Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Ladies of the Altar Society of Honolulu, 1888

Traditional photo albums are simply destined to get broken in a messy way because of its construction and often unconventional covers and materials. So, restoring them can be a bit troublesome, and I have to admit that they often end up getting onto our work benches last. Sorry! If you are a client who left a photo album with us and reading this, forgive us! But you gotta have to have a certain mind set to work on (messy) photo albums because it just can be tedious! It normally involves reconstructing / guarding the hinge of each page/panel and it's mentally exhausting, really.. Job itself is not complicated, but is a rather mundane task that sort of eats at you gradually. Ugh..

Here's one of those poor photo albums which neither of us, me or master, wanted to touch for a long, long time.... But like I said, we have to be in a certain mind state to tackle messy photo albums. Thank GOD it didn't have a radically raised "dome" cover boards with embroidery or naughty stuffing, or wooden skeletons underneath that stuck to the cover material like Siamese twins! This just involved reconstruction of the hinges and simple re-hinging, Whew! One problem, which resulted in our avoidance from it, other than a boring task of hinge reconstruction, was the warped boards. The pictures aren't really capturing it, but it was bad. I couldn't heat-press them because of the photographs, so all I could do was to straighten them by cold-pressing as much as I could. It looks a lot better, (mind you), and has indeed eased the degree of warping. But still, it's a bit wobbly. Well, it's gonna have to live with that and it's the fate of this photo album. Can't fight the fate sometimes!

This is a collection of photographs of Hawaii, presented to members of The Ladies of the Altar Society of Honolulu in 1888.


  1. Beautiful work MHR. I just have a question about the album construction. Are the pages/panels sewn together as signatures? I've seen small vintage photo albums where the panels are hinged together, one after another, and then attached as a block to the front and back over. Is yours done differently? Thanks for your help.


    1. Hello

      This album is sewn as a single signature just like most albums are. But there are indeed albums that are merely glued together on the hinge by guarding. Did this answer our question?

  2. Yes, that answers it.
    I look forward to seeing each new project you post. All expertly done.
    Thanks again.