Art in the Office - Sports Memorabilia, Tips for protecting your investment Few items communicate an athletic attitude in business as sports memorabilia, on of the most popular collectibles bought and sold. Hanging on the walls or sitting on the table, these items are excellent ice breakers with potential clients and help office personnel to visualize being a team. They also can represent a business ownerâ€™s investment. Many emotional messages are represented by these interesting types of collectibles. Logical, then, is the desire to keep them looking their best, keep them in good condition and to protect them against falling apart and deteriorating, fading and theft. Here are a couple of short videos and some tips: Fading of signatures is your biggest worry and primary worry. Some people think that only direct sunlight causes fading. NOT SO! If your room is simply very bright from outside light, even without direct sun, there is fading going on. In addition, fluorescent lights are horrible and can fade a signature very quicklyâ€Ś and also your investment. Click here to see this short video on protecting original signatures from fading. If you have something with a signature, like a ball or bat, take the extra care to purchase a display case and make sure it filters out UV rays! This includes the glass on framed items. A quality display case will save your memorabilia from dust and other airborne dangers like nicotine, smoke, and mishaps when the company party gets out of hand. A case also keeps the house cleaning person from wiping it down with cleaners when you are not around to scream at her. You want to preserve your piece in the best game condition that you can, that means leaving any original scuff marks or dirt and signatures intact, don't go crazy with the cleaning cloth because you could be removing factors that make that ball or bat so unique. Remember, framing is not a preservation technique. In the case of jerseys, photos, prints or cards, you may want to get them framed. But, in fact, done incorrectly can expose the sports item to fading, stretching, heat or cold and more. Make sure your items are attached in the framing with
archival materials (mounting materials) and make sure that UV filters and other important framing materials are used. Don’t skimp on framing materials as cheap matting paper can contain high volumes of acid that will stain and fade your memorabilia items, use quality products. A good framer will understand all these requests so ask him/her and don’t be talked out of doing it right. Storage page protectors in a binder are a cheap and portable alternative for a collection of photographs or player cards. Make sure the pages don’t have an odd or strong smell as they may be made of plastics that will deteriorate the item and cause the ink (on cards for example) to stick to the plastic. Click here to see a short video on a fast, easy and cheap way to store flat paper items.
Once you have chosen the proper display solution for your sports memorabilia, you should also take environmental conditions into account. Remember, fluorescent lighting can also be damaging, causing UV damage and fading at a fast pace. If placed near windows, the long-term effects of UV rays can fade your vintage memorabilia, so it's a good idea to keep them out of strong light. If you decide to light your memorabilia so they stand out in the room, use a halogen light bulb to avoid any damaging light risks. Regular light bulbs (with a filament inside) tend to heat up and if close to your investment could cause damage. When storing your collection, try to avoid storing them in damp locations; places at risk of leaks. An unfinished basement is a poor choice and an attic is too hot! Invest in large plastic storage containers as water damage will definitely reduce the value if flooding is a potential in your area. A really good preservation manual that doesn’t talk specifically about preserving sports memorabilia but talks a lot about all the same problems is “How To Save Your Stuff in the Workplace.” I used this book to help write this article and the Kindle version is 60% off the book price ($7.95). Its by far the best book I’ve ever seen on this subject. BTW, getting good
preservation info/coaching can save you many $1,000 and keep you from damaging your collection. You can also get in touch with the author, Scott M. Haskins at Fine Art Conservation Laboratories for additional coaching (805 564 3438). By Isabelle Riley, Guest Blogger
p.s. While it is the dream to buy low and sell high and make money when collecting, there are many circumstances that play into this “game.” Do NOT assume you will make money and this article does not give investment advice. None of the information in this article should be construed as encouragement, coaching or teaching investment strategies. Having said that, a good bit of advice is to become friends with an art or memorabilia appraiser to get information pertinent to your specific interests. And finally, good advice that you can take to the bank is that the state of preservation is very important to the value. Art conservation/Save Your Stuff questions? Call Scott at 805 564 3438 Art appraisal questions? Call Richard Holgate at 805 895 5121 Be Friends on Facebook at “Save Your Stuff in the Workplace” ”Scott M. Haskins”
Subscribe to our How-To videos on YouTube at “Preservationcoach” Channel Check out Isabelle’s Sports memorabilia website at http://www.htfm.com.au/ . She’s an expert when it comes to knowing her “stuff.”