Collection Care of a display


Sergeant Major
Aug 21, 2015
Orange County, Virginia
This is a box that I cover with a glass top and use as a table to display items in my collection. They can sit in there for a long time. What care should be given to keep them in condition they are in now. I am not concerned so much about the reproduction revolvers and buckles as I am the original guns, knives and the relic holster. Any ideas will be appreciated.



Feb 13, 2013
Mount Juliet TN
Nice collection!

Everyone has their own system. I clean my antiques on a rotation basis with each item getting attention about every 18 months - give or take. For really fragile items, I try to handle them as little as possible. For leather items, I apply some re-hydration paste, buff lightly and that’s it. For metal, I use a gun oil. When dry, I apply a coat of Renaissance Wax. For wood, I use Kramer’s, let dry and then apply a coat of Ren Wax.


May 29, 2017
Pe Ell, Washington
Nice collection indeed!

Depending upon the climate where you live, I would suggest a bag of silica gel to absorb any excess moisture. If included in the display, you might hide it in a cartridge box or something similar. I use silica gel bags in my safe in order to absorb any moisture, and I live in the fairly wet climate of SW WA State, especially in the Winter. It works very well. Every 6 months I dry the bags out in a 200* oven for about 1/2 hour and I am good to go.



Jeff in Ohio

Oct 17, 2015
No neatsfoot oil - it will destroy the stitching, and is not good for leather. It darkens leather, will cause oxidation, and can embrittle leather. Most modern neatsfoot oil has petroleum products in it, and this rot old stitching (modern synthetic stitching won't be hurt, but old, natural stitching will), and it can speed the breakdown of the leather itself.
Again, some of this damage is from pure neatsfoot oil, and some form the additives put into modern versions of neatsfoot oil.
If you have boots you wear and will throw them away when they wear out, neatsfoot oil is okay but never, ever, on old leather you want to preserve.