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Looking for help reading handwritten impression


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#1 Hammuh

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:37 PM

Hello,

 

I'm a bookseller and I have an 1894 diary with impressions on one page where the ink (or possibly gouache) is gone.  I've posted the original, as well as my attempts at editing to see the impression a bit better, here:  https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B8_ZFl6GPfdcWUN6c203UlM0TTQ?usp=sharing   I use GIMP as a photo editor and have played with the different color tools and some of the enhancement tools but can't seem to do much better.

 

I'd be grateful for any assistance.

 

Thank you.

 

Adam



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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:23 PM

Now that is a challenge !

 

I can see there is something there which seems to be impressed into the paper (?) vellum(?).  I think I would try flash photography with the flash coming at a very oblique angle to the surface. Camera on a tripod set carefully perpendicular to the paper or whatever it is with the flash connected by cable so that you can change the angle readily.

 

It would take a bit of experimentation but I think a very flat flash angle would produce at least most of a legible image. It is at least worth a try.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Hammuh

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 10:39 AM

Hi Chris,

 

Thank you very much for responding.  The paper is rigid card stock.  The creator used gouache for the title lettering on the cover, and I wonder if he or she started something similar on this side of the sheet and the gouache is either gone, or something else is there.  I feel like I can see the word "California", which would be totally appropriate as this is a journal of a trip from Scranton, PA to California.  If I can figure out the person's name from these impressions, there's a chance I can learn who he or she was, which can significantly affect its value.  Simply learning that it's a woman would probably raise the price by about 25%.

 

I will experiment with your suggestions when I take my next round of photos, probably in the next week or so, and report back.

 

Again, many thanks.

 

Adam



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 15 September 2017 - 06:03 PM

Ah, Scranton PA !  Famous in Harry Chapin's song '30,000 lbs of bananas' and infamous in James Blish's 'Cities in Flight' series of novels !

 

Yes, please lt me know if you get anything by photography.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 Hammuh

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 10:34 AM

Hi Chris,

 

Just wanted to update you that I tried, and failed, this past Friday.  In brighter news, I sold it!  :bounce:

 

Thank you again for your time.

Adam



#6 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:42 PM

Bad news / Good news !

 

So long asyou made a profit on the deal, but it's the sort of situation that leaves a nag of annoyance .

 

Chris Cosgrove






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