Conserving old tin paper labels?
Last Post 29 Jan 2021 10:34 PM by Relics. 3 Replies.
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PhoneGuy

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26 Jan 2021 12:26 PM  

Hi All

I have a number of old biscuit tins with paper labels on them.
 
I’m looking around to find suitable techniques and products that can be used to conserve the old paper labels as some are getting quite brittle and beginning to flake off in places.
 
I know the old technique was to use clear shellac, but this tends to discolour over time making the paper label look dull and brownish.
 
There are various conservator products out there for paper-based items, but without any prior experience with these, I could end up making things irreversibly worse.
 
Any current cutting-edge techniques would be most welcome to hear about.
 
Cheers
 
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29 Jan 2021 09:39 AM  

Phone Guy .  Dealing with Old paper is very difficult , even for professional conservators .
There are no whiz bang new techniques that will make it easy to preserve precious pieces .
Years ago I had two Cardboard Showcards ( Australian ) for Normanby Rum (c1890s)
worked on by a Conservator from the State Archives . It was an expensive exercise and the look of the pieces did not change , although I got some comfort knowing that I had done all I could to preserve these pieces .  Having said that there must be a point where it is simply not practical to pay for professional conservation of many pieces . There are products available ( supposedely used by conservators) that would appear to be successful . They are expensive , and it will always be trial and error on individual pieces .
I tried  ( on recommendation ) PVC wood glue on a few old labels a while back . rub it on carefully and evenly , and it dries clear . I would think that over time this would dry out and crack or peel , although it has not on my trial pieces .
I guess it boils down to how badly you want to keep these pieces and whether or not it is worth the expense  .
Signed .. been there done that .
If you fare better than I in your quest , please let me know ( relics@iprimus.com.au )

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29 Jan 2021 10:03 PM  

Cheers Relics for your thoughts on this.

I’ll be sure to let you know if I find anything interesting.
 
Next step is to make an inquiry with the London V&A – they are usually quite happy to answer questions if not too busy.
 
Take care
 
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29 Jan 2021 10:34 PM  

Thanks .. I  would like to hear if you come up with anything .
Cheers .. Chris

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