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Restoration and Preservation

Stabilising and preserving old, valuable posters and original graphics

Paper is a sensitive carrier material. Its condition can deteriorate over the years in many different ways:

  • kinks, creases, bumps, often in combination with breakage of the paper fibre

  • tears, blemish and other paper damage

  • stains, fungal and pest infestation, browning / yellowing

  • "pulverisation" of the paper due to acid damage (change in the ph-value of the paper)

  • discolouration due to light exposure (fading of the colours)

Such blemish not only depreciates the visual appearance of a graphic, but also the value of the artwork. Unfortunately, many graphics remain untreated, often aggravating the damage - to the point that an important contemporary document, of which often only very few copies still exist, turns unsightly.

Restoring and stabilising graphics or posters is not exactly cheap, and is thus only performed for rare copies. Those, however, who have been in a situation where they bought an assumed bargain - without having had the opportunity to inspect it beforehand - and then received a graphic in a lousy condition, will appreciate the value of a well-maintained graphic, even if it is a bit more expensive.

Before offering any graphics for sale, we check carefully whether it has any defects above a tolerable extent. Some small kinks from grabbing or minimal dust damage are acceptable taking into consideration that it does not come freshly from the press. Should a graphic have suffered any additional damage, we will decide whether we put it up for sale (in our category "SALE % unique items"), or have it restored professionally.

The restorer cleans the graphic thoroughly, and then deacidifies, restores and smoothens it - depending on the damage. For valuable original posters and delicate graphics on thin paper, it is advisable to laminate and stabilise the sheet by way of a carrier material.

To this day specialists use finely threaded, calandered linen cloth (a bookbinding material) as carrier material, which has been used to stabilise paper for several generations. A graphic treated in this way and drawn up on canvass professionally offers the following advantages:

  • even and durable flatness of the paper, also for large formats

  • clearly improved stability of the paper

  • increased and longer ageing resistance

  • considerably easier handling (storage, framing)

  • verifiability of all details for the authentication of a graphic is preserved 100 per cent (e.g., watermarks, die stamps, endorsements)

In addition, this procedure may be reversed, i.e., if need be, the graphic can be detached from the canvass without any residue - as exclusively neutral, water-soluble bookbinding glue is used for the laminating process.

Such a valuable piece of art preserved in this way by a specialist company will give you pleasure for a long time!