Saturday, July 23, 2005

Antiques Care Tips

I promised you more tips to care for your antiques, so here we go.....

Large, old paintings look great above a mantelpiece, but if there is a working fire beneath, damage from heat, smoke, and dust can be damaging.

Overcleaning plated silver wears through to the base metal over time. Sheffield plate should not be replated, while electroplate can be. Liquid dipping solutions are not recommended for tarnish removal.

A wall-hung textile should be backed with linen and hung on a wall that is flat and free from moisture, an not facing a window. Hang with the warp running verically to take the strain, as the wefts tend to stretch and distort.

Vintage hats should be gently shaken out regularly. Dust can also be removed by using a blow dryer set on cool. Never leave hatpins in as they leave rust marks and holes. Store in acid-free boxes. While replacement feathers can be found, some are from extinct species, so look for spares at antique shops or markets.

Never set the time on an antique clock by moving the hands backward. Before moving a pendulum clock, the pendulum must be removed or locked in place. Tall case (Grandfather) clocks should be screwed to the wall, as they are top heavy and could topple over.

Never keep old metal toys in a kitchen or bathroom; humidity hastens the natural degradation of the tinplate or diecast alloy. It's best to display them in a glazed cabinet, using sachets of silica gel to control humidity.

Never display pewter, lead, or diecast collectibles in an oak cabinet. The acidic atmosphere will cause decay.

Until next time......

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