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A few years ago, I bought a tiny box of brass type (8 pt., I think) in an antique place in southern France. Some of the type is encrusted with a medium gray chalky material, which chips away fairly easily if you have a dental tool and magnifying glass. The material pulverizes pretty easily, has a slight sparkle to it, and is a bit water-resistant. Anyone care to hazard a guess as to what this material is? More important (to me, anyway), is there something you think I can safely soak the type in to rid it of this stuff?

Many thanks in advance!


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