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  #1  
Old 01-02-2022, 12:46 PM
David.liehr David.liehr is offline
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Default Help With Babe Ruth Cut

Hi all!
I have a Babe Ruth autograph that has been passed down to me. Story goes my great grandfather got this autograph in person. Someone, I believe my father, framed the cut autograph with other autographs that family members obtained. As you can see in the picture, the Ruth autograph has slowly ripped and is now in two pieces. I was trying to research the best way to preserve this from future damage and was suggested to post on this board to ask for your help. While I’m not interested in selling this, I do want to try and keep it in some form to pass down. I wasn’t sure if I could simply tape it back together or is there a different method?


Last edited by David.liehr; 01-02-2022 at 12:48 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2022, 01:55 PM
Deertick Deertick is offline
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I would NOT "tape together". From my research into paper conservation for an item I have, minimum charges are in the $350-450 range and charges go up depending on complexity.

Good news is that most will give you a written estimate detailing proposed actions free of charge, although turnaround may be many weeks.

I have not made a decision on who to work with as yet, so no recommendations on who to use.
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  #3  
Old 01-02-2022, 02:33 PM
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tape the backside of it together so the tape can't be seen on the display side. Or you could remove the pieces and have them adhered to something like an index card and they would stay in place.
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Old 01-02-2022, 03:03 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Originally Posted by Caseyatbat View Post
tape the backside of it together so the tape can't be seen on the display side. Or you could remove the pieces and have them adhered to something like an index card and they would stay in place.
NO, NO, NO!!!!

The adhesive from regular tape will damage it as it leaches through the paper. Document repair tape, which is similar to tissue paper and archivally safe is used in these situations. I have been doing it for years for ripped documents and photographs. Done properly it is barely detectable. I would probably reach out to someone and get a quote. Do a search for archival or paper restoration in your area. We have several in the Northern Virginia area. If you wish to try it yourself it can be purchased at these places:

https://www.universityproducts.com/
https://www.archivalmethods.com/
http://www.lightimpressionsdirect.com/

If I did it for this I would put the repair tape on the back and burnish it. A burnishing tool is a small plastic tool that allows you to smooth out the tape and flatten the tear so it adheres properly
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Last edited by Michael B; 01-02-2022 at 03:07 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2022, 04:29 PM
Carter08 Carter08 is online now
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Nothing to add on the repair but would add what a great auto. Ruth had a pretty amazing signature.
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  #6  
Old 01-02-2022, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caseyatbat View Post
tape the backside of it together so the tape can't be seen on the display side. Or you could remove the pieces and have them adhered to something like an index card and they would stay in place.
You run a business "Casey at Bat Collectibles"? Astounding. You know absolutely nothing about "collectibles," and their proper treatment.


Ain't the net an amazing place?

Be careful out there, boys and girls.

Last edited by David Atkatz; 01-02-2022 at 06:38 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2022, 08:23 PM
Shoeless Moe Shoeless Moe is offline
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Elmer's Glue works too.
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:22 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Elmer's Glue works too.
Elmer's glue is not necessarily archival. If I were to use it I would use their washable glue stick. There is a product that is acid free. It is called Glue Dots and comes in a dispenser much like correction tape.

https://www.archivalmethods.com/product/glue-dots
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Last edited by Michael B; 01-02-2022 at 09:24 PM.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-2022, 09:26 PM
Michael B Michael B is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Atkatz View Post
You run a business "Casey at Bat Collectibles"? Astounding. You know absolutely nothing about "collectibles," and their proper treatment.


Ain't the net an amazing place?

Be careful out there, boys and girls.
Thank you, David. It is challenging when there are cavalier responses with no consideration for the damage that can be done by products that is not considered. I can appreciate that it can be well intentioned, but not always thought out.
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Old 01-02-2022, 09:48 PM
David.liehr David.liehr is offline
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Thank you all so much your responses! I reached out to a paper restoration company in my area to see their quote.
Out of curiosity, would an autograph expert be willing to offer their opinion if this Ruth is authentic? While its a cool family story, I have no way to verify if its true or if weve been passing down something not authentic. If its not likely to be authentic, not sure its worth going with a company to repair it verse trying to do it myself. Ha.
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  #11  
Old 01-03-2022, 08:59 AM
steve B steve B is offline
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Yes, it's worth having a professional do it.

While the right archival materials are available, they aren't cheap, and you only need a very small amount of each. So doing it right will be expensive.

You can also run into problems that are daily things for a pro, but a huge puzzle for the rest of us.
For instance, I think it's likely the tear was caused by the adhesive used in framing expanding and putting pressure on an already weak crease.
So the first problem is what exactly is that adhesive and how do you remove it without doing more damage to the paper or autograph.

After that, you need to know how to neutralize whatever you did to get the adhesive off.

After that it gets easy, a good archival paste, and mulberry paper.

I do my own preservation work, but my stuff is cheap enough that the right materials cost more than the items, so I use "next best" type stuff.

I would not work on this if it were mine, I'd send it to a pro.
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Old 01-03-2022, 09:17 AM
Carter08 Carter08 is online now
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Worth sending to a pro for sure. Im no expert but looks real and you have a story behind it to support that conclusion
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  #13  
Old 01-03-2022, 05:57 PM
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From that small blurry pic, it looks good. But would be nice to see it blown up. The R in Ruth looks funny though. Almost like it was traced over. But almost certainly good. One can even (roughly) date this autograph to about 1934ish to 1944ish. Does that fit the timeframe that your grandfather acquired it?
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  #14  
Old 01-03-2022, 07:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carter08 View Post
Worth sending to a pro for sure. Im no expert but looks real and you have a story behind it to support that conclusion
+1 agreed
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Looking for
1920 Heading Home Ruth Cards
1921/22 Ruth Throwing Pose "Babe" and George
1921 Frederick Foto Ruth
1917 Boston Store Babe Ruth
Joe Jackson Cards 1916 Advertising Backs
1910 Old Mills Joe Jackson
1914 Boston Garter Joe Jackson
1914 E & S Publishing Card Joe Jackson
other Joe Jackson playing day cards
1911 M110 Sporting Life Cobb and Wagner Cards
1908 Rose Postcard Ty Cobb
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  #15  
Old 01-03-2022, 07:17 PM
David.liehr David.liehr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpm0014 View Post
From that small blurry pic, it looks good. But would be nice to see it blown up. The R in Ruth looks funny though. Almost like it was traced over. But almost certainly good. One can even (roughly) date this autograph to about 1934ish to 1944ish. Does that fit the timeframe that your grandfather acquired it?
That date range makes a lot of sense. Based on what I was told, he would have gotten the auto late 1930s. Are you able to click on the picture? It should load a page with a larger picture of the auto. If that doesnt work, let me know and I can look to see about doing the picture over.
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  #16  
Old 01-03-2022, 07:31 PM
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So it was most certainly traced over at some point. Which sucks. Probably nothing sinister either. Signature was probably fading and someone (in an attempt to preserve it) traced it over to make it darker. That really stinks.
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  #17  
Old 01-06-2022, 08:39 PM
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Agree.... it appears traced over.

Last edited by perezfan; 01-06-2022 at 08:40 PM.
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2022, 05:40 PM
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I do wonder this - could it just be slabbed without tinkering with glue or tape? Especially if not going to be sold. (I know....I have watched National Treasure too many times :-)
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Old 01-09-2022, 11:09 PM
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I do wonder this - could it just be slabbed without tinkering with glue or tape? Especially if not going to be sold. (I know....I have watched National Treasure too many times :-)
It could definitely be slabbed as-is. But the main risk is in shipping it. It could split completely during its time in transit. You could probably protect it to some extent, but the risk is still there.

Aesthetically, it wouldn't look very nice inside the slab with most of it being separated. Plus, the flip will likely say "traced signature" or something to that extent. So if it were mine, I would professionally restore it, put it in a mylar sleeve, and mat/frame it with a great photo of the Babe.
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Old 01-10-2022, 10:44 AM
BillyCox3 BillyCox3 is offline
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Originally Posted by perezfan View Post
It could definitely be slabbed as-is. But the main risk is in shipping it. It could split completely during its time in transit. You could probably protect it to some extent, but the risk is still there.

Aesthetically, it wouldn't look very nice inside the slab with most of it being separated. Plus, the flip will likely say "traced signature" or something to that extent. So if it were mine, I would professionally restore it, put it in a mylar sleeve, and mat/frame it with a great photo of the Babe.
Definitely the way to go here. There are next to no good reasons for paying the fees to have an enhanced autograph which is in nearly two pieces authenticated. It has to be something even more special, valuable and far less common than a Babe Ruth cut for this to make any sense given its condition. In the baseball realm, players such as Joe Jackson or any of the top tier HOFers (in terms of rarity) would make the cut. Babe, not so much. In terms of value, what is this item truly worth? Hard to pinpoint what exactly it would fetch at auction, but I'd venture under $500. The authentication fees, shipping & insurance to PSA both ways will be more than half its value. Remember, PSA's fee is the same regardless of the condition of your item.

Last edited by BillyCox3; 01-10-2022 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 01-12-2022, 07:03 PM
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Definitely the way to go here. There are next to no good reasons for paying the fees to have an enhanced autograph which is in nearly two pieces authenticated. It has to be something even more special, valuable and far less common than a Babe Ruth cut for this to make any sense given its condition. In the baseball realm, players such as Joe Jackson or any of the top tier HOFers (in terms of rarity) would make the cut. Babe, not so much. In terms of value, what is this item truly worth? Hard to pinpoint what exactly it would fetch at auction, but I'd venture under $500. The authentication fees, shipping & insurance to PSA both ways will be more than half its value. Remember, PSA's fee is the same regardless of the condition of your item.
Very well stated!
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