Fascinating details of a painting’s history and provenance may be found on the reverse side. Examples include incised marks on wood panels, labels, and inscriptions that may include signatures, dates and artwork titles. These details must be protected as they contribute context and value.

I record all the text from labels and stamps in my conservation database to facilitate cross-referencing.

Labels

Exhibition and inventory labels, labels from art dealers, restorers and owners are typical kinds of labels found on the back of paintings and picture frames. Label loss or fragmentation may result in the irrevocable loss of critical information.  As integral components, labels are included in my treatment process to ensure their preservation.

Artists’ Colourmen Stamps

Artists’ colourmen (art material supplier/makers) frequently applied stamps such as the one shown here to stretched canvases supplied in standard sizes. British colourmen and associated marks and stamps have been well documented. Colourmen stamps may help date an undated painting, or even help identify a forgery if the stamp date does not correspond with the artist’s dates.

Winsor & Newton canvas stamp