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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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