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Subject: Knife handle

Knife handle

From: Leesa Vere-Stevens <leesavere>
Date: Monday, July 8, 2002
I am currently considering possible methods for the treatment of a
composite knife handle. The handle is wooden, approximately 8cm long,
with embossed leather covering half of the surface and an iron tang
running through the centre. It was discovered in waterlogged
conditions but has since dried out resulting in large drying cracks
opening up in the wood, following drying the object was re-wetted.
The leather is brittle, compact and intact. The iron, wood and
leather elements cannot be separated, so we are looking for a
stabilisation method which can be used on all three materials. The
thoughts so far are using PEG with Hostacor IT corrosion inhibitor,
or dehydration and consolidation with acetone rosin or alcohol
ether. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has tried the
alcohol ether method with a consolidant, as it is not clear what can
be used with it. If anyone can advise on recent treatments of
similar objects I would be much obliged.

Leesa Vere-Stevens
Assistant Conservator
York Archaeological Trust

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:5
                   Distributed: Tuesday, July 9, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-5-007
Received on Monday, 8 July, 2002

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