18th Century intaglio prints were compromised due to glue and tape, which has a double negative affect on artwork. First, on the macro level: the physical removal of the glue and tape will involve some loss of the original work. Second, the micro level: non-archival tape and glue will deteriorate artwork at the chemical level. Glue and tape, and the acidic compounds they are made of, have a notorious reputation for “eating” at fibers in paperworks.
Conservation entailed grafting new paper, that was compositional consistent with the original, with an archival adhesive known as rice glue. The grafted paper is then given time to dry and set, level to the artwork, by the placement of weights.
Use of non-archival materials is a common problem seen by Miller Fenwood. The cause, of which, they suspect could be naivety and a general unawareness for the depth and complexity of good, archival materials that are, for the most part, not mainstream. A simple search on the internet is a good step forward. And, for those particularly interested in this subject, they have some simple advice that will steer you in the right direction: the quick, easy, cheap, and readily available materials, will likely have longterm consequences. This is no different than what a doctor would say to you about health, or what an advisor would say to you about finances.
Stay tuned for more…