Deborah Bates Conservation is experienced in offering a range of consultancy services:-

|Conservation reports on individual items | Treatment proposals and estimates | Advice on prospective acquisitions | Reports and estimates for grant applications and insurance claims | Conservation surveys |Conservation assessments | Presentations and workshops |

Conservation Reports

We provide Conservation Condition Reports and Treatment Records.

Condition Reports:  Whether it be for pre-auction assessment, work in-transit or to assist with acquisition or loan decisions, we regularly provide detailed written documentation of objects viewed either in-situ or at Pickersdane in studio conditions and with technical analysis. We use a narrative format, rather than checklist, that allows for more directed and detailed discussion of object specific phenomena and include images and other diagnostic material where necessary: for instance, we might conduct UV Light examination, infra-red photography, microscopic or chemical analysis of pigments and paper fibre where appropriate.

Treatment Records:  Written documentation in the form of examination and treatment records forms part of our daily practice. We maintain confidential documentation that includes a record of techniques or procedures involved, materials used and their composition, the nature and extent of all alterations and any additional information revealed about an item. A report prepared from these records summarising this information and providing, as necessary, recommendations for subsequent care can be produced.

Treatment Proposals and Estimates

As part of our condition reporting or as a separate formal or informal service we will provide you with a full range of treatment options and estimates and our advice will encompass a description of methods and materials to be employed along with guidance on potential risk, precaution and benefits.

Advice on Prospective Acquisitions

We are regularly called upon to view lots for the major auction houses and their clients in order to provide advice on condition, stability and suitability of purchase.  We can report verbally or provide written reports depending on what is required.

Insurance Claims

We provide on-site evaluation, damage and loss surveys and can produce the written documentation required by insurance companies for claims.  We are used by most of the large fine art insurers for advice on salvage and treatment options.

Conservation Surveys:

Collection Condition Surveys are undertaken in order to audit the condition of a collection as a whole.

As a result of a condition survey you, or your institution, should be able to give a quantified assessment of the condition of items in your care; produce concrete evidence as to the causes of any deterioration; assess whether or not the collection is stable and state what steps are needed, if any, to halt deterioration and best plan for its future.

We conduct surveys in systemised phases:

In the initial phases we will discuss with you your desired outcome of the survey and gather all the information we need about collection history, location and the physical grouping of objects.  We will need to set a limit on time to be spent on the survey and set a sample size.  For a very large collection, it is usually desirable to conduct a pilot survey in order to design the best way of selecting the objects to be sampled and to refine our data definitions.

Our paper conservators will then survey the collection, sampling according to collection size and make-up and using a custom-developed spreadsheet or database to record the results.  This raw data becomes available to you at the end of the survey.

Back at Pickersdane, we analyse the results of the survey and produce a full written report with findings and recommendations.

After delivering our report, if required, a prioritised schedule of collection care with workflows and costings is designed in dialogue with a curator, collection owner or manager in order to suit different requirements, budgets, timeframes and priorities.

Conservation Assessments:

The purposes of a Conservation Assessments can be twofold:


1. To assess the space and conditions in which an artwork or whole collection is housed.


2. To flag up within a collection being readied for sale or use by the public, for example, items requiring conservation, re-housing or other attention by a paper conservator.

We conduct assessments on both small and large collections.  Less comprehensive than a survey, a full written report will, however, be produced.

Presentations & Workshops

Deborah Bates Conservation advises and gives informal talks to private collectors, art dealers, auction houses and institutions on all aspects of collections management and on paper conservation, to improve understanding of the condition of artworks and possible conservation treatments.