By looking after your antiques and collections and caring for them in the right way you can avoid damage and potential losses.
Such as radiators, fireplaces and stoves, and make sure it's not too close to heating and air conditioning vents.
Too high and it will cause mould growth or rot. Too dry can result in furniture drying out and cracking. If the humidity changes too often, this can cause expansion and contraction, loosening joints and making drawers stick.
Check regularly for woodworm, termites and moths; a dust-like substance under furniture could indicate a problem. Mice and other rodents might be attracted to upholstery when nesting.
It can cause fading and degradation to wood and fabrics.
Remove as much liquid as possible. If it leaves a stain, it is worth consulting an expert about further treatment.
Many modern cleaning products are too harsh or can cause a build-up on the surface that can affect the finish. Good quality wax paste should be used on wood once a year. Don't use brass and metal cleaners on handles – instead just burnish them with a clean cloth. If you're not sure what to use consult a specialist furniture restorer.
Chairs should be picked up from under the seat and make sure you empty any chests or cupboards before moving them. Tables should be lifted from the lowest part of the main frame – not the table top.
Avoid picking them up with handles or spouts as these may be more fragile. It may be sensible to remove lids and move these separately. Don't forget to take off any jewellery that might scratch or catch.
When handling glass, unglazed china and objects with gilded or lustre decoration. Fingerprints can leave marks and residue. Ideally wear Nitrile gloves.
To stop an object moving or sliding because of vibration, use museum wax to secure the base.
Avoid strong modern cleaning products as these can damage valued ceramics and glass. Get advice from an expert if you need it.
Metals are softer and more easily damaged than you might imagine. Inappropriate or excessive cleaning can cause real damage.
Fingers can cause tarnish and many metals can be easily dented, scratched or damaged.
Test clean an unobtrusive area first. Use solvents carefully.
Removing dust and dirt is cleaning, removing tarnish is polishing. Every time you polish – because you are using abrasives – part of the original surface is lost. Too much polishing can result in losing decorative details.
One of the best ways to take care of your antiques is by making sure they are properly insured. By working with expert brokers who understand the art and antiques world it will help you to ensure your collection has appropriate cover.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has lots of helpful advice from its conservators on caring for and cleaning your valuable metal objects.
It’s not just the super-rich who should consider bespoke insurance for their high value homes.Read more about Is high value home insurance right for me?
Aon's top tips on how to take care of your antiques so that you can continue to enjoy them into the future and preserve their value.Read more about Top tips for protecting your antiques
Aon UK Limited is not responsible for the content of any third party sites.
Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article.
This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 27.05.14.