glass front and back


Grumbler in Training
Sep 18, 2005
St Johnsbury, Vermont
I have got a wallet signed by Babe Ruth with a seperate sheet of paper telling the story of the wallet. Customer wants to see both sides of both pieces in the same frame. The wallet is very valuable. Any suggestions on how I might go about this with conservation in mind?
Welcome to the Grumble, Atlas.

You have just stumbled into one of the biggest soap boxes around here: what the customer wants and what is best for the art/artifact are not always the same things. Often they are mutually exclusive.

I would suggest a color copy of the letter for framing while the original is tucked away somewhere safe and dark.

The wallet is more difficult. If you try to suspend it in a frame, gravity is not going to be kind to the old leather. Maybe a plexi box - the kind baseballs are displayed in - would be a good solution.

Sink mat the wallet between mats on both sides.

The depth of the sink can also be split to be deep bevel mats walking down to were the paper is pinched in a mylar envelope between them.

If the paper isn't historical, I wouldn't really worry about it. IF it also has his signature, then make sure at least Museum or like Kit says, photocopy.
I knew I would find good solutions here: )
I thought about the plexi box but am not sure how I would go about that. What is the best way of attaching pieces of plexi together? And I do believe gravity will not be kind to this piece with out a little help. It is hand sewn together at the edges so I thought I could some how string something through a couple of the holes and then hide the string inside mats. Would this be bad for the wallet? value of wallet?
The wallet is valuable because of the signature on
it. That signature is not likely to be lightfast
and keeping the wallet in the light puts its
value at risk. To extend Kit's idea, framing a
photo of the wallet and a copy of the letter is
the only safe way to protect the value of these
items. Both wallet and letter can be housed in
a presentation box, of your design and making =
two jobs for you and proper protection for your
clients valuables. Preservation pays.


I agree completely with the suggestion of scanning both sides and framing those ... our constant advisement when dealing with items of high value ... and stash the originals in acid free (ala University Products) containers.
Listen to Hugh... He knows what he is talking about. He has a very long title at his job... at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

Please talk your customer in to protecting the piece of history he owns.