Featured Probate document 1846

Discussion in 'Books' started by John1965, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. John1965

    John1965 New Member

    I have a very large probate document from an ancestor of mine dated 1846. The document is 'sewn together' at the base with a string like material....so it may be three pages or one very enormous page. My questions are:
    1. If I snip the string will that effect the value in any significant way?
    2. Can anyone recommend someone who could frame this document/s?

    Many thanks for anyone that can help this novice!


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  2. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    The pages are usually held together with a thin ribbon and sealed with a wax seal.

    They are not very valuable, £10 -£20 max, so if you wish to take it apart for framing its your choice.
    Any local picture framer should be able to do the job.

    I've just recently acquired one consisting of 5 pages from 1774, its pretty good reading until the English scribe morphed into Latin.
  3. John1965

    John1965 New Member

    thanks so much for that. I'll cut the ties..the seal is already broken. The writing is in beautiful script but I couldn't work out if it's English or Latin! J
  4. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    Before handing it to a framer you should determine whether it is written on paper or parchment (animal skin). Parchment can be damaged by some techniques commonly used for paper. Removing the creases, for example, can be tricky. If you are in England, there are probably more framers familiar with parchment than there are here in the States.
  5. daveydempsey

    daveydempsey Moderator Moderator

    Mine is a little crumpled having been folded up and left in a safe..
    I have not parted it as yet as I don't know what I'm going to do with it.:cool:


  6. Figtree3

    Figtree3 What would you do if you weren't afraid?

    We might be able to help you with that if you can post clear photos of the writing.
    2manybooks and Christmasjoy like this.
  7. gregsglass

    gregsglass Well-Known Member

    Hi Davey,
    Before I knew better I ironed my 1848 document to get rid of wrinkles and creases. I used low heat and no steam and then had it archivally framed. A few of the deeper creases came back slightly. It is wonderfully framed for the next generation or the dumpster which ever it goes to.
  8. afantiques

    afantiques Well-Known Member

    It will be principally in English with a few legal Latin terms thrown in, as was customary. I agree with davey that it has minimal cash value so whatever you do you will only lose its value to you if it all goes wrong. (and it probably won't, that is parchment and very tough)
  9. 2manybooks

    2manybooks Well-Known Member

    I know of one parchment document that was subjected to an ill advised lamination process to "preserve" it. It came out wrinkled and half its original size.
    Heat can cause parchment to shrink. Moisture can soften it, stain it, and turn it to glue (not to mention damage the ink on it). If a piece of parchment is valuable or important enough to bother with, it is best to contact a conservator.
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  10. John1965

    John1965 New Member

    Thanks for all of this advice. will try and post a pic....
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