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Antique Bone Bead Care


#1

I have a question about some antique bone beads I recently purchased
at a secondhand store.They are beautifully carved, hollow, spherical
bone beads, about 1/2 inch diameter. I believe that they are quite
old.

They are very finely carved in openwork patterns and I would compare
the carvings to metal filigree work, though not quite as fine.
Because of their individual differences, I believe that each one was
carved by hand, not the machine carving that is currently available.
The carving is quite intricate in floral patterns and all the beads
exhibit the same pattern, though each one is slightly different.

Because of their delicacy, some of the beads have lost parts of the
carvings. My question is as follows: Since bone tends to dry out and
this drying out would make these beads more fragile, is there
something (oil, wax, etc.?) that I can apply to the beads that will
protect them from further dessication and preserve them?

Hope there is someone out there on this wonderful web newsletter who
can help me preserve these beads. Thanks, in advance.

Linda Kaye-Moses