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Subject: Wax moth

Wax moth

From: Hans-Christoph von Imhoff <christoph.von_imhoff>
Date: Sunday, January 25, 1998
Contemporary New York artist J. Morgan Puett is setting up an
exhibition entitled 'Art et Mode' of her work in the Fribourg
FRI-ART Contemporary Art Center in Switzerland, opening on 31
January 1998. She uses materials like paper and textiles covering it
herself with raw, self filtered beeswax with no additives--one of
her reasons to use it is the long lastingness of wax, in other
terms: she is aware of conservation. She and her brother, another
artist using wax but in a quite different way, have problems with
waxmoth.

My questions are:

    Is the waxmoth a moth? If not, what beetle is it? Is there any
    literature on it? Do mothballs help? (I haven't asked CHIN, as I
    have no access yet).

    **** Moderator's comments: Not sure if this is the same critter,
    but webster has this:

        wax moth n
            (1766)
            :a dull brownish or ashen pyralid moth (Galleria
            mellonella) with a larva that feeds on the wax of the
            combs of the honeybee

Her questions:

    Can waxmoth infested wax be reused if melting it down and
    keeping it hot for a while in order to kill the moth, the larvae
    and the eggs?

    How best to conserve and store these objects she is creating? Up
    to now it's kept in an unheated barn somewhere in Pennsylvania.

Any preventive conservation measures suggested, like temperature
limits? Any help and suggestion will be very welcome.

Hans-Christoph von Imhoff
Conservator-Restaurer
paintings and painted surfaces
CR-SCR, FIIC, PA-AIC
Chemin des Rochettes 6
1752 Villars-sur-Glane
Switzerland
+41 26 401 07 77
Fax: +41 26 401 08 88

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:64
                 Distributed: Tuesday, January 27, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-64-006
                                  ***
Received on Sunday, 25 January, 1998

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