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Subject: Albumen print

Albumen print

From: Miguel Lourenco <miguelaiginha>
Date: Monday, July 23, 2007
I would like to have some professional opinions about a conservation
diagnosis and treatment proposal of a XIX century albumen print
mounted on printed paper. Besides the print's bad condition (the
image has serious deterioration like contrast loss and image
fading), the main problem is the paper support to which the print is
glued. The very thin paper support is very yellow and brittle (signs
of strong acidification), has serious tears, and curls due to the
tensions from the glued albumen. The printed paper support is signed
by the author and has a lot of printed medals and awards attributed
to the author. It's by Carlos Relvas, a Portuguese pioneer in
photograph, and it belongs from a private collection. You may see a
similar print at


I am considering separating the albumen from the original paper
support. I could try to deacidify the paper support by wet treatment
(after testing if the inks are soluble), consolidated the tears and
maybe "facing" with Japanese paper by back, and glue the print again
with methylcellulose glue (or starch). At the end I will have to
provide an acid free cardboard passe-partout type of frame for
protection, correct handling and safe display. Do you think is "too
much" or too risky try to detach the albumin from the paper support?
Any alternatives?

I would be grateful to hear the thoughts of any conservator on the
list. If anyone wants to see some images just let me know and I
email them.

    **** Moderator's comments: See

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:18
                 Distributed: Wednesday, August 1, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-18-013
Received on Monday, 23 July, 2007

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