Fees charged for conservation services need not be mysterious or intimidating. Some conservators base their fees on arbitrary things such as how busy they are at the time, the rarity of an object, how much the owner is willing to pay, or even how much they happen to need! An hourly charge may seem practical, but can be hard to keep track of in private practice where there may be several items being treated simultaneously.
Because of his experience throughout the years, gaining a feel for what an item will need and the probability of the final cost, Bob has established a practical method for estimating an object. This makes it very easy for someone to estimate the general cost even before the object is sent for treatment. He bases his fees on the size of the piece, knowing that each item will receive the basic treatments, but the larger the piece, the more time and materials will be used in treatment, the more difficult the handling, the more space it requires, etc. This basic estimate will usually be the final cost for treatment. If an item needs a great deal more work than usual, e.g. extreme mold, or a poster in need of a new stand or other add-on, the cost will increase accordingly. If an item is in need of in-painting work, up to 5 hours is included in the per square inch price, but if it requires more than 5 hours of in-painting, there will be an extra $25.00 per hour added.
To figure the estimate, measure the length and width of the object. If it is an odd shape, measure from the longest points (even if this makes the area larger than it actually is, an irregular shape is more time consuming to treat, so the cost is estimated based on the longest measurements). Multiply the measurements by the figures below:
Artwork, documents, die-cuts, etc. ........................$1.50 per sq. inch ($300.00 minimum)
Parchment/vellum................................................ $2.00 per sq. inch ($300.00 minimum)
Newspaper ............................................................ $1.00 per sq. inch ($50.00 minimum
depending on number of items)
There are some types of objects, e.g. newspaper clippings, family letters, documents, etc., that can be treated at a discounted rate if 100 or more are sent at one time. For museums or organizations in need of an extensive conservation program, Bob is happy to discuss a price reduction for them as well.
If you have one or more objects you would like to send for treatment, or that you have questions about, Bob will be happy to talk to you. Please call, or e-mail using the contact page. If you send a piece for evaluation, but decide not to continue with treatment, please be prepared to pay for the return shipping, plus a $50.00 evaluation fee, before it will be shipped back to you.