When the Conservation Department received this 1807 land agreement from the Louis H. Carpenter Collection, it looked like this:
The pages were practically impossible to handle without furthering tears and crumbling the fragile edges.
After removing the silk ribbon and unbinding the sewing, I dry-cleaned each page carefully. Then, I placed the covers and pages in humidification chambers and flattened them under weights. Silk mending tapes were removed and the pages were dry-cleaned again to remove dirt left from the silk. I mended tears and reinforced troublesome edges on the pages with toned tengucho, a very light Japanese paper. The covers received similar mends with a heavier Japanese paper, sekishu, which was also toned to match.
And now onto the next project!