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The Legend of Bohemian Glass:
A Thousand Years of Glassmaking in the Heart of Europe

by Antonin Langhamer

This book offers a comprehensive overview of the history and traditions of Czech art glass. Divided into 12 chapters, the book details the evolution and development of glassmaking as an art form from the earliest times, when the first glass beads appeared in central Europe, to the present.
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Bohemian Tango Cordial Set

Preserving Antiquities
by Bob Brooke


Collecting antiquities can be an expensive undertaking. Even the smallest artifacts sell for three figures or more. Therefore, itís imperative to care for them in the best possible way to preserve the investment.

Stone Artifacts

Stone objects can disintegrate over time; causing the layers to fall apart. If this happens, the antiquity must undergo prolonged treatment in a laboratory to restore it back to sound condition. Micro organisms cover some stone objects. This gradually tends to destroy the object. Itís necessary to remove the microorganisms and to cure the object.

Stone objects can also be subject to other forms of deterioration. For example, the presence of salt can cause damage because it absorbs moisture which turns into a salt solution that percolates into the cavities between the particles forming the rock. On evaporation, salt solutions turn into salt crystals, which often appear on the surface of the stone in the form of white efflorescence. The continuous dissolution and crystallization of the salts also puts a strain on stone objects and their surfaces eventually turn into powder.

Stone sculptures often accumulate dust, dirt and stains. Loose dust can easily be brushed off. Plain water can wash away most types of dirt. Sometimes, itís necessary to use a mild detergent in the water for difficult stains. .

Stone objects often suffer from damage during storage, especially when big and small objects are dumped together. Some objects may break, others get abraded. Therefore, it is wise to store the objects on separate shelves or platforms. These shelves or platforms should be amply padded and strong enough to support the weight, especially in case of stone sculptures.

Clay Artifacts
Clay vessels and other utensils, beads, toys, and figurines have been excavated from many sites of ancient culture. Water can easily affect them, so these objects cannot be cleaned with any water-based solution. Such objects should be kept in a dry atmosphere. In case of painted clay objects water or humidity also can be damaging. But the clay objects that were once baked can be washed with distilled water to remove the salts present on them.

The baked clay objects are more durable than those unbaked clay ones. They too are fragile and may crack or break. Many such objects break by accident, falling from a shelf or a table and slipping out from hands. Therefore, careful handling is a most clay objects.

Wooden Artifacts
Wood is an organic material and as such is especially susceptible to deterioration. Throughout ancient times, people used it to make various kinds of weapons, objects of daily use, as well as materials for art and decoration.

Although wood looks hard and durable, itís perishable and vulnerable to varied causes of deterioration. It easily falls prey to insects and growth of microorganisms is often found in it. It gets affected by the change of climatic condition. Itís affected by a change in climate, especially humidity.So preservation of wooden materials demands utmost attention. Plus, care should be taken in storing them.

Metal Artifacts
Apart from gold and silver, much copper, bronze and iron objects have been discovered from the Bronze and Iron Age. Copper and its alloys, like bronze or brass, corrode easily especially when buried in the earth. Corrosion takes place because the soil contains many salts. Copper in particular becomes weak from the corrosive effects of the air.

Environment plays a major role in the conservation of artifacts. Changes in temperature and relative humidity are particularly important. Since objects remain buried for a long time, they are conditioned by the natural environment. However, the preserved articles too need protection against light, heat, moisture, mold and insects.

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