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Old 10th August 2015, 02:14 AM   #1
silberschatzimsee
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Default storing items

Sadly i yet cant provide knowledge about weaponry but i will share my know-how on storeing your pieces best.

The problem: Since about an year or so i am tracing many weapon auctions. Bone inlaid guns, swords, knives, shaffrons etc. Sadly i often come across cracked wood, biscuit ivory, brittle leather and similar issues preventing me to buy since i always aim for the "perfect" piece and i am rather picky collector. Ok i admit i am very picky one
Its somehow an ambivalent approach. I know old pieces have dents, nicks, marks and other flaws but how much patina is allowed? To give an overdrawn example. Is a perfectly carved gun stock from 'the master of the tierkopfranke' cracked into two still really desirable? Or better skip that piece.....???
But you also cant blame in most of the cases the previous owners since it was just not an issue in earlier days to preserve to excessively. Furthermore the knowledge wasnt simply there.

So what to do now???
My approach to this issue is called "passive humidity stabilization". If here are any cigar aficionados around they will know the system. Its similar to a humidor. But conditioned to 50% and not 70% humidity. 50% humidity prevents to have fungus on organic material spreading and the stabilizing the humidity prevents cracks from upcoming tension due to expand and shrinking materials. It also prevents paper falling to dust and leather crumbling apart.

The whole package fresh out of the vault.

SEE PICTURE 1 BELOW

I use a airtight "tupperwarebox". Make sure its BPA free and has the food safe sign. Museums use special kind of foils which are even more airtight. But since i regularly visit my items anyway, my focus was more on stability. Please note if you are thinking now to invest in a similar system, any ivory item needs to be in a clear coloured box. Without light, ivory tends to get yellowish-biscuit coloured which is less desirable.

SEE PICTURE 2 BELOW

view from bottom

SEE PICTURE 3 BELOW

How it looks inside. (the fence thing inside came with the box and was not bought intentionally. However it proofed to be very practical to separate the pearls from the item.)

SEE PICTURE 4 BELOW

pearls closeup:

SEE PICTURE 5 BELOW

2 different airbubble foils for warehousing depending on which size of the item. i always pack my boxes additonally with them in case of an earthquake, a attacking godzilla or whatever

SEE PICTURE 6 BELOW

conclusion

the good:
+preservation of objects, helping to keep status quo
+low tech
+rather cheap compared to an hourly wage of an conservator ^^
+easily adaptable for individual needs

the bad:
-It does not counteract varying temperatures. (const. 20 is the optimum)
-At the moment state, my objects cant really be displayed properly. (I am still designing my own glas display cases)

total cost without the hygrometer: ~40 euro for everything.

I hope i gave you some ideas and its not stale news. If you have any feedback or want to show your preserving and warehousing methods feel free to post them here.

kind regards
Andi
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Last edited by Ian; 10th August 2015 at 02:57 AM.
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Old 10th August 2015, 02:41 AM   #2
Ian
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Thumbs up Good topic

silberschatzimsee:

Thanks for posting this information. The thread has been moved to Ethnographic Miscellaenia because it is not directly related to specific edged weapons, firearms, etc.

Ian.
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Old 10th August 2015, 11:53 PM   #3
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A GOOD TOPIC WITH LOTS OF VARIATIONS ON WHAT STEPS TO FOLLOW, DEPENDING ON MANY DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES. FOR INSTANCE LONG STORAGE OR SHORT STORAGE TIMES. DISPLAY OR JUST STORAGE. STABILIZATION OF A OBJECT AND RESTORATION OR NOT.
MOST OF MY COLLECTION IS NOT IN PERFECT CONDITION SO I USUALLY CONCENTRATE ON STABELIZING ANY PROBLEMS AND PERHAPS CLEANING IT UP WHERE NEEDED. I LIKE TO HAVE MY ITEMS DISPLAYED AND EASILY ACCESABLE AND HAVE A LARGE COLLECTION SO THAT PRESENTS ITS OWN SET OF PROBLEMS. THE IDEAL WOULD BE TO HAVE JUST A FEW FIRST CLASS ITEMS IN PERFECT CONDITION AND TO TAKE ALL THE STEPS TO PRESERVE THEM AS THEY ARE. THIS IS OFTEN MORE DIFFICULT TO DO IF THEY ARE DISPLAYED BUT IS A PROBLEM MUSEUMS AND GALLERYS DEAL WITH ALL THE TIME. SO ANY LITTLE TRICKS WE CAN LEARN WILL HELP PRESERVE THESE THINGS WE ALL LOVE TO COLLECT REGARDLESS OF IF ITS A PERFECT ROYAL ITEM OR A COMMON WELL USED TRIBAL ITEM.
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Old 11th August 2015, 01:03 AM   #4
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Great info, thank you. Lots to consider.
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Old 11th August 2015, 02:18 AM   #5
silberschatzimsee
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Yes of course if you have a big collection it would maybe make sense to adapt the whole room. Most museums handle it like that.
Before i bought my boxes i had most of my items at home and needed to check the humidity twice a day. Since my house has on average 35% humidity i was hanging wet towels to upkeep the needed 50% on a daily basis. This went on for an half a year or so and was a real pain in the a**.
Someday i really got fed up, the whole situation was just ridiculous so i went and asked the -kunsthistorische museum- in vienna how they coop with this issue. They were very friendly and came up with that passive solution for me.

If your items are already behind a display case you can still use the passive system. Just leave a bowl with the buffer-material inside and make sure the display cases are tight. The sealing gaskets costs around 4 euro per meter and is easily retrofitted.
Sometimes you may see mysterious little boxes inside the display cases when you visit the museum next time. This is nothing else than the humidity-buffer.

With 'active systems' which control the humidity and temperature i havent delved into. So i sadly cant tell prices or which companies to go for nor do i have any longtime experience. Besides of the running costs, like all electrical appliances, if there is current involved, those products tend to brake up after some time. Imho if you are not a museum or an super high-tier collector its not worth it.

As soon as my display cases are finished i will post every important technical detail so you can rebuild them or let a glazier recreate it. I have visited the austrian treasure chamber now several times and studied nothing else but the show cases just to be able to reverse engineer them. HAHAHAHA

furthermore information (in better english )about the actual problem.
http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/co...e-temp-rh.html
http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/co...e-temp-rh.html

kind regards
Andi
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Old 11th August 2015, 02:35 AM   #6
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here another very informative pdf.
http://www.mavic.asn.au/assets/Info_...d_Humidity.pdf

kind regards
Andi
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