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Subject: Antiques Roadshow

Antiques Roadshow

From: Dominique Rogers <do>
Date: Saturday, May 22, 1999
I have often dreamed of a conservation roadshow but I have come to
realize that it is inviting disaster.  For a while I ran an antiques
shop and came to dread Mondays (the day after the UK Antiques
Roadshow) when people would inevitably bring into the shop objects
they had seen on the show the day before and wanted to sell to me
for the 1000s of pounds that they had understood it was worth and
how I had to let them down as gently as I could with comments such
as 'Yes it is true, They had a very similar piece on the show, but
it was made of ivory, not resin and it was signed Shiparus, not

Can you imagine the damage that can be done by showing on screen
even the mildest of treatment such as brush and vacuum a plain wood
carving when this is going to be applied to painted or gilt
carvings. Relying on the good judgement of TV viewers is
unfortunately overgenerous.  Although it is sad, I do not believe
that we can teach conservation by remote control.

What we could certainly do is try to convince the 'experts' who give
opinions in such programmes to try at least to handle objects with
some care, some gloves and on suitable surfaces I know that UKIC
public relation officer S. Manitta has been trying but it is an
uphill struggle.  But then, we have not yet even managed to convince
all curators that such practices are a good idea.  Perhaps
accreditation will do something to alleviate the situation.

Dominique A. Rogers
BSc. (Hons) Conservation-Restoration
Ipswich IP9 1JW, U.K.
+44 1473 780 867

                  Conservation DistList Instance 12:90
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 25, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-12-90-006
Received on Saturday, 22 May, 1999

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