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Alabastro di Volterra
The art of carving alabaster began during the Etruscan Era. The extraordinary skill and creativity of this mysterious civilisation has been handed down through the centuries...
The use and care of Alabaster
We realize complete maintenance and restoration of antique alabaster objects. Alabaster artefacts require a little attention and care in their placement and cleaning...
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The Use and Care of alabaster


We realize complete maintenance and restoration of antique alabaster

Alabaster artefacts require a little attention and care in their placement and cleaning.
We have listed a few helpful hints to maintain and enhance the qualities of your purchased item:

- Handle the item with care especially if the alabaster is very fine.
- Do not expose alabaster to the elements.
- Alabaster does not hold liquids. Place a glass or plastic container in the Alabaster vase for fresh flowers.
- Do not clean alabaster in hot water or with abrasive detergents. Use cold or warm water and a delicate soap if necessary or simply wipe over with a wet cotton cloth. When clean, polish the item following the instructions below.
- Avoid exposure to heat. High temperatures tend to reduce the translucent quality of the stone. Use fluorescent light bulbs for alabaster lamps and lighting in general. Only use halogen or incandescent light bulbs on the advice of one of our experts.

The final polish differs according to the working techniques applied.

- A product polished by hand using traditional methods is specifically known as sparmacetato.
The artefact is smoothed down in gradual phases using a variety of lesser abrasive sandpapers and then an abrasive paste. A hot wax, a mixture of bees wax, glycerine, vaseline and rosin, is then applied as the final finish. Originally whales fat (known as sparmeceto) was applied to the artefact, hence the term for this procedure.
To maintain this polish, simply clean the item as instructed above and apply either Vaseline oil, neutral coloured furniture wax or even better, Nivea hand cream. The best results are achieved in a warm temperature.

- Richly ornate and engraved artefacts are polished with talcum powder to enhance the details.
When the item has been carved it is soaked in milk and then left to dry out. When completely dry, it is energetically rubbed with a round bristle brush sprinkled with talcum powder and then simply dusted to remove the excess powder.
This procedure can be easily carried out at home. If necessary clean the item before proceeding with this method.


Piazza Martiri della Liberta 5/9 56048 Volterra (Pi) - Italy
Tel. +39 0588 86078 - Fax +39 0588 86521 - e-mail: info@alialabastro.it