Advice on caring for antique porcelain and antique pottery from the British Antique Dealers' Association.
Handle with care
Common sense is the key when handling antique porcelain.
Decorative pieces may often be extremely fragile.
Before handling, remove any items of jewellery that could scratch or mark your items surface.
Always pick up a ceramic item by the main part of the body.
Take care never to hold by porcelain or pottery objects by extremities such as a handle or spout.
Cleaning antique pottery
Pottery is porous, meaning air and water can pass through it.
Consequently, antique pottery should only ever be cleaned with a soft damp cloth or briefly immersed in cool water.
No matter how dirty, antique pottery should never be left to soak.
Cleaning antique porcelain
Antique porcelain can be washed gently in warm water with a dash of washing up liquid.
Never use abrasive cleaners as they may damage the enamel.
When attempting minor home repairs, never use adhesive tape to hold loose items in place.
Adhesive tapes can bind tightly to the enamel or gilding on antique ceramics, causing permanent damage on removal.
For temporary repairs, BADA recommends blu-tack as a much safer solution.
The safest storage solution for porcelain and antique pottery is to keep it behind glass in a display case or cabinet.
Be aware that vibrations from passing traffic or heavy footfall on uneven flooring can cause objects to move within a cabinet.
Make sure that your ceramics are stored a safe distance apart from one another to avoid any collisions.
You can avoid unwanted movement within a cabinet by placing your ceramic items on a piece of chamois leather.