Removing an Antique Label

I am restoring an old mantle clock. Is there a way I can remove the instruction label without destroying it?
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Marty,
I've used a single-edge blade scrapper before and it works nicely - if you're careful. Wasn't to successful in putting them back on so they still looked original though. Most likely it was glued on with hide glue.
Bob S.
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Marty wrote:

I am under the impression that in the antique community the words "restore" and "destroy" are close to synonymous when used by someone who is not an expert. You might consult with a professional document conservator who can advise how to unglue a sheet of paper from wood without destroying it. However if the clock has any value beyond the sentimental, i.e. if it's worth any serious money, this sounds like a job for a pro.
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On 6/16/2009 8:56 AM DGDevin spake thus:

True that.
However, if it's the OP's own clock, I might suggest using steam to remove the label, which as someone else said here may be attached with hide glue, which separates pretty easily with a little moisture. This would be the best way to avoid damaging either the label or the wood.
--
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism

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David Nebenzahl wrote:

Yep. And after he gets the item refinished, PUT THE LABEL BACK.
I've got a sextant that had a calibration certificate affixed to the interior of the mahogany box in which it was stored. I managed to remove the label (with steam). After sprucing up the box, I put the label back with gum Arabic. The sticker reads: "U.S. Naval Observatory Collimation Certificate" with a hand-written date of "March 13, 1944."
I think the stickers add a bit to the item.
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