Monday, November 3, 2014

How to store vintage postcards, photos and ephemera ...

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Vintage and collectible postcards have become a hot collectible marking many occasions, seasons, lifestyles and important social history of their day. Inexpensive treasures can still be found but high prices can equally be realized so storing and displaying your antique postcards is an important part of collecting this delicate ephemera.

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As paper is such a delicate product with a life expectancy of less than fifty years, storing it in the wrong method could seriously devalue or totally destroy your hard earned collection.  Many attractive album style books are on the market to display your collections.  But do your homework as some may look great to organizing and enjoy your postcards but the paramount feature you need to ensure is that of preservation.

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Archival quality acid free and PVC-free transparent sleeves are the safest method of storing your individual antique postcards while allowing for viewing pleasure. They allow for protection not only from the oils on your skin but from environmental affects as the mylar-like sleeves do not introduce harmful chemical in their structure. Non-archival plastics can contain chemicals which will breakdown and destroy your treasures quickly deteriorating your collection.

For further protection from handling be sure that the sleeves openings are large enough to not have to bend an edge or crease a corner while sliding the cards into place. The sleeve itself should be heavy enough to support your card for viewing front and back with no paper insert which could further deteriorate your postcard through the paper’s chemical breakdown over time.

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Not only the protective sleeves need to be archival quality but also the album cover, boxes or slipcases must be professional collector quality to ensure safe keeping. If using a box method with indexing and tabs be certain the paper dividers are of archival quality also. Some collectors are even using metal boxes ensuring greater protection from outside hazards.  Climate, temperature and humidity can all wreak havoc on your collection and must be closely monitored to be sure moisture or sever heat or cold are not affecting the sleeves and in turn your prized postcards.

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If wanting to both safely store and display your collection at the same time there are many retailers offering archival quality display cases, suitcase-like displays, postcard frames with glass both front and back for total viewing, shadow boxes and coffee table stands. In selecting your storage and display always consider that air, moisture and chemicals damage can lift the inks, fade or discolour the postcards and even disintegrate them over time.

Select your storage wisely for years of preservation and enjoyment of your passion as a deltiologist, a collector of picture postcards.

Happy Collecting,


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

All that glitters ...

Palm Tree past stunner Brooch

With the hot fashion statement of vintage so in these days extra care should be taken in cleaning and repairing your lovely vintage jewellery and sparkling rhinestone finds. Antique and vintage jewellery is one of the few collectibles one can buy to truly enjoy and wear as the cost of the imposters to real jewels is minimal the enjoyment from wearing it far outweighs the risk of loss.

Rhinestone costume jewellery beauties, often called foil and paste, are not made from precious metals or real stones so extra care is necessary to keep your less than perfect fun baubles in sparkling condition. The synthetic cut-glass stones often have foil in behind to add more colour and reflection and also as it is so much softer than gemstones it is easily scratched and tends to look duller.

Moisture can and will destroy your favourite piece of rhinestones jewellery if it is not cleaned properly.  Not just cleaning product or water moisture but your own sweat can harm these lovely stones. The moisture can collect under the foil behind the stone eventually peeling it away and deadening the sparkle.

AVON Color Go Round convertible ring

Brushing the piece with a soft clean cosmetic or small artists brush will remove the dust. Any built up residue can be gently eased away with a tiny piece of a lens cleaning cloth moistened on the cloth only, not the gems, with an approved eyeglass cleaner. If any scrubbing action is needed to get the piece clean water damp but well squeezed out q-tip can be used.

Coro Pegasus Bracelet

Cleaning the metal should only be buffed using a soft jeweller flannel-cloth intended for  that purpose with care being taken not to catch any of the setting in the cloth while buffing. Placing the cleaned jewellery upside down while drying after cleaning will help prevent any moisture from seeping into the foiled back between the stone and the metal.
DORLAN past bow pin

To replace or repair any damaged or lost rhinestones care must be taken to not scratch the soft synthetic or glass gems in the changeover. Stone setting pliers and jewellers tools will aid in the delicate process as will a professional glue. Jeweller’s glue, also used in eyeglass repair, will not yellow with age.

Many websites are available where you can find replacement stones in all shapes, colors and sizes such as round, square, flat back, pointed and more can be had to repair your vintage and antique jewellery.

SHERMAN Aurora Borealis earrings
Not all costume jewellery carries little value so cleaning and caring for your gems will protect your investment. Many famous makers of authentic jewels stepped out in the 1920’s and through the post war times, creating intentional fake gem pieces to market to the everyday woman. Many of these synthetic pins and jewels by notable makers such as Trifari, Dior, Chanel, Eisenberg and more are avidly collected and bringing strong prices in spite of their imitation qualities.

Many beautiful pieces to choose from in my vintage fashions  LandLockedCottage shop.
Which is your favourite? I love them all.

Happy collecting,