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Changing Impressions - Recording, examination and testing

Henry VIII Presenting a Charter to the Barber Surgeons Company
by Bernard Baron, after Hans Holbein the Younger
NPG D11098

Changing Impressions: A Print Conservation Project in Focus

Recording, Examination and Testing
Every item is surveyed for a preliminary examination report and to plan the work required. A thorough record of the print's condition and 'distinguishing marks' is prepared and any inscriptions, which may later be removed or obscured, are transcribed.


Step 1

Step 1 

Before work can commence, certain tests need to be conducted. For example, inks need to be tested for fugacity (any tendency to run). Photograph [1] shows the careful application of a spot of water, under a magnifier, to an ink inscription on Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons which may have been unstable. The water was quickly removed with blotting paper after the test. In this case the ink proved to be fast, allowing the use of wet processes in later conservation of this print.

Surface cleaning