We are processing some soap carving figures from c. the 1930s. We’d like to mark them more permanently than tags tied on them. None of our other usual methods–cloth tag sewn on, acryloid b-72 and ink, light #2 pencil–seem appropriate. Has anyone else ever marked soap successfully??? How?
As a conservator, I would discourage marking soap carvings if you can. I understand that tied tags might not stay associated with the carvings in all situations, but I would encourage you to use two methods to identify objects in your collection. Perhaps you might store each carving in a separate box that includes identifying information (a photo and accession number), as well as an archival paper tag on the object.
Do you have any follow-up concerns?
Thanks, Emy. We went with tags. They are already catalogued with good descriptions and photos, so I am hoping that will cover us if the tags become disassociated.
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