Historical Research and Forensic Sleuthing Inform the Restoration of a 1943 Alfa Romeo
MURALS & WORKS
- More than Meets the Eye: Technique and Technology of Conservation Analytics
- Parma Conserves Historic Mural in Manhattan
- The Story of a Post Office Mural
- New Deal Mural Brought Back to Public After 40 Years
- Chicago Public Library and PARMA Conservation presented with 2010 Marian and Leon Depres Preservation Awards by the Hyde Park Historical Society
- Parma Conservation, With the Assistance of Bernacki & Associates, Restoring Historic Blackstone Library Murals
- A Work of Art Isn’t Always What It Appears to Be
- The Courage to Conserve a Formidable Beast
- Begin at the Beginning: Historical Research and Forensic Sleuthing Inform the Restoration of a 1943 Alfa Romeo
- Care and Maintenance of Gilt Objects
- Warm Touch: Louis Majorelle’s "Les Orchidées” Vitrine Conservation
- Good Things Come in Small Packages: Historic Dollhouse Restoration
- Restoring the Artifacts of Mother Cabrini and Discovering Her Legacy
- Behind the Glass: Mother Cabrini's Display Cabinets Exhibit not only Artifacts, but Chicago's Heritage
- Not All that Glitters Is Gold
- Conservation Revisited
- Conservation of Pieta, Wood Relief by Malvina Hoffman
- The Art of Gilding
ART & PRECIOUS
- Basic Guidelines for Preservation
- Art and Materials Conservation Program at Columbia College Chicago
- Renovation, Restoration, Preservation, Conservation
- Historically Sidetracked: Volunteering at the Illinois Railway Museum
- Wax and Furniture
- Preservation and Care of Antique and Fine Wood Furniture
- Evaluating an Appraiser
By Rebecca Korach Woan
Antique and fine wood furniture requires special care to preserve it for future generations. Here are some recommendations:
Avoid placing fine furniture in strong sunlight. Sunlight might feel wonderful to you or your pet, but it is devastating to your furniture and will lead to fading and cracking of the finish. Draw curtains during the day, or use sun blinds or UV filters on the windows.
Throw away all spray or aerosol furniture polish to prevent anyone from using them on your fine furniture. The silicone in these products builds up and prevents nourishing wax from feeding the wood. Furniture needs only an occasional wax every six months (we suggest timing it for when you change your clocks), with carnauba (vegetable in origin), paraffin or beeswax. Try to wax one day and buff the next to allow the wax to nourish the wood.
Dust often with a soft clean cloth for maintenance. Use a vinegar solution (one tablespoon to a half pint of water) to remove grease and food deposits.
Avoid placing heavy items on furniture to prevent marks and indentations.
Extremes in humidity and temperature will accelerate cracking and loosen joints and veneer.
In summer, maintain temperatures of 70-75 degrees (F) and a relative humidity (RH) of 55%-65%. In winter, maintain temperatures of 65-70 degrees (F) and relative humidity of 35%-45%. Keep from placing furniture in attics, basements and near active fireplaces and heating vents. Monitoring temperature and RH can be done with inexpensive thermometers and hygrometers purchased at electronic or hardware stores or humidity sensors installed with a home security system.
If the furniture is in need of repair or restoration use only reputable professionals who specialize in the care of fine furniture.
Rebecca Korach Woan is a Principal with Chartwell Insurance Services.