My wife's elderly aunt showed her some photos yesterday of portraits of her ( the aunt) grandparents. The photos are approximately 16X20 altho she did not measure them so that is just a quesstimate. They are on some sort of fabric backing. They were produced in Europe I would estimate some time around 1850. The problem is that they have been stored folded and unprotected. In the corners the emulsion is flaking off the fabric backing and of course where the folds are has left severe creases in the surface. Other than that the tone and detail of the photos is still very good.
I was wondering if it is possible to restore these pics using a professional conservator. and if so what is a ball park cost estimate.
Or would it be a better idea to just scan the images and retouch the resulting prints?
thanks for your advice/opinions/time