Caring for an Antique need not be intimidating. With the correct care they will be here for the next century.
Moving & Handling
When planning to move an item, with due care and planning it won’t be an issue.
Firstly if at all possible remove and transport any items which are not attached individually, a marble top falling off when moving a commode is far from ideal. Ensure you have a clear path and carry the item with at least one hand underneath the piece. Should an item be too cumbersome then you can also contact a professional such as Mr Hugo Removals.
Some basic rules of note are:
Do not open a drawer using only one of two handles or drag furniture rather than lifting it.
Do not lift a table from the top surface but from the lowest part of the main frame.
Carry chairs from the underside if at possible, this will avoid weakening the armjoints.
Always carry marble on its edge.
Handling & Installation:
All light fixtures should be installed by a professional electrician.
Mirrors and Artworks unless small should be hung by a professional hanger, a professional hanger will give you piece of mind that your item is secure, and you won’t end up with swiss cheese for a wall.
Polishing & Cleaning
For general cleaning use a soft damp well wrung out to remove any dust build-up. Should a more through clean be required a weak solution of vinegar diluted in water can be used but only on polished, undamaged wood. After cleaning, wipe again with a clean cloth rinsed in clear water and dry immediately with absorbent paper or a soft dry cloth.
Spillages and wet rings left by glasses should be dealt with as soon as possible. Always allow areas that have become wet to dry thoroughly, which may take up to a week, before applying clear wax. Candlewax can be lifted off in a slab when cold or can be warmed with a hot-water bottle wrapped in a clean cloth and then removed with a fingernail.
Waxing with a good quality polish based on beeswax (not spray polishes), brings out the colour and grain of the wood and provides protection. Put a small amount of polish on a soft cloth or extra fine steel and rub the piece until a dull even layer arrives. Allow this to harden over a few hours or even overnight, then burnish the wax with a soft cloth until a even glow arrives. Always apply wax with in small amounts as this will build up a the best finish. Wax should only need to be applied bi-annually to nourish the the wood and provide suitable protection. Overtime this will continue to build up a fine patina.
Brass mounts and handles should not be polished with metal cleaners which can harm the wood around them and remove any water gilding. A light burnishing while dusting should be enough to keep them bright. The gold finish on ormolu (gilded bronze) is very delicate and should not be polished. It should be handled as little as possible, as the acid in fingerprints can damage gilding, but it can be dusted gently with a soft brush.
Upholstery should be vacuumed regularly to guard against a build-up of dust and pests.
Water Gilding that is present on mirrors and furniture should be handled with the utmost care and lightly dusted a fine brush. Do not use a damp cloth as the water will remove the finish.
Sunlight and humidity as well as central heating and pollutants in the air can affect organic materials like wood, fabric and leather. Therefore it pays to give a little thought to the environment in which furniture is kept and to examine it from time to time to check for damage.
Ideally keep items out of direct strong sunlight as the colour can fade.
Avoid fluctuations in temperature and humidity, especially inlaid and veneered pieces as this can cause lifting and warping in timber. A stable temperature in a well aired room is most suitable.
Keep humidity around 50 – 55%.
Avoid private restoration unless you are well versed in the art. Please get in touch with us should your item require restoration as we can provide you with a range of professionals to assist you.