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Reconditioning old rubber stamps

Dear Book Arts Friends,

In the last couple of years, I have obtained several
handsome old (1920s-1940s) rubber stamp type sets.
There are a few letters where the rubber has gotten
very hard over the years. I need to know if there is a
"proper" way to clean and recondition the stamps or if
that is simply impossible given the circumstances.

I am aware of a few commercial products that advertise
themselves as cleaners/reconditioners. They seem to
add a glycerin compound of some kind as the
conditioning agent. I've done some literature studies
without much success.

Any advice would be sincerely appreciated.

Bill Harroff,
  America's Favorite Unknown Artist

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