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Subject: Wax


From: Carol Aiken <aikenramer>
Date: Tuesday, July 2, 1996
Craig Deller <craig1708 [at] aol__com> writes

>I was recently asked about what appears to be mold growing on wax.
>The objects in question are 19th Century American wax fruit that are stored
>in an enclosed glass cabinet for display in a private home. The
>owner has observed (I have not) a whitish material that forms on the
>tops of the "fruit" and can only describe it as a mold.  They have
>also said that by placing moth balls in the case the "mold" seems to

An excellent source of information for those interested in the
conservation of wax models and objects is "Beeswax: A Survey of the
Literature on its Properties and Behaviour", SSCR Journal, May 1994,
Vol 5, No. 2, p. 9-12, written by conservator Amanda Clydesdale. She
addresses the questions of wax bloom, biodeterioration, and effects
of additives in wax mixtures. A selected bibliography at the end of
the article includes most of the references that would be of use to
a conservator, with the exception of A Biographical Dictionary of
Wax Modellers by E.J. Pyke (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1973). The
introduction of the Pyke book discusses wax properties, wax
analysis, and wax conservation, written with the collaboration of
Jim Murrell, former conservator at the V & A, and author of several
excellent articles on the conservation of wax objects (see
Clydesdale's references).

The use of PDB has been recommended against in collections involving
resins, waxes and gums. See E. Arthur, "Pest Problems and their
control in costume and textile collections". SSCR 40: 18-21, and
Peltz & Rossol, Safe Pest Control Procedures for Museum Collections.
New York: Center for Occupational Hazards, 1983.

Carol Aiken

                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:6
                  Distributed: Saturday, July 6, 1996
                        Message Id: cdl-10-6-002
Received on Tuesday, 2 July, 1996

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