Identification of restoration in art and
Black light is helpful in identifying many types of restoration
and alteration to paintings, prints furniture, photos, vases
and more. These items can be altered by the addition of paper,
glue, paint, varnish and/or other material. Items are typically
restored to fix damage and make things appear new.
As the added material often fluoresces differently than the rest
of the item, the restoration can often be identified under black
To identify alterations, one should also look for differences
in texture, gloss, and opacity. When an art print is put at an
angle nearing 180 degrees to a light, the added paint, ink or
paper will often have a different texture and gloss from the
rest of the card surface. The added material also may be physically
raised from the rest of the surface. You might be able to feel
the relief with your finger tip.
added pain on an altered baseball card,
easily identifiable at sharp angle to desk lamp
Opacity is the 'see through' effect when you hold an item
up to a light. If material is added to a poster or print, it
will often appear darker than the rest of the translucent collectible.
The backs and insides of items often reveal restoration--
for examples, the back of a pin may reveal solder and the inside
of a desk drawer may reveal the original color.
As restoration and alterations can effect financial value,
the presence of known alterations must be revealed at sale. A
mint condition movie poster is worth more than a low grade movie
poster restored to mint condition. Not disclosing alterations
at sale is unethicall and might be considered fraud.
Some dealers and collectors remove autographs from baseballs
for aesthetic or financial reasons. For example, a single signed
Joe DiMaggio baseball can be worth more than the same ball with
the bat boy's signature beneath. There is one or more companies
that will remove autographs. While the removal may be difficult
to see under normal daylight, the restoration shows up under
In some cases, forgeries are alterations. For example, a inexpensive
baseball card may be changed into a rare and valuable variation
by changing text. In the earlier mentioned drivers license forgeries,
the forgery may be a genuine license that has had the name or
age altered with paper and glue. Many kids want their license
to say they're old enough to drink. In many cases, these changes
are identified by the above mention techniques.
In a few cases, the forger covered the entire baseball card
in a clear substance to try and cover up the handiwork. The substance
however gives the card a different gloss and black light fluorescence
than other cards in the issue. A collector didn't notice the
actual altered text of one card, but noticed the card had a distinctly
different gloss than his other cards from the same set. Closer
examination by an expert revealed the alteration.
metal figure with clear tape that shows
up under black light
The back of an old photo shows old adhesive
under black light
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