Antique Print Restoration: removing text transfer
June 11, 2007 9:02 PM Subscribe
Antique Print Restoration: I have 6 or 7 original c. 1860 Gould humming bird prints. These are large (14" x x21" +/-) hand-colored lithographs. In wonderful condition EXCEPT there is slight black "text transfer" visible on the print. This sometimes happens to antique prints when there was no tissue-guard to separate the print from the text on the opposite facing page.
Does it matter? In decent condition, these particular Gould prints are spendy. Perhaps $600-$2000 each.
I can get these professionally restored for about $200-300 each. But there is a big backlog of work and while the restoration work that the professionals want to do is a good idea in theory, it is beyond the scope of what I think is needed considering the underlying paper is in wonderful condition (not brittle at all and there is no foxing - staining - smudging - watermarks.
Before someone suggests to dunk it in a weak solution of bleach... yes, that probably would remove the black ink text transfer and leave the image of the print pretty much intact. I've experimented with that on some cheap prints and removed what looked like tea or coffee stains. The fly-in-the-ointment is that this paper is what is called age-toned. It has patina because it is about 150 years old. Bleaching it would remove any trace of that and leave it a stark white. Like stripping a fine piece of furniture, sanding it, and then refinishing it.
My question is if anyone knows of a way to remove the text without bleaching? I am sure that there is, but I can't find any information about it on the internet.