Antiques are a piece of our history. While some can carry a strict monetary value, the antiques that have sentimental value that are truly irreplaceable.
When it comes time to move these treasured pieces, you want to ensure to protect them to their fullest extent. Some common sense and preparation can ensure that no matter where you are shipping your antiques, they will arrive unharmed.
Have Your Pieces Appraised
Before taking another step, have all of your pieces appraised. While they might not be able to be replaced, antiques will have a monetary value. Should the unthinkable happen, you will want to make sure you get at least some form of compensation. Any insurance claim that might need to be filed can then use this recent appraisal as a basis for damages incurred.
Document Your Pieces
The best way to document the condition of your antiques is to photograph them. Make sure to get pictures of all sides, top and bottom. Take close ups of any details. This step is also necessary should any damage occur and you need to file a damage claim with your insurance company.
Empty Your Piece and Secure any Loose Interior Items
Make sure anything that is stored internally is removed. Anything inside can add weight and increase the possibility of damage. If there are any loose internal pieces remove or secure them as best as you possibly can. You want to minimize anything moving around during shipping.
Layers for Protection
Now that you are fully documented and secured internally, it’s time to begin the packing. You want to remember to layer up to protect your piece.
It is a good idea to plan on using three main layers for maximum protection; an inner protective layer, shock protection and a protective outer shell. Remember to never put any type of adhesive directly on the surface of an antique. This can, and most likely will, cause damage. Do not tape drawers closed.
- The inner protective layer should be something that can protect the surface of your antique. This will also keep the item clean and dry, if needed. While it might seem that this would be the place to apply foam to details, it isn’t. Foam can slide around and you want this layer to be both secure to the surface, and secure any drawers or doors your piece might have. Consider something like shrink-wrap or synthetic papers for this layer.
- Shock protection comes next. This packing will protect the delicate details of your antique from breaking during the normal vibrations and shifting of shipping. Foams are a good choice here because they can protect your piece both from vibration and from impact.
- The protective outer shell is typically a crate. Your best bet for maximum protection is to have a professional assemble a crate or special outer frame for you. There are many companies that specialize in this service, you will want to choose one who can offer you the best protection for your piece.
Using the services of a professional crating and shipping company for your antique transportation needs is a smart choice. The next time you are planning a move involving antiques, if you need some help or advice choosing the best way to ship them, give us a call—we can help!