Caring for an antique
I have been searching for a guide on how to care for an antique sword, as I have been told that you can't use modern oils and such on them ( that it would ruin the patina, etc. ), and have not found one. So how would care differ from a replica for a sword from the American Civil War? How about a piece that is from the Viking Age? Or would you even do anything for a piece that old? I am specifically looking for a detailed guide (such as the one describing the care of the modern replica on this site ) but I appreciate any advice you could give me, as I can hardly stand the thought of damaging a quality replica, let alone a historical piece. Thanks in advance.
Serious answer: Send it to a professional conservator. This will cost money, but if you're able to buy a genuine antique sword that's old enough that it really needs conservation, you should be able to afford the service. By this I mean swords generally older than the 18th century, possibly 17th. Many conservators work with museums and what not, so you could get contact information by inquiring at places like the Metropolitan Museum of New York or Castlerock Armoury in Wisconsin.

Now if money is an issue (perhaps you inherited it, found it in a pawn-shop, or dug it out of the ground): At the very least, contact a professional and ask (nicely) for advice. Include nice photos. They may offer a deal (clean it up and display it at a museum or something), more likely they'll tell you how to clean it and preserve it from decaying further.

I believe Renaissance Wax is often used on metal parts once they're de-rusted. You want to leave the historical patina, as that's a vital indicator of age, but active rust should be neutralized or removed. Any remaining organic pieces can be secured in different manners but I can't speak on those.

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