Good quality paper can last for hundreds of years if protected from harmful conditions. Poor quality paper is inherently unstable, containing such substances as iron, lignin and bleaches which deteriorate causing grave damage. Deterioration can arise simply from poor handling however good the paper quality is.
Physical damage such as tears, creases, folds and missing areas often complicated by inappropriate earlier repairs, form a very large part of our work. Infestation by insects or micro-organisms is frequently responsible for affecting the appearance and stability of paper. Environmental factors such as pollution, high temperatures and light, as well as causing damage, must be considered when storing and displaying the many items which we treat.
The following items are typical examples of work which regularly pass through the Studio.
This 17th Century etching was extremely torn and creased and required extensive tear repairs and flattening.
A 19th Century Japanese wood-block print on thin tissue paper which had been glued onto a poor quality board, required removal and cleaning treatment to address the moisture staining.
Pastel drawings are prone to attack by moulds. Although removal is a painstaking process it yields pleasing results.
Flood and fire-damaged items are commonly dealt with, often through insurance claims. This example shows a vellum document with water-damage.
Many items have dark spots on them, often called foxing which are caused by a variety of chemical and biological factors. In many cases these can be removed or reduced.
This pair of 19th Century drawings and their original paper surrounds were successfully brought back to life after full cleaning treatment.
Castle Fine Arts Studio offers Collection Management services. This miniature painting is from a private collection for which we prepared condition reports, researched the historical background and advised on storage and display.
4 New Cottages
East Langdon Road
Telephone: 01304 206360
A 19th Century Vanity Fair caricature by Spy, displays brown discolouration from poor quality machine-made paper and surface dirt where broken glass had been left in place. Conservation included dry cleaning to remove solid dirt, cleaning treatment to reduce the foxing and discolouration and treatment to stabilise the acidity of the paper (deacidification).