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Fine Art/Painting Conservation


I have a Henry Charles Fox oil painting about 16 x 24.  It needs to be conserved and the conservator said that the back needs to be lined to repair several small tears.  However, the signature is on the back of the painting.  Won't putting a lining over the signature reduce the value??  I don't know what to do.

Dear Judy, Some collectors and dealers are hesitant to buy a painting that has been lined or laid down, as sometimes this indicates that there may have been severe damage. I would suggest that you take photographs of the signature, and of the tears to show that the damage was not major. Keep them in an envelope attached to the back of the frame or stretcher bars. Sometimes it is possible for the conservator to put a window in the second canvas to make the signature visible.

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Daniel A. Hynes


Collecting, buying, selling, identifying, and caring for paintings, drawings,and watercolors (19th and early 20th century American and European). No prints, contemporary art, or works executed after 1940.


35 years as a fine art dealer, including 3 years as a gallery director. Also was art expert for Leslie Hindman's Auctioneers, and for Dunning's Auction.

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