[Table of Contents] [Search]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: effects of preservatives on value

>A friend and I have been debating about the effect on the value of a leather-
>bound book by using a preservative, such as Fredelka Formula.  He claims that
>by using such a preservative, you alter the book sufficiently so as to greatly
>reduce the value of the book.  I disagree.
>Although I believe that a book in pristine condition (not in need of such
>preservation treatment) would be more valuable than one which is preserved
> by such treatment, I don't think it alters the book, it merely preserves it.
>Can someone help us settle this debate?

Not that this will help settle the debate, but the problem I've seen with
leather preservatives lies in their use. The instructions for use are not
If used properly  on good leather, you should not be able to tell by looking
at the book. The formula should be used in VERY SMALL amounts. Most people
think that if a little is good, more will be beter and you end up with oils
seeping through the joints or turn ins and into the paper. Also these
products should only be used on leather that is in good condition. If the
leather is scraped, powdered or flaking then use will discolor the leather
and result in it looking worse then before treatment. When this happens you
definitly reduce the value of the book.
I usually try to discourage use of these products unless one has had a lot
of experience with leather. While the intention is good, I've seen too much

John Freund
Book and paper conservator
University of Florida Libraries.

[Subject index] [Index for current month] [Table of Contents] [Search]