays, a two week trip to Scotland (next week!) and a two week trip to Norfolk (in about a month) and after that I will be back at the V&A.

I had hoped to get my book on four artists to a stage where it could be sewn at least, if not finished. Unfortunately, being plagued by illness this week, it was all I could do to get there and do a few hours work. Prior to getting to work I had already forgotten my tool kit and  managed to fill my tank up with petrol, then realise I had also forgotten my wallet – so the day started well!

Anyway, I did manage to guard all the central sections. The first and last sections are connected to the cover by the first two leaves being pasted down to the front cover and the last two to the back cover, so these two sections will need a little more complex guarding techniques, which I will tackle on my return in May.

Adding the guards
Leaving them to dry
Guarded and unguarded
Guarded and unguarded