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Framing is another area that can often bring trouble. Yet, a few easy tips can usually ensure a successful framing project. First, use a good framer. Call a local museum and ask who they recommend. Ask friends or acqauintances for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to shop around. Then, expect to pay a bit more. Good framing is expensive, but it should outlast all of us. When you are satisfied you have selected a good framer, you should be comfortable in being guided by them, but here are a few “musts.” You must use “anti-uv” or “conservation” framing glass. This will deflect most of harmful light that can destroy paper over time. If you are using matboard, you must use “archival” quality matboard, so it does not, as time passes, chemically interact with print. You must never allow antique paper to be adhered in any way to a backing board. You must insist on archival quality backing board. Insisting on these basic steps will take you a long way toward a successful framing job – and finally, don’t hang your finished piece in direct sunlight, near a direct heat source, or in a humid area such as a bathroom.
Framing, when done correctly, is one of best ways of storing antique works of art on paper. But since it is both expensive and space-demanding, it is rarely complete solution for most collectors. Good, long-term storage can be accomplished by keeping antique prints in mylar, stored flat, in a dry, cool space. Excessive heat and excessive humidity are enemies of antique paper, but many homes today are climatized to avoid such excessive conditions. If you need to store a number of loose prints, best solution is to use one of many excellent archival boxes that are available on market.
After a little practice, even newest collector can quickly master basics of good care for antique prints. Common sense is your greatest ally, and most often, your greatest enemy will be dangers posed by poor handling. So learn basics, treat antique paper with respect it deserves, and always “handle with care,” and your collection will bring pleasure and joy for many generations to come.
Neil Street is the owner of VintageMaps.Com, which he founded in 1997. His website, an online destination for the antique map and antique print enthusiast, is at http://www.vintagemaps.com Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org He can also be reached at (203)856-1755