400 year old bible page


SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Jun 11, 2004
Edwardsburg, MI
I know this topic has been discussed a million times and I did search through and read quite a few number of threads about it, but would appreciate if anyone has additional input.

Framing a 400 year old bible page and planned on using two rag mats (back to back) with two very small mulberry hinges. Edges do not need to be seen. Museum glass on front and conservation glass on back. quarter rounds to hold package together. If package is tight, are the hinges absolutely necessary?

Am I missing anything or does anyone have a suggestion to improve the package. I read one thread about using a fillet to hold the package together after grooving out a slot...sounds like a good idea, but cutomer is not needing the back to be too fancy.


Dave Makielski

If this is indeed a page out of a Bible that is that old, I wouldn't like to be the owner of that Bible! Imagine coming to verse 7 of Genesis and finding that the next page jumped to verse 9 or 10! :eek:

I would suggest that the page be encapsulated in Mylar and then mounted by the Mylar instead of putting anything directly on the surface of the page. You can mat and frame it as you suggested and there would not be any intrusion on the integrity of the page whatsoever.

I'm shocked by the goings on these days.

First I find out that they are chopping up Bev Dolittles books and framing the pages....

Then it's poor Thomas Kinkade's books....

And now it old bibles!!!


Sorry, just my irreverant side comming out. Bible page, hmmm 400 years old..... not quiet up there with a 1455 Gutenberg or even a 1456, but I think
I would still use the hinges for security against it getting jarred and slipping......

As for the encapsulation? Why? There's more around aren't there. It IS the most use of printed paper in history.....
I would use Artcare Alpharag for the matting and not encapsulate it. The Artcare will help maintain it's condition.
I think I would have used a sink mat instead of any kind of adhesive. The mylar is ok ... the sheen is a little annoying, though....

We frame rare maps between two layers of glass ... one museum ... one regular ... with the matting and mounting in between......no sheen, and we seal the glass together ... water/air tight.

You heard it first...
Encapsulation makes perfect sense from the standpoint of best preservation. I'd like to say here that I've sold it a few times (were a new shop) already and each of those pieces has come back with its owner saying, "I understand why you suggested this but the shininess is bugging the heck out of me." They prefer, after very clear explanations to have hinges added to their 100 year old sheet music, a 210 year old land deed, etc. I now have an example on my wall with an encapsulated document that I can point to and say "That is how it will look"
I'm sorry to display my ignorance, but what is a "sink mat". Surely not what you put in your sink to avoid damaging the fine china... ;) .

Also, I understand encapsulation to be inserting the page between two sheets of mylar which is adhered on all sides. Is this correct. I don't think I want to encapsulate because of the sheen.

If I use distilled water to adhere my Lineco mulberry hinges is there any chance of damage to the page? Because of the double mat package I figure I would only set the hinges (2) less than an eighth of an inch onto the page. Would Lineco Photo corners make more sense?

Thanks for everyone's assistance!

Dave Makielski

"Sometimes I get the urge to wash the windows, but then everyone would see me running around naked!"

Apologies again to Baer...
Baer: It pains me to see old books torn apart, but that's where most of those old engravings, woodcut prints, etc. come from. I get a little heartache when I think of it, but on the other hand nobody would be able to enjoy those things if they were always kept in the books.

Dave: What's the paper like? A lot of those old bookplates are in incredibly good condition, since old paper around that age was usually made from linen, cotton or hemp. Doesn't turn yellow and brittle like wood pulp paper does. So you may be able to hinge it.

If you hinge it, I'd go for Nori paste and torn mulberry hinges. I'll plead ignoance on the Lineco hinges, but if you tear your own you'll be able to get the really nice feathered edges you need. And by the way, I've read that if you mix your own paste, you should use bottled drinking water like Evian, Poland Springs, etc. No chlorine, flouride, etc. to worry about. Distilled water is supposed to be too pure and could actually leach stuff out of the paper. I don't know how realistic this worry is, but you're always better off playing it safe, and besides, you can get bottled water anywhere.

Of course, if it is fragile and brittle,then it may just fall apart from its own weight pulling on it. In that case encapsulation may be the best or only route. Framing, like all of life, involves compromises.

For something like this I'd stay away from corner, edge or sink mounts. All rely on the paper to support its own weight. If the paper is too thin/flimsy, it will "slump" down in the frame.

On a side note, your customer may want to reconsider this whole frame it so I can take it off the wall and see both sides thing. Just consider all the jostling that will get if it's taken off the wall and shown around repeatedly. And on the other hand, how often will she end up actually taking it off? How about taking someone's suggestion for this sort of thing (was it Ron?) and scan whatever is decided to be the back, print off a nice reproduction of it and put it in a second opening beside the original showing the front. Then both sides can be enjoyed easily, and you lessen the risk of damage to the art and/or frame.

Sorry if I'm rambling. I'm running on too little sleep and too much caffeine and bad food.
The glazing on the back (verso) side of the frame
should be acrylic, to avoid broken glass possibilities, during hanging. Hinging or edge
support should work, but it is wise to cover as
much of the edges of this sort of sheet as possible. However you secure the sheet, the attachment should be to the back mat, even though
there is a window, there.