BA Axe Head Preservation

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MARKW
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Hi all,

Does any one have any conservation recommendations for Bronze Age axe heads?

I am in the process of lending this to a local museum, and they have asked if there are any conservation requirements. I have emailed my local FLO but wondered if anyone here had any advice?

Thanks!
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Pete E
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At our level, its usually a case of keeping it dry and in a stable environment, and once dry, a coating of micro crystalline wax...Your local museum should know that though...

The main issue is if it has any bronze disease...there are specialist conservationists who can treat it, but it's a long process, and no doubt expensive...

Assuming your FLO has seen the axe, see what they have to say...
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Oxgirl
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There is a great guide to conservation on the PAS website you can access here .

The simplest thing would be to put it in a ‘dry box’ till you get it to an expert. This is simply a plastic Tupperware type box with acid free padding and silica gel to keep it dry and protect from knocks. The longer term conservation needs expert guidance.
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Pete E
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Oxgirl wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 10:19 am There is a great guide to conservation on the PAS website you can access here .

The simplest thing would be to put it in a ‘dry box’ till you get it to an expert. This is simply a plastic Tupperware type box with acid free padding and silica gel to keep it dry and protect from knocks. The longer term conservation needs expert guidance.
Building on that advice, I will add I previously worked with electronics where silica gel was used for storage, and I will give a word of warning here...

Silica gel sachets can actually make the situation worse if not used with care....

If they are used, the storage container must be air tight, (which is why a Tupperware box is recommended) but also the sachets must not be in direct contact the artifact. It is also good practice to change them regularly, usually more frequently in the beginning, and then less often as the artifact "dries out".....

I was advised by my FLO to take close up pics of any artifact I was worried out before putting them in storage, and then use these pics as a base line to see if any changes/deterioration is occurring during storage...Take further pics at intervals and keep a date stamp on them and you can then effectively track small changes and take action before things get too bad.
MARKW
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Thanks for the advice both.

Its currently in an air tight box wrapped in acid free paper FLO recommended this, and just basically said to try and keep it in a dry environment. But at this time I didn't know it was going to a museum, so I might mention the wax coating, and maybe even see if they will pay for a professional to preserve it. 👍
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Oxgirl
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MARKW wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 12:17 pm Thanks for the advice both.

Its currently in an air tight box wrapped in acid free paper FLO recommended this, and just basically said to try and keep it in a dry environment. But at this time I didn't know it was going to a museum, so I might mention the wax coating, and maybe even see if they will pay for a professional to preserve it. 👍
Excellent news. Don’t wax coat it until you get advice though :thumbsup: Just get some silica to ensure it stays bone dry :thumbsup:
Yes I really don’t like Roman coins, I’m not joking
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