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Arts & Antiques by Dr. Lori – The Art of Storing China

Circa 1930s ceramic Mickey Mouse child’s tea set in original box.

Circa 1930s ceramic Mickey Mouse child’s tea
set in original box.

Lori Verderame on Google+

Dr. Lori, Celebrity Ph.D. antiques appraiser, and award-winning TV expert, Dr. Lori Verderame is the star appraiser on Discovery channel’s international hit TV show Auction Kings, and appears on FOX Business Network’s Strange Inheritance.  Visit www.DrLoriV.com, or call (888) 431-1010.

By Lori Verderame

Just say no to display lamps, temperature swings, boxes and bubble wrap

If you have your heirloom china, crystal, porcelain and knickknacks in a china closet or display case with lamps inside, do not position your collectibles too close to the lamps. Once, during an in-home appraisal service call, I had to break the news to a Waterford crystal collector who had her entire collection on display in just such a cabinet. She told me that every Sunday she turned on the lights inside that cabinet so her dinner guests could admire her lovely collection. I found all of the damage that they were admiring. Every one of those Waterford pieces on the top shelf, the ones closest to the lights, was cracked from the heat trapped in the cabinet. My client had been unknowingly damaging her crystal with a weekly dose of high intensity heat.

And, like the hot china cabinet, another poor locale for storing your art or antiques is the attic where temperature and humidity changes take place as often as the seasons change. The basement has all the room in the world for the storage of your treasures, but it is usually too damp to store those precious pieces.

Now that you know where not to store your stuff, here’s a tip on how to store it: No cardboard boxes. That’s right, no cardboard boxes! They attract bugs, are high in acid content, and will stain your ceramics, photographs and works on paper. Cardboard boxes will soak up any water like a sponge. Water means moisture, moisture means mold, and then we have a recipe for disaster.

I have had clients and audience members ask me, “What if my antique or collectible (like my circa 1930s Mickey Mouse child’s tea set worth $500) came in a cardboard box originally? Should I keep that box?” Just because it came in a cardboard box, doesn’t mean it has to be stored in a cardboard box. Of course, the original box should be kept and does have value, but to preserve the antique object long term, take it out of the cardboard box. Depending on what your object is, store the object and the box separately wrapped in acid free paper or in a plastic tub.

Also, please note that bubble wrap is not good for long-term storage either; it is only for short-term transport. You should wrap your heirlooms in white, acid-free tissue paper or white cotton cloths, but never in bubble wrap for long-term storage. Bubble wrap traps heat and captures damaging moisture.

You want to keep your art and antiques dry and in good shape even while you are storing them.

Fall Home and Garden in The Woodlands

Bring Your Item
To Be Valued and

Get One Free Appraisal! 


August 13-14

at the Woodlands
Waterway Marriott Hotel
and Convention Center

The 14th annual Fall Home & Garden Show welcomes the return of the always-popular Dr. Lori Verderame. Dr. Lori will be on-hand both days of the show to provide one free appraisal – complete with her comedic twist – to each of those in attendance who bring an item for her identification and valuation. Come and find out the true value of that vase or painting or jewelry item you’ve always wondered about!

At some of her previous appearances at the Home & Garden show in The Woodlands, Dr. Lori says she identified these antique “finds”:


  • Spanish Colonial illuminated manuscript from the 1500s
  • a rare Civil War battlefield quilt from a wounded soldier
  • Mary Cassatt Impressionist pastel drawing
  • a collection of West African totem sculpture
  • Silver and turquoise antique Native American jewelry
  • an authentic Tiffany table lamp
  • an authentic desk set made by the famous Arts & Crafts artist guild of New York, the Roycrofters


The show will be held Aug. 13-14 at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center at 1601 Lake Robbins Drive.

Show admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, and free for children 12 and younger. For more show information, call 832-274-3944 or visit WoodlandsShows.com, where a downloadable discount coupon for $1 off admission is available.

The Art of Storing China

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