Restored or Conserved?
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33 posts in this topic

Done in 1997 before there was a distinction, I asked Susan Cicconi to help this book survive the continuing passage of time.  The intent was conservation, not restoration, but I don''t know enough about today's standards to know which color label it would receive?  Thoughts?  I've obscured the title so as not to obscure or influence any judgements.  Thanks!

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Like mentioned above the wildcard issue is "solvent bath", as based on that documentation it isn't clear exactly what that 'solvent' includes. That could be as simple as a ethanol/water bath and done to conserve the paper (such as correcting the PH/acidity of the pages, not restoration) while the use of other harsh chemical baths would be classified as restoration.

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On 9/20/2021 at 1:32 PM, Sauce Dog said:

Like mentioned above the wildcard issue is "solvent bath", as based on that documentation it isn't clear exactly what that 'solvent' includes. That could be as simple as a ethanol/water bath and done to conserve the paper (such as correcting the PH/acidity of the pages, not restoration) while the use of other harsh chemical baths would be classified as restoration.

I certainly don't know how to distinguish what was used, but the statement leads me to believe that the experts would be able to tell.  She did ask if I wanted some of the stuff on the cover that could be "easily lifted away" removed, but again I've no idea what was done or how.  It certainly hasn't been "decorated" or "gussied up" like some I've seen.  Thanks.

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On 9/20/2021 at 3:17 PM, Figment said:

I certainly don't know how to distinguish what was used, but the statement leads me to believe that the experts would be able to tell.  She did ask if I wanted some of the stuff on the cover that could be "easily lifted away" removed, but again I've no idea what was done or how.  It certainly hasn't been "decorated" or "gussied up" like some I've seen.  Thanks.

That sounds like it should be fine, two of my books I have out right now are also going through a wash for conservation status and so yours very well might have fallen into that category.

The only other thing I would be curious is the amount of conversation done in the past might be enough to flag it as restoration (I have had a book that had conservation only work on it, but CGC decided it was just a little too much work by 1-2 tear seals and flagged it as restored. It was reinforced on the cover and centerfold) 

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On 9/21/2021 at 1:30 AM, Finhead said:

Also +1 on the solvent bath. And isn't cleaning staples automatic restoration? I know they can be replaced for conserved, but can they be cleaned?

Yes, cleaned staples can qualify for a Conserved label. CGC largely considers "conservation" to be A-1 restoration. So, if the quality of cleaning meets the criteria, it will qualify.

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Note that the Solvent Bath states "transfer stain Removal". This is also called an "ink transfer stain" or sometimes an "oil transfer". It is that greenish coloration that can be found on the inside front cover. This would have been removed with immersion of the cover in VM&P Naphtha during the cover disassembly stage. Only the cover is immersed in the solvent. When the stain is gone the solvent evaporates and leaves zero residue/odor. Proper use of this specific solvent (NOT just anything with the word "naphtha" on it) is undetectable. It is also used for carefully removing tape residue. 

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I continue to be perplexed by CGC's distinction between restored and conserved. In theory, I get it. But when applied in practice, some aspects make no sense. For example, if conserved equals A-1 restoration, that would appear to automatically limit any piece fill to the equivalent of "two bindery chips." However, elsewhere in the definition of A-1 restoration it refers to "all conservation work" as also meeting the requirement, which leaves open the possibility that it's NOT limited to two bindery chips. This is more than theoretical cud-chewing when working on a book (I adhere to CGC’s "professional techniques and materials," though it's not how I make a living). To see what I mean, consider this low-grade Action Comics I picked up on eBay with a detached cover. To reattach it, I used the approved methods to create new paper through which to insert the staples -- purely structural integrity work, no color touch, reglossing, etc. But doing it right required filling in four bindery chips, not two. So, is it conserved or restored? (This isn’t a book I’d bother slabbing, but you get the idea…)

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Edited by Grottu
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On 10/13/2021 at 5:41 PM, Sauce Dog said:

Looks amazing, but seems all this worry was misplaced due to some tricky color touch hiding there (somewhere...)

My guess is the Thing’s shoulders…looks like a little bit of tangerine tint hiding some color loss…

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On 10/13/2021 at 4:41 PM, Sauce Dog said:

Looks amazing, but seems all this worry was misplaced due to some tricky color touch hiding there (somewhere...)

The color touch is news to me, and must have escaped Susan's notice.  She did say she thought the right edge may have been trimmed, but apparently the graders didn't think so.  Regardless, at B1 I'll take it!

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And for the grande finale... grader notes.  Looks like @Grottu is correct.

cover cleaned
moderate spine stress lines cover breaks color
multiple crease left bottom of back cover
multiple crease left bottom of front cover breaks color
small amount of color touch on left bottom cover
spine split sealed cover Conserved
staples cleaned

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On 10/21/2021 at 8:36 PM, gadzukes said:

So.... any thoughts about having the CT removed to go for the Conserved label?

Obviously I would have preferred a conserved label, and the question does raise others.  

Is there enough of a value difference between a purple B1 and a blue/grey A1 to make the cost worthwhile?

Would the grade necessarily drop, or at this condition would a small now un-retouched area not matter that much?

You lot definitely have better eyes and more expertise than me, do you think it would be worth doing?

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