This month, we are pleased to bring you our second Conservation Challenge — a book presented to the Heir-Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich of Russia in his capacity as Honorary Chief of the Finland Life-Guards Regiment of His Majesty.

What is the Conservation Challenge?

Conservation Challenges help us present our extraordinary holdings to you. Each month we will introduce a rare and interesting object that is in need of conservation. We will share its history and explain the conservation processes necessary to bring the object into the condition required to place it on public view.

The book is severely damaged along the spine. Conservation treatment will address earlier “repairs” that used pressure tape.

What is this month’s object?

The History of the Finland Life-Guards Regiment was published in 1906 on the centennial of the foundation of the Finland Guards. The regiment was established by Emperor Alexander I and was one of the most prestigious in the Imperial Army.

Where did it come from?

At his birth in 1904, The Heir-Tsesarevich was made Honorary Chief of the Regiment, and this copy was presented to him in 1906 during the centennial celebrations of the regiment. The book is numbered “Alexander Palace, collection of the Heir, classroom, No 658.” The book remained in the heir’s classroom at the Alexander Palace through the Russian revolution, after which it passing through several private European collections before appearing in Tunis, where it was acquired by a former member of the Regiment who donated it to our museum.

What does it need?

The book has had a difficult life since leaving the Tsesarevich’s classroom at the Alexander Palace. The entire copy has come disbound, and none of the binding sewing remains. At some point during the second half of the 20th century, the book was badly repaired by the use of pressure tape.

What will you do?

The major part of the conservation is to remove as much of the tape as possible, while conserving the paper. Once the tape is removed, the book will be rebound and stabilized, and the cover, with its original silk endsheets and glorious binding will be reattached to the volume.

What can I do?

Please donate at any level!