Antiques and Collectables
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Care & Repair

From removing watermarks and repairing scratches on furniture, to cleaning jewellery and textiles, to storing and displaying your collection, our unique online guide is the place to start.

engraveCleaning Engraved & Etched Metalware

The lines formed by the technique of engraving collect dirt and grime. Clean and polish them with a small artist’s brush and the cleaning-polishing agent specified for the metal in question. Buff thoroughly...

glazeCleaning Glazed Ceramics

Before washing any glazed ceramics, inspect them for signs of damage. If a piece has been repaired with adhesives, if there are any chips or cracks present, or if the glaze has worn away in places, use...

gypsumCleaning Gypsum

Before cleaning a gypsum plaster casting, dust it with a soft-bristled brush. Don’t use a cloth, because this will rub in the dirt. You can wash the piece with cold water. However, it is much safer to brush a small amount...

ironCleaning Iron & Steel

Cast and wrought iron, and steel (an iron alloy), are particularly prone to rusting. You can treat it when it first appears (as a reddish-brown tinge) with a rust remover, or by wiping the piece with a brush soaked...

leadCleaning Lead

The blue-gray-green patina that develops on old pieces is easily destroyed. Limit cleaning to brushing the surface vigorously with a stiff-bristled artist’s brush...

leatherCleaning Leather Upholstery

Badly torn or frayed leather upholstery almost always needs to be replaced, and a professional restorer should carry out the work. But if the leather is basically sound, just rather dirty and dried out, you can clean it and revive it yourself. Begin by removing any dust from the surface with a soft-bristled brush...