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How to safely dust artifact?


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As far as artifacts go, I have a small, modest collection of various items. I’d say this one is my favorite. It’s gathered a layer of dust on the rim and on the inside, and I was wondering if there was any particular way/approach to removing the dust carefully so as not to risk removing any of the black glaze or otherwise damaging it. I was thinking something like gently wiping it with a cotton ball or q-tip. Thanks for any help!
 

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However you decide to proceed, just test the method first on a small unobtrusive area to make sure that no harm is done. I try to avoid the issue by keeping all my ancient artifacts under glass, whether in vitrines or bell jars or the like.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, DonnaML said:

However you decide to proceed, just test the method first on a small unobtrusive area to make sure that no harm is done. I try to avoid the issue by keeping all my ancient artifacts under glass, whether in vitrines or bell jars or the like.

I have it inside a bookshelf with a glass door in front. Rarely I will open it. Its weird though, I only checked one area of the rim at first (because I had to leave on an errand right after), and my finger had a light but noticeable layer of dust from that particular spot. Then when I went to actually remove the dust gently with a q tip, the rest of the rim almost didn't have any dust to speak of. I was even questioning if I was applying too little pressure. No glaze came off/flaked off or any of the terracotta. I did the rest of the rim and then lightly dabbed the inside. Got a very, very light spot of brown/light brown dust a couple of times (but apart from that there was practically nothing there either). I doubt it was glaze because I'm thinking it would probably flake off like old paint but that wasn't the case here. I'm thinking it might either have been dust or even just some bits of sand/dirt from where it was originally found. Otherwise, there was no noticeable damage done fortunately.

Inside after I took the q-tip to it. It's basically exactly how it looked before (how I bought it, pretty much).

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By the way, anyone know what this small cup would have mainly been used for? Drinking cup? To hold oil? Perhaps just decorative?

Edited by ValiantKnight
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7 hours ago, CPK said:

Compressed air? Like the cans used for dusting sensitive electronics.

”Canned air” contains chemicals. Don’t want to expose my artifact to them. Plus they’re pretty bad for the environment.

https://www.ifixit.com/News/29870/cut-your-dirty-canned-air-habit-with-these-three-alternatives

From the above link, I like their idea of a dust blower.

Edited by ValiantKnight
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