THE FRAKTUR: ITS HISTORY AND A CONSERVATION CASE STUDY
ABSTRACT—A short history of the fraktur in America is presented, focusing on the Protestant German community in Pennsylvania from the late 17th century to the mid-19th century. The conservation of an early 19th-century hand-colored fraktur represents a case study of an object with soluble pigments and an extremely fragile support. In addition, the treatment was complicated by the removal of a strong paper mount adhered with a tenacious starch-based adhesive from the verso of the object. An elaborate treatment plan was formulated to minimize the amount of water or moisture used throughout the various phases of the object's conservation. In this way the risk to water-soluble pigments would be minimal. Pigment sensitive to organic solvents was addressed, as well, by careful selection and use.The treatment used facings of heat-set tissue activated with toluene or set with Acryloid B-72 in toluene, a Gore-Tex humidification pack for the backing removal, ammonia water and methyl cellulose poultices for adhesive residue removal, and washing on a suction table with various dilutions of ethanol and water to remove degraded matter and bring a fresher appearance to the object. The final treatment to stabilize the paper support involved a two-step lining procedure that prelined the object on the suction table using carefully selected Japanese papers and ethanol added to wheat starch paste, and a finishing stretch-lining procedure on glass.
2. HISTORY OF THE FRAKTUR IN PENNSYLVANIA
3. CONSERVATION CASE STUDY
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