Tim Says, “Don’t Prepare to Protect or Save Collectibles from an Earthquake?” Wake up Tim!!


The picture hook gave away when the office building shook

The picture hook gave away when the office building shook. It could have been avoided in a couple of ways.

Here’s a comment from a reader who expresses a common misconception that could really hurt you in the end:

Scott,
I’m researching into earthquakes and disaster management for my Masters… and came across this site… How could you believe that the people hit by the earthquake in Chile could care about picture frames getting damaged or vases chipped… as if they own a camera to protect photos?! … Where is the information about how people can donate to help those whose lives have been ruined and have nowhere to sleep and nothing to eat?
Tim

I should have protected my collectibles with Museum Wax!

"I should have taken Scott's advice and used Museum Wax to anchor down my collectibles!!!"

Actually, I cut his rant short but you get the idea… So, here are some points I’d like to be crystal clear for you…cause I really do care what you take away from this website:
1. Tim, not everybody that lives outside the US or in a poor country is dirt poor with not even enough money to buy a camera. Your attitude is so Americano Ignoramus! For instance, China has one of the lowest per capita income levels for workers in the world and yet, more than 10% of the country is affluent. Let’s see, 10% of 1.6 billion is… wow, 160 million people! (OK, now I feel better… on to what’s important to learn…)
2. Statistically, while there are some that suffer the full brunt of devastation in an earthquake, hurricane or tornado, there is 90% of the people in outlying areas that only get shook up, sustain some damage but survive very nicely. In other words, if a natural disaster hits your area full on, chances are, you will not be obliterated but you may lose cherished, treasured items you were not prepared to protect. These unprepared people will loose keepsakes, heirlooms, collectibles, family history and have moderate insurance claims. Most of this damage can be avoided, with preparation/preparedness. (for instance see “Quake Wax” at top of page)

3. Does stuff fly around when an earthquake or hurricane strikes? Anchoring down ceramics, frames, artwork in preparations for the “shake up” will keep them from flying around when the moment comes: that means better safety for you!
4. This article, like all the other information on this blog focuses ONLY on my expertise: the niche of emergency preparedness that you will NOT FIND ANYWHERE ELSE: the protection and saving of collectibles, artwork, heirlooms, family history, art related business assets. (see my book in “Products” in the side bar on this page)
5. There are LOTS of websites about emergency preparedness (health, home, information backup, federal, city and state programs) and donating to causes on the internet. Those areas are NOT my expertise.
6. I will be listing soon the organizations I recommend for giving/donating. Stay plugged into our website by being update automatically when we post an article by CLICKING NOW on the RSS feed.

Here’s a quick video testimonial you may enjoy:

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Conservation/restoration questions? Appraisal questions? Insurance claim questions? Call toll free 888 704 7757

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Poor Storage causes damaged paintings


Two deep dents on the bottom of the painting

This painting is not flaking or falling apart immediately. In other words, there is no emergency action needed to save the painting. So if these problems don’t get taken care of right away, all will not be lost. Damage in the form of cracking is now in the process of forming and becoming evident.

To keep these damages from happening, do not lean anything on the painting. Cover front and back with card box, or place in a cardboard mirror box. Do not store where the temperature gets too hot or too cold, or where it gets humid or moldy.

When you have a damaged painting, your home owner’s insurance policy may help you pay for it, and may even pay you for lost value. For more information about this, go to www.insurancepersonalpropertyassessments.com or call us at 805 564 3438

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

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Fine Art Conservation

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com

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Cracks Cause By Heating Vents


Cracking badly!

Keep art work away from heating vents that will cause cracking and flaking. (Same goes for active fireplaces), never use cleaning liquids on paintings,and last but not least, never try to clean painting with solvents.

 Careful inspections will help save flaking paint. If you find flaking paint, the best thing to do is call an art conservation laboratory for advice. There are emergency treatments you can do at home on most paintings. But it is still good to get some advice.

It is important to remember that we can save the original paint in almost every type of flaking condition. This type of preservation/conservation treatment preserves the original nature of the painting, helps the painting to retain its highest value and in the end will require less inpainting.

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Fine Art Conservation

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

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UV Black light a Smart Way To Inspect Collectibles, Heirlooms – See Short Video


You don’t have to be a sophisticated collector of art to need a UV black light in your pocket when you are antiquing, gallery hopping or wandering around auction previews. If you have one in hand, its FUN to see the hidden conditions, restorations etc! Here’s a short video about a painting collector who didn’t use one and got taken big time!

See another VERY INTERESTING 2 min. video, an informative article and a UV blacklight package at

www.tipsforartcollectors.org/blacklight-package

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Art conservation questions? Call Toll Free 888 704 7757

Art Appraisal Questions? 805 895 5121


Smoke damage, water damage, mold, broken/damaged items from shipping, storms etc?

We can help you with your insurance company. Don’t let the “Pack out” workers handle your valuable treasures.

Call us toll free at 888 704 7757

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Damaged Ornate Antique Frame


Damaged Antique Frame

Losses can be repaired to preserve value and make look perfect

This frame belongs to a $25,000 painting and was made in France in the 1920s. The still life that goes in this frame is in the conservation laboratory to be treated for flaking.

Because this is the original frame and looks good with the painting, it is important to the owner to stabilize the conditions and make it look presentable, though he did not want to spend the money to make it look perfect.

The frame’s finish layers are cracking badly;  gesso pieces have been lost and some of the finish layers have begun flaking. Outside edges of the frame have many areas of exposed wood where the gesso has popped off (note photo above).

We applied very dilute low molecular weight acrylic adhesive into the cracks of the broken gesso layers with a small tipping brush. We went over the frame five times to make sure we consolidated all loose areas. We also toned the freshly flaked white gesso with water color, so that the loses will blend in better. Finally we coated the frame with wax to even out the appearance and to protect the surface of the frame.

For the $300 the frame’s condition was stabilized and the losses made to not seem so evident. The owner understood and accepted the frame’s gesso and painted liner was still stained and damaged looking (though stable). This cost was in contrast to the $1,800.00 to make the frame look perfect.

Ornate frames can be damaged easily when knocked around, as during rough handling/shipping or in natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes and tornados. Smoke damage and fire damage can almost always be remediated. Check with you insurance adjuster about including nice frames that are damaged in a claim. Chop shop frames can easily be replaced with a new frame,

If you are going to throw out a nice, but damaged  frame, give me a call. I may be able to recycle it for you. Call toll free 888 704 7757

Conservation and restoration questions? Call toll free 888 704 7757

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Careless Handling Often Causes Much More Damage Than Aging


Careless usage caused this sketched to be ruined

This period print by Degas (1890 ish) ripped while careless owners tried to remove it from its framing. This paper was glued down directly to the mounting board. This is a very poor way to mount art works on paper, usually done by someone in a hurry that doesn’t know what they are doing. As the owner lifted the deteriorated brittle paper, an unexpected part of the edge was glued down and ripped as the owner lifted.

Because of this rip the art work will now require $600 worth of conservation treatment and there will be loss of value because the paper is no longer in virgin conditions.

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Questions about preserving collectibles, letters, certificates photos? www.saveyourstuffblog.com (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions?
www.faclappraisals.com

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Plains Indians Encampment Water Damage in Garage


As can be seen in the photograph, this painting by Fredrick Schaefer was sitting on the floor of the garage when 3 in. of water flooded the area causing the paint to flake off and destroying the gesso frame.

The first problem was leaving/storing the art work on the floor in a poor quality storage area. Always store artwork up on blocks.

The second problem occured when the owner wiped his hand over the flaking area and removed the original paint (we routinely save original flaking paint).

The result is a damaged painting that requires extensive inpainting which, in the end, will look perfect but the value will be compromised. Both of these problems could have been avoided.

Water damage in garage

Still, even though this could have been avoided and was partly due to lack of care by the owner, an insurance claim could be filed if fine art insurance were in place. Not only damage can be  mitigated but loss of value might be an issue. Scott Haskins and FACL often help collectors and home owners with evaluations, claims and the conservation treatments. Contact us at 805 564 3438

Appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 www.faclappraisals.com

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Hidden flaking can be knocked off when dusting


Hard to see flakes knocked off by cleaning lady when dusting.

The photograph looks like it is in perfect condition without any cracks or problems evident. However in the trees to the left, there are 6 or 8 very small flakes of paint that are coming off.

These types of hard to see flakes are often knocked off when cleaning ladies dust art work.

Here are 3 tips to remember:

1. Keep art work away from heating vents that will cause cracking and flaking. (Same goes for active fireplaces)

2. Never use cleaning liquids on paintings.

3. Never try to clean painting with solvents.

Volumes of books have been written about damaging paintings by people trying to clean them. It is a very complicated process.

So back to our problems on this painting, careful inspections will help save flaking paint. If you find flaking paint, the best thing to do is call an art conservation laboratory for advice. There are emergency treatments you can do at home on most paintings. But it is still good to get some advice.

Feel free to call our office if you would like to discuss your situation. 805 564 3438

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com 805 895 5121

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Cracking and damaged paintings caused by stretcher bars


Cracking of paintings and damage cause by stretcher bars.

There are 3 types of cracks of Fine Art that are directly related to stretcher bars.

First photograph shows diagonal cracking that will form in each conner, this cracking pattern is very common, and has been recreated in artificial aging tests which have confirmed that they form due to the expanding of the canvass and the ability of the stretcher bars to hold the painting properly.

Second photograph shows a cracking pattern caused by the painting touching the cross bar. This happens because the painting is loose and/or pressure is put on the front of the painting causing it to press against the cross bar, and/or could be the cross bar is not spaced far away enough from the painting.

Third photograph shows a vertical line that goes just inside and parallel to the edges of the painting, that may  or may not be visible on all four sides. Giving the above example the cracking caused by the cross bar. This cracking appears because of the contact with the inside edge of the stretcher bar, as you can see from the photograph this cracking can lead to flacking.

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Fine Art Conservation

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Why Do We Touch an Oil Paint That is Flaking?


One of the biggest problems people have is to resist the temptation of touching an oil painting that is flaking. I have been amused to witness even the seasoned experienced collectors be rate themselves after they touch a flaking area and knock paint off.

The problem of people touching damage painting is the reason why, damaged art work should be removed from display once it’s damaged.

This photograph shows the worst type of judgement possible where someone has rubbed off the flaking paint all together.

Oil Paint Flaking

It is important to remember that we can save the original paint in almost every type of flaking condition. This type of preservation/conservation treatment preserves the original nature of the painting, helps the painting to retain its highest value and in the end will require less inpainting.

Questions about preserving collectibles, letters, certificates photos? www.saveyourstuffblog.com (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Follow us on Facebook at (be sure to sign up as our friend!) :

Save Your Stuff  (Home)

Save Your Stuff From A Disaster (Office-Workplace)

Fine Art Conservation

Conservation questions? Go to www.fineartconservationlab.com

Appraisal questions? www.faclappraisals.com

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

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