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Subject: Sword


From: Susan Fatemi <susanf>
Date: Friday, September 3, 1999
Please forgive this question coming from a non-conservator, but I
would appreciate hearing others' philosophy on the topic of how far
restoration should go.

We have an antique Japanese sword in the family. At some time in the
(hopefully) distant past, it was actually used. There are some
"knicks" and a couple of small rust spots.

My advice was to oil it well and use a toothbrush on the rust spots
(they aren't getting any bigger or anything) but otherwise leave it

Sword collectors on the other hand, vote for full restoration,
polishing, etc. (an expensive process) Even with restoration, it
isn't going to be wildly valuable, but it has great sentimental

The final decision isn't up to me, but in this and other matters of
conservation, I tend to take an extremely conservative approach.
(I'm not a conservator, but make the decisions here at work about
how to treat library materials) i.e. protect the item from any
further deterioration or physical damage, but basically leave it

Anyway, if anyone would like to share their opinions on conservative
treatment vs. full restoration (of anything, not just swords) I'd
like to hear about it.

Susan Fatemi

                  Conservation DistList Instance 13:19
                 Distributed: Friday, September 3, 1999
                       Message Id: cdl-13-19-009
Received on Friday, 3 September, 1999

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