Evenden’s Digestive Ginger Candy for indigestion, spasms, flatulence, &c.

The majority of items that the conservators are repairing for the project are paper based. This particular item is a little more unusual in that the print on paper, with a decorative paper border, is adhered to a wooden board. It may possibly have been the lid to a box.

Before conservation

Before conservation

As can be seen in the first image, the board was found to be broken into two parts. To make it easier to handle during the scanning process and to preserve it for the future, the item was repaired.

First, the paper along the split edges was lifted 1cm away from the board using spatulas and a scalpel.

 Meanwhile, over a gentle heat, 2gsms of leaf gelatine was dissolved in 50 mls of reverse osmosis water.

 The gelatine was applied with a fine brush along the broken edges and the two parts brought together. It was then clamped and left to dry.

During conservation

During conservation

To make the joint stronger, small splints of parchment were placed along the joint on both sides of the object. The edges of the splints were pared so that they were unobtrusive and they were adhered to the wooden surface with gelatine. Parchment was selected because as the splints dried they tightened.

After the splints had dried, the lifted paper was pasted back down over the parchment splints using wheat starch paste as the adhesive.

After conservation

After conservation

This work was undertaken by a trained conservator. – Julia Bearman

Evenden’s Digestive Ginger Candy for indigestion, spasms, flatulence, &c.  John Johnson Shelfmark: Patent Medicines 3 (7)

Copyright  © 2009 Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Reproduced with the permission of ProQuest. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.

Comments are welcome for sharing with other users, but regrettably the editors of Curators’ Choice are not necessarily able to respond to enquiries.


2 Responses to Evenden’s Digestive Ginger Candy for indigestion, spasms, flatulence, &c.

  1. Jane Eagan says:

    Thanks, this is an interesting case and something we come across in our archive collections occasionally. I’d be interested to know the size (approx.) of the splints and what weight of parchment was used. Also, what is on the back of the lid? Were you able to put any reinforcement on the back?

    thanks, Jane Eagan
    Oxford Conservation Consortium

    • johnjohnsonproject says:

      Hi Jane. Thank you for your interest. The parchment splints were appproximately 20mm x 5mm and were adhered to both the back and the front. Grammage wasn’t measured but the mean thickness was 0.22mm. The decorative green and gold border wrapped round the sides and covered the back of the object.

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