Valuable antiques require a little… ok a lot TLC. You genuinely feel your heartbreaking when you see a crack on your precious antique, isn’t so? Cleaning antique glass or ceramics is relatively easy. However, when you are talking about repairs, the process is rather more involved.
Here’s how to take care when handling valuable antiques:
Handle With Care
Accidental breakage is one of the biggest risk factors involved with antique glass and ceramic. This usually occurs when you hold it from the wrong angle. Follow these steps when you are packing antiques:
Make sure that your hands are dry and clean before handling unglazed ceramics or glass (greasy fingerprints often leave indelible marks on the surface).
Avoid wearing cotton gloves, as they often make your grip less secure.
Always pick the antique from its strongest part.
Avoid picking any antique by the handle.
Make sure that loose parts like covers or lids are secure before picking the antique up.
Pay attention to previous cracks and handle accordingly.
Protecting From External Environment
Antiques are extremely vulnerable to the external environment. Bright light, sunlight, variable temperatures or humidity rarely affects antiques but if you have always stored them in a special box, it is better to take precaution when moving. Water and bright light can stain, weaken and discolor the adhesive used.
If your valuable antiques are displayed on a shelf or in a cabinet, then make sure that the base is stable. A small vibration can tip the antique over and make it fall off the narrow edge. One of the best ways to makes sure that the antique does not break is to protect it with chamois leather pads. Place the antique in a clear glass box and create a support with the pads, so that the glass absorbs the impact first.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when moving antique glass objects is that they try to wrap it in large sheets of bubble wrap. Yes, bubble wrap is a great protector of valuable antiques but too much protection can create trouble while unwrapping, which can cause damage.
You know the drill – get a cardboard box, fill it with packing peanuts, wrap the antique in tissue paper and then a single covering of bubble wrap, place the antique inside the box and finally add more packing peanuts to fill all the empty spaces.
What we strongly recommend is using “Glassine”. This plastic wrap is quite different from the one that you usually use to pack valuables. It’s a smooth paper, which is water, grease and air resistant. The last thing that is left now is the corners. Corners are vulnerable to nicks and scratches and are the first part to get damaged. For this, get corner protectors like Styrofoam and after securing them, wrap the antique in bubble wrap. That’s about it!
Taking care of valuable antique is not that hard of a job. All you need to make sure is they are regularly polished so that they don’t lose their luster. Whether you are planning on creating a display for the antique or shipping it, follow these tips and your valuable antique will be just fine.