The Dog ate my marriage certificate

Pelican Art

Feb 13, 2004
Petaluma, CA
I have a vellum marriage certificate from Italy which was ripped into 9 pieces by the owners dog.

Does anyone have any tips in using drymount for this project (already authorized by the customer)? Alternatives to drymount?

Tell them the restoration will take 5 years!~ Then you will be able to give it back to them and it will save them the trouble of ripping it up at the divorce!` Make sure you get a 50% nonrefundable deposit!~
Is this the one with the pope picture on it? If so good luck!~ Teeth marks-stretched vellum!~ If they value it paper conservator!~
How about scanning all the pieces into your computer and remaking the cert and framing that? Keep the pieces in the back of the framing package.
Vellum is tricky stuff. Scanning and "re-creating" sounds like your best move. Otherwise, I would try to find someone who is used to working with specialty leathers. Your local branch of the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism) may be able to help.
I'll second what everyone else has said. First option, especially if cost is a concern, is to scan it all and have it digitally reproduced. Image Edit can do this easily.

Second choice if they're willing to go a little further cost-wise is a full restoration.

And to be honest, it may really stink, but I'd rather not get the sale than have to drymount it. Sure, they say it's fine to drymount it, but your customer is not going to remember that if something goes terribly wrong. But I hope your customer would appreciate your concern in presenting other better options.

All of the above.

Best: Conservator

Cheaper and very good: Scan and to digital restoration. Then they can reprint on vellum.

Not maybe cheaper but best for a conversation piece, and the most honest: Find heart shaped glass locket. Put cert in locket. Frame in shadowbox with picture of dog....

I haven't found the locket I like yet, but I have the picture of our then 2 yr old (now passed away) Sundance...looking very proud of herself... :D
Explain the various options available and come to an agreement on course of action. Then get the customer to sign a detailed "description of the condition and steps to be attempted", release form. Then if it doesn't work out the way they want, you have a presigned consent form preempting any Lawyer talk.

Then follow above advice.
Originally posted by Jerry Ervin:
If you try to use heat on Vellum it will literally fry like bacon.
Yes, but think of the possibilities!

If it comes out looking good, when you hold it up for the customer to see, and they say "Wow, that looks great!" Then you can reply :


"And it smells good too!"

(then you can both go to Denny's for breakfast)
Mount the pieces individually but do not try to put it together, make it look like somebody tore it up and threw it on the ground. The get an nameplate that says "In Good Times and BAD"

Originally posted by HannaFate:
Oh, Baer! That's sweet!
some days Hanna, I have my moments. We went to dinner and came back. The marriage certificate had come in the mail and was on the dining table.

Sundance had never gotten up on the table before, and never chewed paper or anything else off the table again.

Now Aspen, she was another story all together. But she was "Daddy's Girl". :D