In my last treatment post, I wrote about the Myriopticon, an object that is far from the type of treatment that normally comes across a paper conservator’s bench. This time, I’m going to highlight an object that received a much more “typical” paper treatment while introducing a couple of common conservation techniques along the way. Keep reading for details on how I completed the treatment and for some satisfying before and after photos!
This print, titled Focht naer Nova Zemla in den Jaere MDXCVI (translating roughly to “Trip to Nova Zemla in the year 1596”) by Jan Luyken came to the lab for treatment due to its fragile condition. The piece was printed c. 1681 and depicts a scene from Willem Barents’ expedition to find a northeast passage from Western Europe to Eastern Asia. Barents made three separate voyages from Amsterdam spanning from 1594-1597. Ultimately the voyages were unsuccessful, with most of the crew members, including Barents himself, losing their lives on the third and final attempt. This print illustrates one of the many dangerous obstacles the crews faced on their journeys: walruses (yes, those are walruses).