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Old 9th May 2015, 04:06 PM   #1
Cerjak
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Default Luristan iron sword need advice for preservation.

Iron cast sword from Luristan ( 13th-7th Cent B.C) .
Overall circa 45 cm we can see that the Fastening nails from the handle are still present.
This sword is really fragile and very friable so must be handled with a lot of attention and I ‘m wondering how I could preserve it.

Any opinion on it will be welcome.

Best
Cerjak
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Old 9th May 2015, 08:50 PM   #2
Battara
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Interesting piece. Most of these I've seen are made of bronze from Luristan. There are also many fakes out there as well.
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Old 9th May 2015, 10:24 PM   #3
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soak in motor oil for a few weeks than put a light coat of wax on it. oil will help strengthen metal wax will stop flaking off of metal. besides it is easy to remove. In the old days museums would laquer everything but that is a pain to remove and it turns color with age,but you will still see a lot of armor still protected this way. some use renaissance wax but I do not find it makes that much of a difference and it is expensive.
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Old 9th May 2015, 11:03 PM   #4
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BEFORE APPLYING ANYTHING MAKE SURE IT IS COMPLETELY DRY EITHER PUTTING IN AN OVEN ON LOW HEAT FOR A HOUR OR SO OR USING A HAIR DRYER. YOU DON'T WANT TO HEAT UP THE SWORD MUCH AS THE EXPANSION OF RUSTY METAL CAN CAUSE IT TO FLAKE OR PERHAPS FALL APART. THE DISADVANTAGES OF USING LACQUER HAVE BEEN MENTIONED ABOVE. THE ADVANTAGES ARE SEALS OUT MOISTURE AND OXYGEN AND SOAKS INTO CRACKS AND BONDS AND REINFORCES THE METAL. THERE ARE QUITE A FEW MORE MODERN RESINS AND EPOXY'S THAT DO A BETTER JOB BUT I WOULD CHECK WITH A PROFESSIONAL RESTORER BEFORE USING THEM. ESPECIALLY IF YOU MIGHT WANT TO RESELL THE ITEM IN FUTURE AS SOME WOULD CONSIDER THE SWORD TO NO LONGER BE GENUINE. THE QUESTION I ASK IS WHAT IS MORE DESIRABLE A GENUINE PILE OF BROKEN DUST AND RUST OR RUST STILL FIXED IN THE FORM OF A SWORD.? IN ALL CASES I WOULD GET A SMALL CASE LIKE A RYKER MOUNT OR SOMETHING AND KEEP THE SWORD IN IT AND HANDLE IT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE. GOOD LUCK
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Old 10th May 2015, 12:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Battara
Interesting piece. Most of these I've seen are made of bronze from Luristan. There are also many fakes out there as well.
Hi Battara
I agree with you that the swords of this type are most commonly found in bronze, and of course most of the iron swords have been eaten by corrosion.
Also it is true that we can find too easily a lot of nice swords of bronze on the market which makes me think that there is always a production of our day that is there for the collectors market supply !
Here are also some pictures of swords of the same type from the Museum of man

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Old 10th May 2015, 01:08 PM   #6
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I would propose the following procedure:

1. Bath the object in a large enough container with Aceton for a few weeks. Change the Aceton from time to time. This will wash out corrosive salts. The object should be completely covered with Aceton and should not lie directly on the ground. Alternatively you can take distilled water.
2. Heat the object in an oven so that it is absolutely dry.
3. Remove loose particles carefully (!) with sandpaper. They will drop off anyway.
4. Clean the object with a Dremel and steel brush. This will not affect the patina, but will remove the rust. Put on a face mask and be careful to not step into the bristles that will fall on the ground.
5. Brush the object with heated paraffin wax.
6. Keep it in dry environment below an air humidity of 50%, for example by putting it in a container (or showcase) with silica gel (the orange ones, not the blue).

That's what I have done with iron objects, but in the end, the corrosion is unpredictable. Some objects stay rust-free for decades, others will fall apart in a few years, no matter how you treat them.
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Old 10th May 2015, 01:15 PM   #7
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Our German colleague is so right.
It's the best to do, then at the end, I will add a thin layer of parallloid.
Kubur
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Old 10th May 2015, 03:09 PM   #8
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Default thank you for your wise advice

Hello VANDOO,stekemest,ward and Kubur

I would like to thank you for your wise advice in the way to preserve this sword.
Best

Cerjak
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Old 10th May 2015, 07:27 PM   #9
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Be careful when handling a Dremel though. Some objects are so fragile that it is better to just conserve them as they are, without removing the surface rust. Hard to judge by pictures, would have to see it in person.
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Old 10th May 2015, 07:30 PM   #10
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Question

This sword appears to have some kind of coating already applied to it .
Couldn't this be problematic when trying any conservation process ?
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Old 10th May 2015, 07:50 PM   #11
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It seems indeed to have been cleaned halfheartedly, with a lot of the surface rust still on it. The problem is that we don't know if it was desalinated. Most of the corrosion is produced by the reaction of interior salts with the surrounding humidity. Cerjak, I would probably just put it in a dry und stable environment with a lot of silicagel and watch it over the course of a few months. If there is a lot of corrosion, you could follow the procedure as mentioned. The coating will be removed when bathed in Aceton.

BTW, I'm pretty sure that it's no fake. It looks perfectly like an excavated, some hundreds to thousands years old piece of iron.
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Old 3rd January 2022, 02:58 PM   #12
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Default Professor Helmut Föll publication

After sending photos of this sword to Professor Helmut Föll, he informed me that it was a luristan sword type II in his reckoning but still rather close to type I. ( mask sword) also he wrote me that he was not aware of similar ones in museums because Type II hasn’t been found very often anyway.
Professor Fool is co-author of “Absolute Dating of Early Iron Objects from the Ancient Orient: Radiocarbon Dating of Luristan Iron Mask Swords”
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 April 2019
to follow the work of Helmut Föll see this link :
https://www.tf.uni-kiel.de/matwis/am...tr/sb_1_2.html

a must-see research on the subject
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Old 3rd January 2022, 11:42 PM   #13
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Thanks for this link
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Old 4th January 2022, 01:52 AM   #14
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Default Can't be Cast & Pure Iron

Cerjak,

Just a minor point not related to your preservation question. I am rather sure that for a ferrous metal object to be cast, it must have a good amount of an alloying element (e.g. carbon or phosphorus). Pure iron (element Fe) melts at 1,535° C (2,800° F). To most people's surprise, this very high temperature was only first obtained in the 20th century. What fuels the confusion is the use of iron in the names of substances which are ferrous metals but not pure iron. For example, both cast iron and pig iron have more carbon in them than does steel used for swords. Cast and pig irons are far too brittle and a sword made from either material would be prone to shattering on impact. Bottom line, if it is a cast Luristan sword, it is either steel or non-ferrous metal and if it is at all close to pure iron (i.e. wrought iron), it was forged, not cast.

Sincerely,
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Old 4th January 2022, 02:43 PM   #15
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The main concern is moisture and it getting under the corrosion and accelerating it. Never use water as it begins the corrosion process and will flake off more material. The aim is to dry the object on low heat then seal it with something like Renaissance wax. Use a brush and apply the wax liberally and warm it up until the wax melts, then let cool. Or you can pay the money for a professional conservator.
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Old 4th January 2022, 03:40 PM   #16
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Unfortunately, I cannot find the detailed 'recipe' at the moment, but once I followed a procedure of soaking a flaking sword in alkalinized (using sodium hydroxide) distilled water (refreshed every couple of days when pH dropped below, if I remember correctly, 11) for several weeks (until the pH stabilized,) followed by three day long soaks in anhydrous isopropyl alcohol followed by a couple of soaks in acetone and then a coating with paraloid B-72 as a sealer. Several years later, this still appears to have stabilized the sword.
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Old 4th January 2022, 07:21 PM   #17
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many thanks for all these advices, I will expand on the leads given here.
Again many thanks and Happy New Year to all of you.
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Old 4th January 2022, 10:56 PM   #18
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Electrochemical restoration?

https://link.springer.com/article/10...008-009-0876-4
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