Recently I undertook a calcium phytate treatment on a document featuring iron gall ink, following the guidelines found on the ink corrosion website. The treatment was carried out on a bench, rather than in baths, as an experiment in working this way. The principle is exactly the same except the work is done on a bench allowing documents to be worked on a number at a time should sink/bath space be an issue. Each stage of the treatment is applied by dripping the solution (wash/calcium phytate/rinse/deacidify) on to the object gently with a natural sponge, before dabbing off and carrying out the next step. It was a really interesting way to work as I had not tried this before, neither had I carried out a calcium phytate treatment, so both were interesting new experiences. The treatment was a success as indicated by Bathophenanthroline-indicator paper strips placed on the iron gall ink after treatment.


Document during calcium phytate treatment carried out on the bench.


Bathophenathroline indicator paper before, during and after treatment (left to right), showing successful treatment.