Large landgrant...mounting suggestions?

Janet L

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Apr 9, 2001
Clayton, NC, USA
Have a 33 x 37 landgrant that an attorney wants mounted to suede. It's from 1774....beautiful writing on both sides. Does not want back writing displayed. It's been folded for years, has wax seals all down the sides. I know this is some type of animal skin that it's written on. Any suggestions for mounting it would be appreciated. Customer is more concerned w/looks than conservation methods. Folds will be obvious no matter what I do to it. Two suede mats will be used with spacing in between each mat for depth to get over the creases. But the two mats will not cover the edges of the document as the seals and stitching of the edges are to be shown also. Help!
I would probably float mount the parchment on the bottom piece of suede. You can make V- hinges out of gummed linen tape, just use enough hinges across the top of the piece (just under the top edge) to support the weight (use a cross-piece), and a few at the bottom to keep it in place. The folds and waves of the piece make it much more interesting than trying to flatten it. It probably "ain't proper conservation", but we use it a lot in our shop to float mount non-conservation pieces- just make sure you have him sign off that conservation methods were discussed, and he chose not to use them!
Thanks Crystal, that's basically what I had in mind, but was hoping someone might have another magical suggestion that I hadn't considered.

You can mount a piece of 4ply rag 32x36 to the back of the land grant. then either glue or mount (with pass through hinges) that board to the suede. Conservation and a little more 3D to the float.

I've framed a few Old English Indentures that are similar to your description. I have two of my own framed, dated 1718 and 1753, respectively.

Both are hinged to an undersized backer of alphacelluolse 4-ply board, with loose (anti-flap) hinges placed near the bottom on the sides. The mount board is then glued to the suede background board. Frames are more than 2" deep, to allow plenty of room for the creases and wrinkles that give these old documants so much character. Museum Glass is on both of them. One is in my home, the other is on display in the shop. They are big, bold attention-getters, and fun to talk about.

I would not suggest trying to use inverted "V" hinges directly to the face of the mount board. That configuration is prone to failure, as the hinges tend to peel away from the mount board, starting at the top of the crease. If you want to mount directly to suede, please consider Pat Murphy's suggestion of "pass through" hinges. That is, pull the hinges through slots in the board, and securing them on back.
Thanks Jim and Pat. This is going to be a nice attention grabber in my customer's office. We had the back of the document scanned and the printer did a great job of matching the color of the original document so that we could frame it for a smaller wall piece. They will hang in the same room, but not on the same wall.