Abbey Group

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When our oak dining table was damaged during our move we didn’t for a minute think that anyone would be able to restore it to its former state. The table was a wedding present, and so we are thrilled that you have not only repaired the damage so well that we can’t even tell where it was, but the table looks better than it has in years. I’m sure we’ll be back in future, and will be recommending your restoration services to our friends

James and Vanessa

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Fire and flood

We have extensive experience of providing restoration and repair from fire, flood and accidental damage.

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Bespoke furniture

Our craftsmen create bespoke furniture to meet your exact needs.

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Antique Furniture Restoration

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Insurance

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The Do’s and Don’t of Storing Antiques

12th June 2018

 

Antiques are beautiful things. No matter what the item is, they are embedded with a sense of history, depth and beauty that you just can’t get with newly bought items. But despite their beauty, sometimes you don’t want to have them displayed around the house. This could be because it’s too valuable and you want to protect it, you don’t have space or it just doesn’t fit with the rest of your house. Whatever the reason, many people elect to store their antique pieces instead of having them out on display. But you don’t want to damage them either, so how do you make sure your antiques are stored properly?

Packaging

Packaging is one of the more essential parts to consider when looking to store your antiques. You should never just throw your antique into a storage location as is and leave it there. High-quality packaging materials are an absolute must here. That means a lot of heavy duty bubble wrap and corrugated cardboard boxes. We say corrugated because these are the most secure, least likely to bend or break and therefore offer the most protection. You should also look into using thick blankets and felt to wrap any fragile items, for example mirrors, glass topped tables or clocks. Use heavy duty packing tape to secure the materials around the items, while making sure the tape doesn’t come into direct contact with the antique, as this can ruin the finish of wood, leather, fabric or any other easily damaged surface.

If you have some antique furniture you want to store, examine it thoroughly. If it’s possible, disassemble large pieces and wrap the components separately, as this reduces the risk of undue strain and preserves the value of the piece. Cover the legs of tables and chairs with bubble wrap or blankets to protect them from scratches, dents or other accidental damage. Make sure you never stack larger pieces of furniture on top of each other. The weight of the pieces can easily damage the ones underneath.

The other most common antique to be stored is hanging artwork, such as oil paintings, drawing and mirrors. You need to make sure you are able to store these upright, and not flat. This is because they are not designed to hold any extra weight. Before you put them into storage, make sure you wipe them down with a clean cloth, and then wrap each one individually in a thick blanket You can strap several pieces together if you need to, but always make sure they are stood vertically and not places horizontally, where they are at risk of being broken through by things piled on top.

Choosing Your Location

The location you choose to store your antiques in is almost as important as the packaging you use for them. Antiques are particularly vulnerable to location and environmental impact, so you need to consider a few things before you pick a location:

Environment: Many things, like oil paintings or wooden furniture, will be sensitive to environmental factors, such as heat and humidity. A climate controlled environment is critical for storing your antiques safely and maintaining their integrity. Poor conditions can result in yellowing, fading, warping and other damages. If climate control isn’t a possibility, then make sure you choose somewhere dry, without much fluctuation in temperature, where it won’t get too hot or too cold, or change quite suddenly.

Insurance: Antiques are valuable by nature – so you need to make sure you are protecting your investment. Wherever you choose to store your antiques, make sure that your insurance is valid for that location. Above that, make sure you have the pieces valued before you put them into storage, and insure them for the correct amount.

Access: You might be putting your treasured antiques in storage, but that doesn’t mean you never want to see them again. Make sure your location is easy for you to access, and isn’t somewhere inconvenient (like 100 miles away in the middle of a field). After all, many antiques are seasonal, or may be used occasionally, and you don’t want it to be difficult every time you want to access one.

Based on all of the above, many people choose to store their antiques in an off-site storage centre, rather than an attic or garage. After all, atmospheric conditions vary in the usual household storage areas, and insurance coverage is questionable. But don’t just choose the first facility you find – do some research first. At Abbey Group, we specialise in the care and restoration of antiques, including furniture, clocks, paintings and more throughout the Essex area. For more information, please just get in touch with us today.

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