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Subject: Insect infestation in wooden icon

Insect infestation in wooden icon

From: Anne Lane <alane<-a>
Date: Friday, May 30, 2008
I received a heads-up today that I will be receiving a call
concerning a possible insect infestation in a wooden icon. I am
assuming it is painted on wood, possibly with gold leaf. I have no
idea about its age, country of origin, etc. My question concerns the
two major methods of treating insect problems that I am aware of,
freezing and anoxia.

I would hesitate to suggest freezing, as I would be concerned about
different rates of expansion and contraction in wood and paint and
gold sizing/gesso layers.

I know some anoxic treatments using oxygen scavengers can involve
temperature or humidity changes, which would also make me nervous.
What about nitrogen? We don't have the facilities here, so I am not
well-versed on the consequences of such treatment on painted wood.

Any advice? I realize I don't have enough information to make an
informed choice for this person; I am simply looking for caveats
that might steer me away from giving really poor advice. If anyone
knows of a person working in North Carolina who might be able to
evaluate and treat this item, please let me know.

Anne Lane
Collections Manager
The Charlotte Museum of History


                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:64
                   Distributed: Sunday, June 8, 2008
                       Message Id: cdl-21-64-020
                                  ***
Received on Friday, 30 May, 2008

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