You have to be a certain age to remember this stuff…(I did write this a few years ago – now you probably need to be dead to remember it!)
This is an original, unopened, and well stored packet of ‘Gevaluxe’. This was made by the Belgian company Gevaert, and dates back to the period before Agfa and Gevaert merged in the early ’60’s, and for a brief period represented the pinnacle of chloro-bromide paper technology. The main characteristic is the surface – it is coated with a micro-fibrous layer resembling velvet. As with black velvet, light hitting the dark areas is almost completely absorbed, resulting in a matt paper with incredibly dense blacks, and a tonal range impossible to achieve with conventional papers.
It was expensive to manufacture and only available for a few years. Few used it, but anyone who has seen a good print on Gevaluxe remembers the experience. Alas, it was cleared off the table during the Agfa-Gevaert association, and replaced with a family of papers from Agfa’s direction, including ‘Portriga’, ‘Record’, and later “Portriga Rapid’ and the famous ‘Record Rapid’.
So this packet must be nudging 50 years old, and getting a worthwhile print from it represents a considerable challenge, and is probably worth writing up in full, as some sort of archaeological investigation. A good new print from this material will be a unique object. Fortunately we have a few packs – and as the paper was only packed 5 sheets to an envelope we’re going to need them all. Restrainers in the developer are going to be essential, and the first task is to make plenty of tests to find what type of developer will be most suitable, and what sort of doctoring of this will be required.