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Care of the cameo


Oil bathing

#Oil bathing

after oil bathing

#After oil bathing

Cameos are delicate pieces of conch shell that must be treated with care and attention. With time it is normal that cameos may become a little dirty and suffer from some surface discolouration, or patina. Usually they can be cleaned and restored with a mild soap and a soft brush. When the patina forms deeper into the cameo surface it is advisable to se some pumice dust and a soft brush to gently erode the patina crust off.

Pumice dust must be used cautiously as it is abrasive so it is best to always see what results can be achieved using the mild soap before resorting to its use. After cleaning, the cameo should be dipped into oil.

Regarding oil there are different theories as to which oil is best to use. I advise to always choose a transparent oil to avoid staining. Some people use Singer oil for sewing machines as it is very clear oil. Otherwise a very common oil to use is kitchen oil but this is odorous. Consequently, the oil I choose to use is Johnson Baby Oil. After dipping in oil, rinse the cameo in soapy water and brush lightly, then leave to dry.