I've just had a pleasant shock.
I've posted a couple of times about a restoration I did on a well loved King James Bible from the 1600's?
It was a pleasure and a real labour of love. Had to be. I didn't charge, on principle. There are some things that you have to do, just because you have to.
Of course, I did my research, and took the date on the intro with a pinch of salt. These things were copied, often from necessity because of the social/political and most of all religious climate of the time.
Then there are good old-fashioned forgeries over 400 years that are actually quite valuable in their own right. But I concentrated on the handwritten annotations and and births, deaths and other bits of family history jotted, in often beautiful handwriting, to authenticate it.
Having decided it was probably an early edition, and decided it was ok to do some preservative work - one mustn't get restore (a preservative process) mixed up with renovate (attempt to bring back to standard, which can be destructive) I did what I felt I must. It is archaeology after all.
There was only one condition. No fibs. Well, that's the polite version. I presented it back to the owners with a bit bit of legalise that must be presented if it was to be authenticated by those wiser than I, or sold.
The shock? In May this year it was the 400th anniversary of The King James Bible.
I'd decided it was from mid-to-late 1600's. Turns out there were about 200 known surviving versions of the original 1611 version. You can add one to that I hope. I'm told my work has been described as "thoughtful and loving, that took nothing away"
It'll remain with the family, the ancestors of the original owners, along with a modern family bible that will continue containing the tradition of notes, annotations, births and other family history, continuing 400 years of history. How cool is that? :)
The hairs stood up on the back of my neck, and I broke out in a cold sweat. I mean, wow....