We work for private individuals, institutions, auction houses, and more.
Services include, but are not limited to the following:
- Full Conservation/restoration of Automata, Mechanical Music, and Complicated Clocks & Watches
- Museum Quality Object Condition Report
- Collections Care Management
- Research & Documentation
- Case Making
- Hand Making
- Dial Making
- Gear Cutting
- Hand Engraving
- Engine Turning
- Bespoke Automata
- Mechanical Toys
- Toy Making Workshops
- Guest Lectures
- Educational Demonstrations
- Engine Turning Classes
All conservation services begin with a conversation about your object, its condition, and the work you want performed. This allows us to ask specific questions about your piece, gain an understanding of the scope of work, and give you a better idea of what may be required to meet your expectations. Following this initial consultation if you would like an estimate for services, the object will need to be sent for an in depth assessment. After the object is received we will carefully evaluate it and provide you with an estimate via email indicating the work required, a time frame for completion, and how much the work is expected to cost. There is a charge for this service, but should you authorize the work, the fee will be applied towards the final total. We try to be as thorough and accurate as possible in these initial estimates, but sometimes the work will end up costing more or less than originally anticipated, but rarely substantially so. We also offer the option of a museum quality Condition Report and Treatment Proposal, containing research, citations, photographs, and descriptions. These reports, depending on the object, range from 10 to 60 pages; cost is calculated on an hourly basis. If you choose this option, after the work on your object is completed, you will receive a final report with a Treatment Summary, containing documentation of the repair process, products used, future considerations, and recommendations for responsible long term care.
Should you wish to schedule your object for repair, you must approve the work and associated cost by responding to the email containing the estimate. We will verify a start date and place your item in the repair queue. If you do not wish to proceed with the work, your object can be immediately returned once the estimation fee has cleared.
After the work is completed, you will receive an email notification that your object is ready for pick up. We accept bank transfers, money orders, and credit cards through PayPal. If for any reason you need additional information on your item please let us know by phone or email immediately.
The shipping and handling of your object may have to be arranged by specialty courier service, depending on your objects value and at your expense.
Of course, should you have any questions or concerns, we are available by telephone and clients are always welcome to visit the workshop.
A Conversation about Conservation:
“We’re conservators. The explanation at a bar usually goes something like this: We fix old stuff. Well sometimes it’s not old. And sometimes we don’t fix it. No trust me, it’s fascinating. Actually once I really explain what I do, most people see the appeal. We work on old things, pretty things, ugly things, rare things, historically important things; we use technology and tools borrowed from other professions to solve problems you might not have thought about. And at West Dean, most of us work on objects that serve a function. Readers of books generally want their books to open; owners of clocks want them to tell time. We balance the value of the object as a historical artifact against the requirements for its use. We try to make repairs as minimally interventive as possible, and reversible if necessary. We do our best to prevent further damage. We’ve learned that in time we often find a much better way of doing what we once thought was a great idea, and that objects mundane in one time period may be interesting and rare in another. To that end we study chemistry, physics, art history, craft, conservation theory and ethics, in addition to practical work. We thought, with the kind permission of our clients, we would share some of our work with you, in hopes that when you meet a conservator in a bar you can immediately say—and mean it—ah yes, how fascinating.” – Abigail Bainbridge from A Letter from the Editor
Brittany Nicole Cox, founder of Memoria Technica, is a Professional Associate of the American Institute of Conservation (AIC). All conservation work performed at Memoria Technica is governed by the following code of ethics laid out by AIC:
I. The conservation professional shall strive to attain the highest possible standards in all aspects of conservation, including, but not limited to, preventive conservation, examination, documentation, treatment, research, and education.
II. All actions of the conservation professional must be governed by an informed respect for the cultural property, its unique character and significance, and the people or person who created it.
III. While recognizing the right of society to make appropriate and respectful use of cultural property, the conservation professional shall serve as an advocate for the preservation of cultural property.
IV. The conservation professional shall practice within the limits of personal competence and education as well as within the limits of the available facilities.
V. While circumstances may limit the resources allocated to a particular situation, the quality of work that the conservation professional performs shall not be compromised.
VI. The conservation professional must strive to select methods and materials that, to the best of current knowledge, do not adversely affect cultural property or its future examination, scientific investigation, treatment, or function.
VII.The conservation professional shall document examination, scientific investigation, and treatment by creating permanent records and reports.
VIII.The conservation professional shall recognize a responsibility for preventive conservation by endeavoring to limit damage or deterioration to cultural property, providing guidelines for continuing use and care, recommending appropriate environmental conditions for storage and exhibition, and encouraging proper procedures for handling, packing, and transport.
IX.The conservation professional shall act with honesty and respect in all professional relationships, seek to ensure the rights and opportunities of all individuals in the profession, and recognize the specialized knowledge of others.
X. The conservation professional shall contribute to the evolution and growth of the profession, a field of study that encompasses the liberal arts and the natural sciences. This contribution may be made by such means as continuing development of personal skills and knowledge, sharing of information and experience with colleagues, adding to the profession’s written body of knowledge, and providing and promoting educational opportunities in the field.
XI. The conservation professional shall promote an awareness and understanding of conservation through open communication with allied professionals and the public.
XII. The conservation professional shall practice in a manner that minimizes personal risks and hazards to co-workers, the public, and the environment.
XIII. Each conservation professional has an obligation to promote understanding of and adherence to this Code of Ethics.