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Re: [BKARTS] Flattening rolled vellum pages



It sounds like a possible first step is humidification and damp pack flattening (there are several techniques, but it's best for an experienced technician to "allow the piece" to "dictate the treatment"- not the other way around).  But I suggest you find someone who has ample experience and have them do it.  When you talk about illuminated leaves there's a possibility of flaking and/or lifting of the pigment, ground and gold.  There's ways to handle this, and repair lifting pigment or ground/gold but there are so many variables that to do it with instruction mostly gleaned from "words" of others who have experience is really taking a chance.  Besides the lifting you have the possibility of too much moisture causing breakdown and gelatinizing. Before one embarks on such a treatment it really behooves you to "observe" (when possible, though it might not be)  parchment treatment by experts. If this is a "one off" project, with no expectation of entering this specialty for yourself, have a qualified conservator do or work with you.

Bruce
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Carolee Harrison" <carolee@xxxxxxx>
> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [BKARTS] Flattening rolled vellum pages
> Date:         Mon, 16 Feb 2009 10:14:31 -0800
> 
> 
> I've been presented with a preservation project that is somewhat 
> out of my ken and I'm hoping I can ask for advice from the 
> collective wisdom here..
> 
> My task is to house seven manuscripts dating from the 1400s -- 
> three sheets of music, three illuminated pages taken from separate 
> volumes, and a document that may be a property deed or some kind of 
> legal agreement.  All are written on what I think is vellum of 
> varying thicknesses.  The illuminated pages are decorated with gold 
> initials in very good condition -- everything is in very good 
> repair, in fact, except the more informal deed or letter, which has 
> some tears at the edges and is pretty dirty and faded. The 
> immediate problem I'm facing, though, is that all of these items 
> have been stored rolled-up, and they've curled up tight, possibly 
> permanently.  My initial ideas for storing them involved laying 
> them flat, but is there any way to get them flat again?  Right now 
> I am trying to open them gently under weight but I'm not sure it's 
> having any effect.  Would anyone here have any idea how best to 
> flatten these vellum pages, or do you think it's best to leave them 
> rolled?
> 
> If anyone has advice for storage of these, as well, I'd appreciate 
> your input too!
> 
> Thanks so much!
> Carolee Harrison
> 
> 
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