10 Tips to Care for Your Antique Ceramics

To care for your antique ceramics you need a gentle touch and they'll last you a long time. This month we'll give you some useful tips to help you care for them.

1. When you are cleaning delicate ceramics, remember to use a soft-bristled brush to wash antique ceramics in warm soapy water.

2. Rinse with warm, clear water.

3. Don't rub ceramics dry; let them dry naturally.

4. Avoid abrasive products and bleach.

5. Avoid soaking antique ceramics. If there are any repairs, extended soaking could loosen them.

6. Avoid plate hangers. They do great damage to antique ceramics because over time the pressure from the hanger will cause cracks.

7. Display ceramics on sturdy plate stands or plate rails.

8. Avoid hanging antique ceramics such as cups, pots or vases by their handles or other weak areas.

9. Don't attempt repairs. It is tricky work and you'll never be able to match the paint colours exactly on your own. Bring a damaged ceramic to a qualified ceramics restorer. Repairing a bad restoration disaster will cost you more than fixing it right the first time.

10. Avoid serving food on restored ceramics; the chemicals used in the restoration could be hazardous.

Martin Swinton owns Take-A-Boo Emporium, an antique shop located in Toronto, Canada. He does furniture restoration, caning and rushing repairs, custom reproductions, upholstery, teaches courses on antiques and does appraisals for estates and community events. He can be reached at 416-785-4555 or by visiting http://www.takeaboo.com

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