Making Your Antiques Last Longer When Antique Collecting

Here's a situation for you: you finally purchased that collectible item that you've had your eye on for years. It's an antique item and it was expensive. You bring it home with a sense of pride. You want to keep it for as long as you're alive or even longer.

Making your antiques last longer is an issue that all collectors will have to deal with. It's a fact of life in the antique business.

Admittedly, having the ideal resource for storing antique or collectible items might not always be available to the average individual collector. Glass cases with high technology humidity control systems are reserved for huge and modern museums and rich private collectors. Nevertheless, there are a couple of things that we can do to preserve our own collection.

Regardless of whatever item you have, may it be paper, glass, ceramic, pottery, metal, wood, or textile, harsh light can generally damage the item. Long exposure to light can further the damage since the heat from the light can stimulate reactions with the chemicals embedded within the antiques. You'll never know so it would be best to place your antiques away from harsh lights, including direct sunlight.

However, don't display them in dark places as well. Humidity can damage antiques as much as light can. If you place items in highly humid storage places, rust can easily form on metal objects, wood can crack, paper will get soiled, paintings and textiles will shrink and become brittle, etc. The trick, therefore, is to balance the two. If you feel the air is a little damp, open the display lights for a while to reduce the humidity in the air.

Temperature is also a key element that you need to be aware of. It is generally accepted that the most ideal temperature for storing antiques is about 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

When moving your antiques from one place to another, make sure that the conditions in the new place are the same. Antiques react not so well to drastic changes in the environment. You should gradually change the conditions to avoid damaging the items.

Then there's proper handling and cleaning. If you can help it, avoid handling the antiques frequently. The oil in our skin can cause considerable damage. Proper care will make your antiques last longer