March 21, 2008

Dealing with the Madness

Every so often Cathleen walks into the conservation lab with some serious paper madness. These poor documents have been rolled and/or folded for so long it is impossible to open them without the possibility of causing major damage. But once they've been humidified and flattened we start finding the real gems.

This beautiful little document was in a group of papers from the mid 1700's in what seems to be a land dispute in Pennsylvania. It was written by the mayor of London and contains two proofs of marriage as one can see by the vellum tabs in the middle of the second image above, complete with blue paper on the back of the embossed stamp.

I just really liked the document as an object including all of the burns on the paper from the vellum. The last page is blank and contains a beautiful watermark that, unfortunately, I couldn't capture.

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