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Re: Soaking off pastedowns

since the pastdowns did not release in three days, I doubt that the
adhesive was hide glue.

It may have been casein.  According to: _The Chemistry and Technology
of Gelatin and Glue_ by Robert H. Bogue, 1922, p. 319:

        "1.  Casein Glue.  The employment of casein as an adhesive had,
prior to 1918, been confined almost entirely to a few trades and districts
in Europe where it had found a limited application in bookbinding and
cabinet work."

Starch or flour pastes, esp. if alum was added, can also be difficult
to dissolve.  Sometimes, after soaking overnight, I'll gently pour some
very hot (almost boiling) water over the pastdowns as I lift them.

Good luck!  Since you've given up on these pastedowns, toss the boards
in a metal pan of water on the stove and boil away for awhile.  If they
come free, you had starch/flour; if not, like as not it was casein.


p.s. Uh, do this after pulling the cloth off the boards....

Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon  97217

(503)735-3942 (voice/fax)


"The lyf so short; the craft so long to lerne"
Chaucer, <The Parlement of Foules> 1386 A.D.

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