Glass collections represent the beauty of achievement in artistry as well as technical skill. Whether you are interested in ancient Roman glass, medieval stained glass, Art Nouveau glass or contemporary pieces, the objects themselves tend to be fairly durable. Damage typically results from improper handling, storage, display and shipping practices.
Here are some simple steps that you can take to help protect your glass collection.
- Display your glass collection on sturdy, level surfaces and, if possible, within glass-fronted cases to protect against dirt and dust.
- While glass is generally not susceptible to vapors or off-gassing from display materials, items in a glass collection can be sensitive to temperature fluctuations. Avoid spotlights, which can cause breakage.
- Use soft cloths to clean glass objects or a slightly damp cloth if the item has no cracks or glaze. Be careful not to dampen items that have been repaired, antique items, or glass with painted surfaces.
- Consult a professional for repairs and for cleaning of high-value or archaeological pieces.
- Handle items in your glass collection only when necessary and always with clean, bare hands, using both hands, for the best grip. If needed, latex gloves are also acceptable. Do not handle glass objects while wearing cloth gloves. Never hold an object by a handle, spout or stem.
- Do not apply stickers or adhesive tape to glass works. Removing these types of adhesive items can cause damage.
- Have your glass collection re-appraised on a regular basis to establish replacement values and update your insurance policy as needed.
- Maintain thorough documentation of your glass collection including purchase receipts, photographs and full descriptions of each item. For high-value items, you may have auction and/or provenance documentation. All collection documentation should be kept in a safe location.
One of the most important steps you can take to protect your glass collection is to purchase insurance designed specifically to protect the full collectible value of your items.