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Armour
 
 
Armour presents certain problems in cleaning and preservation. Rust is the enemy that must at all costs be prevented from gaining a hold. Temperatures need to be watched where valuable armour is kept, with eyes always open to detect signs of damp causing disastrous effect on old iron and steel.
 
 
 
 
Armour 4Care should be taken when cleaning arms and armour. Different metals are often used in one piece and it is easy to splash a cleaning agent appropriate for one metal over another, damaging its patination. To avoid this problem the piece can be taken apart. This is often impossible or impracticable or beyond the abilities of the amateur restorer. Such items have to be cleaned professionally.
 
Alternatively, the surrounding areas can be covered with masking tape and the cleaning agent for the metal being treated, gradually applied on a small piece of cotton wool. This procedure is both time-consuming and labour-intensive, but it will minimise the risk of damage.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Rusted ArmourMetal De-Corroder can be used to dissolve rust patches. Where necessary the complete piece can be washed with a Vulpex Liquid Soap solution and thoroughly dried. The surface can then be treated with Pre-Lim Surface Cleaner and finished with one or more layers of Renaissance microcrystalline wax. This microcrystalline wax has a high resistance to moisture and remains clear with no discolouration of the wax or the underlying layer. When applied thinly and rubbed out to full lustre, the wax gives a dry glass clear finish.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Armour
 
 
 
Rust-free armour should be waxed as soon as it is taken into the home. A protective coating of Vaseline and turpentine or light oiling have previously been used but are no longer recommended.
 
Oiling the surface is generally discouraged since the surface remains wet and attracts both dust and moisture.
 
These methods have been almost universally replaced by using one or more layers of Renaissance microcrystalline wax.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Guns need to be protected from attack from both woodworm and rust. If unblemished when acquired, apply protective coatings immediately.
 
Once again we recommend one or more layers of Renaissance micro-crystalline wax.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Fine sword blades, foreign or British, should be thoroughly cleaned of grease before placing in scabbards. Regular inspection of swords for signs of rust is advisable. Once again we recommend applying one or more layers of Renaissance micro-crystalline wax.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Art
Art
 
Now that you are the proud owner of a piece art, it is necessary to learn how to keep the piece in good condition. The following Care & Repair tips will help you achieve that goal.
 
 
 
Apart from dusting frames and the glass protecting works on paper, picture cleaning should only be done by a skilled professional.
 
Never clean gilded frames with a damp cloth or sponge as this will eventually remove the gold leaf.
 
Flaking oil paint, dirty varnish and a whitish bloom on the surface of an oil painting caused by damp can all be treated without too much difficulty by a professional restorer.
 
Stains and foxing on works on paper can also usually be dealt with by a paper conservator.
 
Inspect your pictures regularly as any signs of damage or staining should be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration which will make the problem more difficult and expensive to deal with.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Yes a picture can be hung anywhere, but not if you want to keep it in top condition. Use the following guidelines when looking for a place to hang a picture:
 
  • Avoid hanging pictures over a fire or radiator, unless there is a mantelpiece or radiator shelf, as dirt and smoke in the warm air stream will be carried up and could mark the picture.
  • Watercolours will fade if hung in strong light, especially sunlight, and some types of paper may discolour; it is best to hang them on a wall which receives indirect light.
  • Consider covering vulnerable works on paper with a cloth when away on holiday, especially in the summer, or draw the curtains in the room. Alternatively roller sun-blinds cut out the rays of the sun without darkening the room.
  • Because of their sensitivity to light, valuable works on paper should never be photocopied.
  • Oil paint is less likely to fade but will sometimes dry and crack in high temperatures caused by central heating, fires, direct sunlight or even picture lights. Panels too may warp or crack as a result of heat or extremes of temperature. Wide variations in temperature and humidity are not good for any works of art.
  • Do not hang pictures on damp walls. To help air circulate and avoid the build-up of any damp, especially if hung on an outside wall, allow a picture to lean away from the wall at the top and also glue a thin sliver of cork from a wine bottle or a corn pad on to the bottom corners of the back of the frame. While damp can leave brown tide marks or cause paper to ripple when it dries out, very dry conditions, often caused by central heating, can make paper dehydrate and become brittle. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can solve these problems.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
 
Hanging
Pictures should be hung securely using nylon cord for preference. There are various strengths of cord so check with your dealer for the most suitable. Brass or copper picture wire can also be used but it can corrode over time. String is not normally strong enough and it can also stretch and be prone to rotting. Eye hooks should be screwed into the frame only and not the stretcher or backboard. For smaller works,'D hooks' can be attached to the backboard provided a barrier board is also used to prevent contact with the work. Both the strength of the hook and its fixing into the wall must be commensurate with the weight of the picture. For very hard walls special hooks are available or alternatively the wall may need drilling. It is usually advisable to use two hooks, not only for additional safety but also to prevent the picture 'swinging'. Very heavy paintings may also need to be supported at their base by brackets fixed to the wall, or by two short lengths of chain hung vertically from secure fixings and hooked onto brass plate hooks screwed into the frame.

Avoid hanging pictures over a fire or radiator, unless there is a mantelpiece or radiator shelf, as dirt and smoke in the warm air stream will be carried up and could mark the picture. Watercolours will fade if hung in strong light, especially sunlight, and some types of paper may discolour; it is best to hang them on a wall which receives indirect light. Consider covering vulnerable works on paper with a cloth when away on holiday, especially in the summer, or draw the curtains in the room. Alternatively roller sun-blinds cut out the rays of the sun without darkening the room. Because of their sensitivity to light, valuable works on paper should never be photocopied. Oil paint is less likely to fade but will sometimes dry and crack in high temperatures caused by central heating, fires, direct sunlight or even picture lights. Panels too may warp or crack as a result of heat or extremes of temperature. Wide variations in temperature and humidity are not good for any works of art. Do not hang pictures on damp walls. To help air circulate and avoid the build-up of any damp, especially if hung on an outside wall, allow a picture to lean away from the wall at the top and also glue a thin sliver of cork from a wine bottle or a corn pad on to the bottom corners of the back of the frame. While damp can leave brown tide marks or cause paper to ripple when it dries out, very dry conditions, often caused by central heating, can make paper dehydrate and become brittle. Humidifiers and dehumidifiers can solve these problems.

Framing & Mounting
Traditionally, oil paintings are framed without glass as they already have the protection of their coat of varnish. However works on paper -watercolours, drawings and prints -must be glazed to protect them from surface damage and dirt. While perspex sheeting can be used and is lighter and less fragile than glass, it scratches easily and attracts dust. For valuable works on paper, consider glazing with one of the modern UV filter glasses which are expensive but can filter out up to 95% of harmful UV rays.
 
It is important for works on paper to be set behind a card 'window' mount as this separates the glass from the artwork, preventing any rubbing and providing some circulation of air to deter mould. Both the bevel top window mount and the under-mount must be acid-free as acidic paper will eventually discolour and in damp conditions it can develop mould or brown spots known as 'foxing'. You can check whether an existing card mount is acidic by looking to see if there is a brown stain around the inner edge of the 'window': if there is then the mount should be replaced. In order to allow paper to expand and contract, it should not be taped directly to the under-mount but attached to it with T-shaped paper hinges fixed to the back or held by conservation-quality paper corners. With valuable works on paper, it is worth considering changing the mount and backing every ten years or so.

When fitting the work into a frame, the whole should be backed with modern double-sided smooth hardboard. Never use a wooden backboard as it is acidic, nor grey pulp board. Pin the backing into the frame and seal the edges with gummed paper tape to help keep our dust and insects. It is not advisable to have works 'dry laid' onto an under-mount.

Storage
It is important to store oil painting and works on paper in clean, dry conditions, preferably somewhere dark and where the temperature is cool and fairly constant. Paintings should be placed upright on blocks to keep them off the floor with acid-free board between each one. The largest and heaviest should be at the back of the stack and picture hooks should be removed to prevent them damaging the next frame or canvas. Cover the stack with a clean dust sheet but do not use plastic as this can cause mould. Unframed works on paper, such as maps or prints, are best kept flat in acid-free boxes or folders with acid-free tissue between each work.
 
Cleaning and Conservation
Apart from dusting frames and the glass protecting works on paper, picture cleaning should only be done by a skilled professional. Never clean gilded frames with a damp cloth or sponge as this will eventually remove the gold leaf. Flaking oil paint, dirty varnish and a whitish bloom on the surface of an oil painting caused by damp can all be treated without too much difficulty by a professional restorer. Stains and foxing on works on paper can also usually be dealt with by a paper conservator. Inspect your pictures regularly as any signs of damage or staining should be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration which will make the problem more difficult and expensive to deal with.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
BooksThe survival of anything made of paper depends on the properties of the paper itself, the materials applied to it, and their effect on each other. In contrast to materials such as textiles, where older pieces are usually more fragile than newer ones, the opposite is often true of paper.
 
AcidityAcidity is one of the most important causes of damage in paper because it weakens and eventually destroys the fibres that make up the paper. As a result, paper made from ground wood pulp breaks down rapidly from within. The first sign of this is when the paper becomes yellow, then brown, and increasingly brittle. For example, newspapers are made from ground wood pulp, and the acids in the paper cause it to discolour and become brittle. Breakdown of newspaper from within speeds up with exposure to light and/or high humidity. Wood pulp can be chemically treated to remove acids and impurities. Paper made from purified wood pulp is more expensive but lasts longer than paper made from ground wood pulp. However, in the past, its lifespan was still limited because it was almost always treated with alum-rosin size.
 
Alum-rosin size was introduced in the mid-1800´s, alongside wood pulp. It was made from a mixture of alum, in this case aluminium sulphate, and rosin, the resinous material left over when turpentine is distilled. This type of alum is different from the earlier type and is not chemically stable. Alum-rosin size was cheap, could be added whilst the paper was being made rather than as a separate stage, and produced an excellent surface for printing. Unfortunately, in moist conditions it generates sulphuric acid, which attacks the paper, turning it yellow and making it very brittle.
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
BookBooks are often stained with small brown spots, a condition known as foxing. Along with other stains, foxing can be bleached out, but the leaves have to be removed. If the staining is widespread the book will need to be dismantled and re-sewn. This is best left to a professional, who will bleach out the stains at the same time. To remove single pages, soak a piece of thin, soft string in water, lay it in the hinge of the book next to the page for renewal, and close the book for about a minute. The water softens the page along a straight line so that it pulls out easily. The other half of the leaf left in the binding will probably be secure enough without further attention, but if necessary remove it at the same time.
 
Pages that are ”tipped in”, that is stuck to the adjacent page along the inner edge, can be removed by peeling back the glued joint.
 
Bleach individual pages as for art work but not so much that they look completely different from the rest of the book. After bleaching, put back their original stiffness by sizing the paper with very runny flour and water paste. Apply it to both sides of a page with a small sponge, working outwards from the centre. Leave the page to dry on white blotting paper, and then press it flat.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Boards that have fallen off the sides of books can be temporarily held in place by tying cotton or crepe bandage around the book from top to bottom, which will not be visible when the book is on the shelf with other volumes. Rebinding may devalue a rare book. A skilful craftsman can ease off an old spine, rejoin the original boards and reattach the original spine. But even this process, known as re-backed with spine laid on, may reduce the value. If broken bindings are repaired or renewed, the original pieces should be kept safely as documentary evidence.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Bookends should be as large as the books they confine so that pressure is spread equally over the surface. Volumes should never be packed too tightly on a shelf. To remove a book, reach over the top of it and ease it out from the back of the shelf. Or part it from the volumes either side and grasp it by the sides.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
A broken hinge can be renewed, but if you are prepared to undertake this yourself, you should ask for a generous reduction in price.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
The most common type of binding in the modern home is called 'perfect' binding and is used for magazines and journals, modern paperbacks and some modern hardbacks. Both cover and pages are stuck together at the spine edge by a thick layer of hot melt glue. This is the cheapest type of binding and is intended for the throwaway market. It is often combined with the use of poor quality, acidic paper.
 
Once the adhesive along the spine dries out or breaks, pages begin to drop out. You can put the book into a book box and store it. This will at least keep the parts together and minimise further damage. If the book is of value, a professional conservator could repair and rebind it.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Cloth covers are more easily cleaned than leather, but both benefit from careful attention.
 
Wash grimy cloth covers with a damp sponge. Do not soak the surface, and keep water away from the pages. Be particularly careful if there is gold lettering or decorations on the cover as it can wash away easily. When the surface is quite dry, rub in microcrystalline wax with circular strokes and polish with a soft cloth.
 
A faded spine can often be revived with a coat of wax. More extensive areas of fading are difficult to rectify. Water-based inks applied with a cotton wool pad can be used to blend one area into another, but practise first on worthless books.
 
Scuffed or worn patches of cloth can be disguised by rubbing in coloured starch scraped from new book cloth. Choose a piece that matches the book closely and dampen the surface. Scrape with a knife to form a moist paste. Dab the paste onto the worn area with your finger.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Leather has been chemically processed (tanned) so that it does not putrefy when it gets wet. Alum tawed leather has only been partly tanned by treatment (tawing) with alum. In the right conditions, it is very hard wearing and durable. However, if it gets damp or wet it will deteriorate and be damaged. Untanned skin such as parchment or vellum, which has been limed, stretched and dried, can also be hardwearing and durable. However, if it gets wet it will contract and begin to putrefy.
 
Avoid using leather dressing on books. It doesn't help preserve the leather and can in fact be very damaging, particularly when too much has been applied.
 
Dirty, greasy or grimy leather bindings can be gently washed in a Vulpex liquid soap solution and thoroughly dried. Care being taken to ensure the leather bindings are not soaked in the solution.
 
When cleaning leather (or any water - sensitive material) Vulpex can be used in white spirit as a non-aqueous cleaner. Mix 1 part Vulpex in 20 parts spirit. Although Vulpex can be diluted in IMS, white spirit is recommended for its slower evaporation rate, which enhances the cleaning action especially where heavy materials like solid leather are heavily soiled with grease etc. When dry use several thin layers of Renaissance microcrystalline wax and buff to a shine.
 
Dry cracked leather bookbindings and on desktops can be revitalised with lanolin and Renaissance microcrystalline wax preparation. Spot test the dressing on an inconspicuous area; if it leaves no stain, then apply it sparingly with a soft cloth. Let the dressing absorb for about 24 hours before gently buffing with a clean duster. We recommend using one or more layers of Renaissance wax to finish.
 
The above method is both recommended and used by Rarity4u. However we acknowledge other cleaning methods are also available.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
You can clean paper leaves and endpapers using the methods for art work as described in Book Care & Repair. The erasers, bread, and document cleaner are suitable for removing dirt and finger marks from any part of the book. Pencil notes can be erased in this way too, but ink needs more care. Avoiding printed portions of the page, try gently abraiding the surface with a very fine silicon carbide paper. Used small circular strokes and check constantly against the light that you are not wearing a patch thin.
 
Coating the area with rubber-based adhesive, leaving it to dry, and then rolling the adhesive off with your fingers can lift crayon. Repeat this if some crayon remains. The adhesive sometimes ”plucks” the surface of the paper, so test it before using on printed matter. Rarity4u recommend and use Groom Stick to remove crayon, dirt, finger marks, pencil notes etc.
 
Coloured endpapers can be cleaned with document cleaner, but avoid harsher methods.
 
Coated endpapers that have a slightly powdery texture are very fragile and should not be touched.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information .
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Mould and mildew growth is caused by high relative humidity or dampness, combined with poor air circulation. In terms of caring for your antiques, what matters is relative humidity. Relative humidity measures the amount of moisture that is in the air relative to the maximum amount of moisture that the air could hold at that temperature. If conditions become dryer and relative humidity drops below 70%, the mould will become dormant, but will reactivate again if relative humidity rises.
 
If you have mouldy books, try to locate the source of the dampness, e.g. leaks or books against a cold exterior wall, and address the underlying cause of your problem. Assess whether the mould is active or dormant by testing it carefully with a fine brush. If the mould is dry and powdery it is likely to be dormant, whilst if it is soft and smeary it is probably active. If the mould is active, move the books to a warm dry area until it becomes dormant. At the same time inspect the shelves for woodworm, as these pests will bore through books as well as timber.
 
A book damp enough to develop mould may have warped boards and cocked leaves with heavy staining. This will require professional attention. But if mildew has barely taken hold, stand the book on end with the boards open and the leaves fanned out. Leave it like this in a dry, airy environment, separating the leaves from time to time. Once the mildew has become powdery, you can then take the book outside and use a soft brush to remove the dried deposits.
 
To remove mould itself, take the book/s outdoors on a warm, dry day. Hold each book so that it remains firmly closed, to prevent contamination of the text block, and clean as previously described. Clean the shelf area thoroughly with a commercial fungicide or a solution of 5–10% bleach, wipe/rinse the shelf with water to ensure all bleach residues are removed and allow them to dry before replacing the books.
 
We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Books invariably collect dust on the head. Holding the book tightly closed; blow the dust off the head. Use an artist’s brush to clean dust off the headband and inner edges of the covers. If absolutely necessary, use a barely moistened ball of cotton wool to wipe the head clean from spine to edge. You should not use water on gilded edges, but you can rub them with dry cotton wool.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
This may be due to a condition known as “red rot”. In such a case seek the advise of a professional.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Books are often found with corners folded as bookmarks. Such creasing can be difficult, if not impossible to remove. Rub it down with a folder and put the book in a press. If this is unsuccessful, put several sheets of blotting paper under the leaf, damp the crease, and then cover it with more blotting paper before pressing it with a warm iron.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
This describes leather that appears powdery, orange-red and brittle. This is caused by a combination of the original tanning method (vegetable tanning) and pollution. Sulphur dioxide pollution reacts to form sulphuric acid that attacks the leather from within. Once the damage has occurred, the only thing you can do is try to limit the damage caused by handling.
 
You may wish to box or wrap the book with materials that absorb any acids that the deteriorated leather gives off. Using leather dressing or other materials such as Vaseline will not help, and may cause more damage, because the problem is not on the surface but deep within the leather itself.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Unless you are prepared to take lessons in book binding, avoid books in which the sewing needs renewing.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
In the past, works of art on paper were sometimes cut down to fit a frame, mount or album. However, it is important not to cut down documents or works of art because you may remove important historical evidence by accident, such as signatures, margins and plate marks, which add to the provenance and value of the piece.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Lamination is used to reinforce paper by sealing it between sheets of plastic, using heat and pressure. Whilst it is fine for disposable papers that are handled a lot, it is not appropriate for historic or valued paper. Unfortunately, the plastics used are chemically unstable and become yellow and brittle in time, producing acids that attack the paper, ink and pigments. Lamination is irreversible because the heat and pressure mean the plastic is thoroughly stuck to the paper, so if you value your paper, don't laminate it.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Encapsulation is sometimes recommended as an alternative to heat sealed lamination. The paper is placed between two sheets of chemically inert plastic, which are held together with double-sided tape around the edges, but not in contact with, the paper. The paper is held in place by the electrostatic charge of the plastic.
 
The main problem with this is the use of double sided tape, which usually has a very strong adhesive. If you accidentally touch the paper with the tape, there is no 'forgiveness'. If it is pulled off, the tape will take the top layer of paper, ink or paint with it. Accidental contact can happen if there is slight movement of the paper when encapsulated, or when separating the plastic sheets to take the paper out. Enclosing paper between proprietary sleeves that are heat welded on two or three sides is a good alternative.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
This is a technique used to mount photos, papers and posters, particularly if they need to be flattened as well. Dry mounting uses thin paper that has been impregnated with adhesive. The tissue is placed between the back of the paper that is to be mounted and its supporting paper or card. Heat and pressure are used to melt the adhesive in the tissue, sticking the paper to the mount. As always, problems and damage are likely as the adhesive ages; dry mounting is a process very hard to reverse.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Bread is a traditional dry cleaning material used to remove dirt from paper. If you rub a piece of fresh white bread between your fingers, you will see that it is quite effective in picking up dirt. The slight stickiness of bread is the reason why it works and also why it can be a problem. It can leave a sticky residue behind that will attract more dirt. Oily residues or small crumbs trapped in the paper fibres will support mould growth and encourage pest attack.
 
We recommend the use of Groom Stick
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
One of the worst things you can do to paper is to try repair tears with pressure-sensitive tape such as sticky tape, sticky-backed plastic or masking tape. These are usually made from a thin, flexible backing, combined with an adhesive that is tacky at room temperature.
 
In the short term, removing pressure-sensitive tape can remove the top layer of paper fibres. In the medium term, the backing drops off, whilst the adhesive left behind on the paper attracts dirt and can stick to and damage other papers stored against it. In the long term, the adhesive can seep into paper, leaving irreversible yellow or brown discolouration. If the adhesive becomes acidic as it ages, it will also attack the paper.
 
Avoid using tape on the back of paper, for example when making home-made mounts. In the long term, the adhesive from the tape may creep through the paper and produce irreversible patches of discoloration on the front.
 
Modern pressure-sensitive tapes use an acrylic adhesive. These do not discolour too much and do not soak through the paper as they age, although they can soak in a little way depending on the porosity of the paper. However, they cannot be dissolved in water or solvents and often cannot be removed without damaging the paper.
 
'Archival quality' pressure-sensitive tapes are also available. They may be described as chemically stable, non-yellowing, acid-free or removable using solvents or water. Just because they are 'archival' does not mean you can use them on your valued art works or documents. Residues of adhesive can be difficult or impossible to remove. Also, it may not be possible to use water or solvent without damaging the paper. Reversibility is not just about a material, but about what it is applied to as well. Tapes that use a water soluble starch adhesive are available and are a better alternative.
 
It is best not to use any kind of pressure-sensitive tape.
 
Modern domestic adhesives, such as UHU, Superglue, Blutack, Copydex, Pritstick and rubber cement glues are all unsuitable for valued paper. The adhesive will fail in the long term and as the products break down they will stain, damaging the paper itself. It can be difficult to remove glue that has dried up, and become dark and brittle.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Oversize family bibles are particularly vulnerable to damage from reading, handling and poor storage. Often the structure is not strong enough to carry the weight of the text block and boards. Also, the older the volume the more likely the binding will be damaged and brittle, so it is important to support the whole structure and weight of the book when you pick it up and as you read. Foam wedges are the best solution.
 
Family Bible
 
 
 
Delaminated and broken block of photo album
 
 
 
 
 
Family Bible
 
 
 
 
Snakes in use
 
 
 
 
 
Family Bible
 
 
 
 
 
Supporting a book using clean rolled towels
 
 
 
 
 
Family Bible
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Book shoe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
The method for filling insect holes is fully discussed in Book Care & Repair. Several leaves could be involved, making this a laborious task. Lay waxed paper under the affected leaves, and then fill the holes with pulped paper. After you have filled a hole, paste a small patch of tissue paper over it.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
FoxingThe term 'foxing' describes disfiguring small yellow brown spots or blotches on paper. Two main causes are mould and iron contaminants in the paper. Moulds feed on the paper itself as well as any dirt or organic material on it e.g. finger marks, food stains and squashed insects. Tiny metal impurities can be found in paper as a result of the original manufacturing process or from dirt and pollution. Damp conditions encourage mould growth, and will cause iron contaminants to rust. In some cases a conservator may be able to reduce the disfiguring effect of foxing, but in many cases you simply have to accept this old damage.
 
Today, newly printed books are intended to be short-lived and the way we use them reflects this. People often force open the pages of a new paperback and press down hard on the inside of the spine to keep the book open. This is sometimes accompanied by a cracking noise as the binding breaks. While this is fine for a throwaway bestseller, you will need to take more care if you want to pass your special books on to the next generation.
 
First decide if your paper and books have historical, aesthetic or sentimental value. If you think they have significant monetary value, consider having them valued, insured and professionally conserved.

The cost of neglect and poor quality repairs is high. Because books are not usually decorative objects in their own right, and thus not displayed, there is often a resistance to the cost of professional conservation. You should balance this against the monetary and sentimental value of your books.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Never take a book off a shelf by putting your finger on the top of the spine and pulling the book towards you – this damages the head-cap, which will eventually break off. Try and remove a book by either passing your hand over the top and gently pushing from the fore-edge or by pushing the flanking books further forward so that you are able to wrap your hand around the spine of the book and firmly grasp each side. Ensure you support heavy books with the other hand underneath.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
A corner torn from a leaf can be replaced using methods similar to those previously described in Books Care & Repair. If printed matter is missing however it is debatable whether the repair is of any value. Reinforce the joint with tissue paper.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Display books on a shelf that has been painted or varnished, and ideally lined with acid-free card. Do not forget that strong light will fade the spines. If the shelves are within a cabinet, make sure there is adequate ventilation.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information.

If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Paper must be protected from becoming damp, which encourages mildew and fungi to develop, or becoming too dry, which causes dangerous brittleness. Humidity must be watched in the preservation of old books and manuscripts. The brown spots known as foxing, which appear on old paper and often spread alarmingly through pages is caused by excessive dampness. If foxing develops on the pages of an old book or manuscript, it immediately requires the attention of a specialist to prevent further rapid deterioration. Do not expose old books and manuscripts to strong light, which turns pages yellowish or even brown over a lengthy period of exposure.
 
Renaissance micro-crystalline wax is pH neutral and free from acids and will not damage even sensitive materials. When thinly applied and rubbed out to full lustre, the wax film is and remains glass-clear, with no discolouration either of the wax or the underlying surface. For example, photographs for exhibition or of historic value to protect the image from the natural acidity of hand or environmental pollutants. The wax does not stain or darken even white paper.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Ink
Ink Iron gall ink, diffusion of ink through to verso and corrosion of paper by ink.
 
Another problem that can damage paper (usually in books, drawings and letters) is caused by the type of ink that was used. Iron gall ink, manufactured from tannin (galls), vitriol (iron sulphate) gum arabic and water, was used in Europe from around the late 1100´s. Depending on how the ink was originally made, iron gall ink can 'burn' holes right through it. A similar problem occurs with verdigris, a green pigment made from copper, which was often used in older Islamic books as a green border around the text.
 
The first indication of iron gall damage is a brown halo around the ink lines. It is made worse by damp conditions and while dry conditions will slow the process down, they cannot prevent it.
 
We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
These can be glued back or “tipped in” very easily, but if several appear to be loose make sure that a whole section is not about to drop out.
 
Align the leaf with the book, and then press the glued edge flat. Lay waxed paper into the hinge.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Missing pages cannot be replaced, so unless the book is rare, do not do it.
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We have published our years of experience gained from caring and repairing antique and collectable pieces to help you care for your collection. Whilst we have taken every care producing these care and repair tips, we cannot accept any liability or responsibility for any ensuing damage to pieces by using this information
 
If you have found these tips useful, you will find the Rarity4u Antique & Collectable Care & Repair Handbook invaluable.
 
Ceramics 1In a typical home there are likely to be more objects made of ceramics – earthenware, stoneware and porcelain – than any other single category of material. Most will be 1900¨s and 2000´s, a fair proportion will be late Victorian and perhaps a few pieces will be earlier.

Oriental ceramics have a far richer history than those in the west. Fine porcelain was made in China from at least the 800´s and started to reach Europe around 1600´s.

Despite their inherent fragility, many early Chinese pieces survive and are keenly collected
 
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Clocks 1
 
Clocks, watches and barometers are delicate instruments and should be treated accordingly, and these guidelines will help to keep your instrument in good condition.
 
 
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FurnitureOne of the delights of antique furniture, as with all practical antiques, is that it is a tangible link with the past. Sitting at a 1700´s desk, it is easy to imagine an earlier owner leaning on the same surface, struggling with an important letter. An ink stain on a well-rubbed draw edge adds to the sense of continuity.

The way antique furniture carries the mantle of age is one of its most appealing characteristics. Whilst ceramics and glass are little altered by the years, a piece of furniture changes in subtle ways. Its timbers gradually shrink and mellow through handling, polishing and exposure. This slow maturing gives it a unique patina that cannot be matched – or reproduced – by the finest new pieces
 
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Glass 1
 
 
Glass has a magical quality born of its transition from sand and other minerals to vessels of transparent delicacy. Barring breakage, scouring pads and dishwashers, glass is wonderfully resistant to age, neither warping like furniture, nor tarnishing like metal. It can look the same after 200 years as it did when as new, the shape and style reflecting the customs and habits of the time.
 
 
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Ivory 01Ivory comes from a number of animals and is not restricted to elephants. Because of their ivory many animals and mammals are now being threatened with extinction and are protected by International laws. If you ever come across real elephant ivory, it must have been crafted before the time period of the ban of illegal elephant tusks. Make sure that your collection has only very old or legal elephant tusks, or the currently legal mammoth ivory.
 
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Jewellery 1The value of jewellery depends on the quality of the materials used to make it, its design, maker and condition, and the prevailing fashion and taste.

Rare gems of the highest quality are usually a good investment because the political and physical problems involved in mining them and the scarcity of fine stones means that supply is unlikely to exceed demand. Diamonds are the exception as their supply is controlled by an international cartel to maintain prices, but demand can always be fulfilled so no dramatic rise in pieces is likely
 
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Leather
 
Leather, has been used by mankind ever since time began. With correct care and cleaning, leather items will give many years of service and will outlast most other materials.
 
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MetalwareMetals are a natural and abundant resource that is both malleable and extremely durable, which makes them suitable for all manner of practical purposes. Pure metals such as copper, iron, lead and tin, and various alloys including brass bronze and pewter, have been used around the world for thousands of years. Metals have played a significant role in the development of human civilization, with bronze and iron used to make early tools and weapons. Drinking vessels and utensils for making and eating food have been fashioned from metal since ancient times. Pewter and Spelter were inexpensive alternatives to more precious metals.
 
 
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Silver 1Ever since it was discovered silver, like gold, has been converted into gleaming artefacts of great splendour and beauty. Such symbols of wealth and power are collected for their superb workmanship, but smaller, more ornate pieces also have unique attraction. This is in part because silver has always been a precious metal.

The intrinsic value of silver has had one undesirable effect, silver objects have long been regarded as recyclable and thousands of pieces have been lost over the centuries, melted down to finance wars, to cover up theft, or simply to make something more fashionable.
 
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Wax
Wax
 
 
Most people when asked do not believe they need a protective layer for their items. Location, environment, standard of finish required, all influence the decision about what to do and more importantly which product to use.
 
 
 
No faqs found in this category