The environment in which objects exist is the most important detail to consider when caring for a collection. No single environmental condition will be ideal for all collections, but understanding different types of deterioration that can occur under poor environmental conditions is an important step in preventative care. Objects can deteriorate chemically, biologically, and mechanically.
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For display, ceramics and glass objects should be placed on a sturdy level surface away from high traffic areas. Microcrystalline wax can be applied to the bottom of the object to help secure it to the display surface. Be very careful with this wax, it can stain both the display surface and the object and can also be very hard to remove. Check with a qualified conservator if you have not used microcrystalline wax before.
Plates can also be safely displayed upright on a flat surface with a custom mount that provides secure support without exerting pressure on the edges. Points of contact on the mount should be lined with felt to prevent rubbing and chipping.
To display an object, such as a plate, vertically on a wall, don’t use the commercially available spring-loaded wire mounts. These cause what is known as point loading, that is, all the weight of the object is borne by a prong or clip that is very small. This exerts a dangerous amount of pressure on a small area and commonly causes chipping. Instead, use a mount specifically made for the object that supports without pressure. Points of contact should be lined with felt.
Contact Guardian if you need a professional mountmaker with museum experience to design and construct a mount for your precious object.
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