Metal conservation involves specialty treatments that preserve art, artifacts, and architectural elements with metallic properties. The evolution of human civilization is closely linked to the discovery and ability to use metals. Gold, silver and copper were used as early as 6,000 B.C. to make tools, weapons, vessels, and jewelry. Around 3,000 B.C., Egyptians started using copper alloyed with tin to create bronze, a technique that ended up being a vital resource for both Greeks and Romans.
Metals can be found in archaeological artifacts, architecture, industrial objects, machinery, nautical vessels, aircrafts, spacecrafts, canons, weapons, sculpture, and other works of art.
Over time, metals deteriorate due to corrosion. Corrosion is caused when metal reacts with other substances, such as oxygen, hydrogen, electric current, or bacteria. Speed and degree of deterioration depend on relative humidity, air pollution, and especially for archeological objects on, exposure to gasses in soil or water, pressure, salt levels, currents, and the role of both microscopic and macroscopic living organisms.
A metal conservator analyses the underlying factors for deterioration and identifies specific agents and chemical reactions. Our team of metal specialists craft and apply mitigating treatments that are guided by metalwork techniques and rigorous conservation processes.