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Subject: Glass window sign

Glass window sign

From: Linda Roundhill <artsconservation>
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2001
Krista Cooke <museum [at] cancom__net> writes

>We recently received a glass window sign (ca. 1940s) printed with
>black and gold leaf type print.  Much of the gold leaf and some of
>the black are peeling and there are severe losses overall.  Every
>time the sign is moved or has air stirred above it, the peeling
>worsens and small flakes are lost.  It will be a year or more until
>the sign can be seen by a conservator.  As a curator, what small
>steps towards preventative conservation can I take to protect the
>piece. I am concerned about putting any kind of backing onto the
>glass for fear of crushing or creating friction against the curled
>edges of the text.

I think applying anything would be near impossible without
disturbing the little flakes or causing a future conservation
nightmare.  You didn't mention dimensions, so the following might be

My suggestion is to build a horizontal shadow box with a clear glass
top that the sign could rest in, paint-side-up.  This would prevent
air currents and incidental damage, but it could still allow visual
monitoring without disturbing it.  You should avoid acrylic due to
static electricity.  Also, there are many things to be considered
before this could be accomplished safely such as method of
inserting/removing the sign, the best microclimate for it, types of
materials used and vibration/shock mitigation, etc. Obviously some
thought and creative designing would be involved so this might not
be the simple measure you are looking for, but I believe it would
protect the piece  until a conservation professional could visit.

Linda S. Roundhill
Art and Antiquities Conservation
Woodinville, WA 98072

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:27
               Distributed: Thursday, September 27, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-27-008
Received on Thursday, 27 September, 2001

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