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Subject: Neatsfoot oil

Neatsfoot oil

From: Simon Moore <simon.moore<-a>
Date: Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Beth Richwine <richwineb [at] nmah__si__edu> writes

>We have just acquired a collection of artifacts that contain a
>variety of materials.  Some of the painted leather objects are
>sticky.  I found out that they were coated with neatsfoot oil at
>least 15 years ago and suspect that this is the problem.  There are
>also some metal objects with an unusual shiny, slightly yellowed
>coating, but what has been unpacked so far does not appear to be
>sticky.  Has any one had similar problems and had any luck removing
>this oil?

I have used neatsfoot oil for some time as a dressing and part
rehydrating agent on taxidermy mounts with success--birds' legs and
feet, mammal noses that have dried out, and the results have always
been good.  If you have any information about possible long-term
oxidation of this compound, I would be most interested to hear. I
presume that it has not discoloured the underlying paintwork?

I suspect that the person that treated your leather items applied it
too generously.  I would try using iso-propyl alcohol, provided that
it won't compromise the paint work or using a suitable surfactant in
deionised water and applied with cotton buds, should remove the
surface stickiness.

Conservator of Natural Sciences
Hampshire County Council
Recreation and Heritage Department
Museums and Archives Service
Chilcomb House
Chilcomb Lane
Winchester SO23 8RD
+44 1962 826737

                  Conservation DistList Instance 19:24
                Distributed: Thursday, November 3, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-19-24-012
Received on Wednesday, 2 November, 2005

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