Some hints and tips to protect your antiques.

Take photographs of your valuables Photographs of a stolen object greatly improve the chances of recovery.

 Photographs can be taken using any photographic format and need not prove to be expensive.
Take a variety of shots of each object.
Remember do not be concerned with taking the object from it's most photographic angle, instead concentrate on what makes this object unique or identifiable.

If possible:
* Indicate the object's size and dimensions by placing a ruler next to small items, or write down the measurement. *
 Show distinguishing marks, repair marks, hallmarks.
 * Show the back and front of paintings.
 * On many objects a flash-gun is difficult to use as it may glare on shiny surfaces such as glass. Use good even natural daylight or bounced /diffused flash lighting if possible.
* Try to use a plain background, white or grey are best, avoid patterned wallpaper or carpet.

 Write a short description of each of your valuables It is much easier to do this now, rather than trying to remember an object when it is stolen.
 Write a written or printed record of your objects try to keep your description to the "Object I.D." format recognised throughout the art world:

This should include:
* Type of object - painting, sculpture, clock, watch.
* Materials and techniques - brass, wood, oil, carved, cast, etched.
* Measurements - size and weight.
* Inscriptions and markings - signature, dedication, title, purity mark.
* Distinguishing features - damage, repairs, manufacturing defects.
* Title - name of painting or sculpture.
* Subject - what is pictured or represented.
* Maker - an individual, company or artistic group.
* Date or period of the maker or artist - art deco, contemporary etc.

Property Markings Before you mark any piece of art or antique, it is a good idea to seek specialist advice.

A number of companies specialise in marking art by using systems such as DNA and Micro dots.

 Keep it Secure Having documented, photographed and marked your property, keep this information in a safe place.

Do not keep it in anything that might be stolen.

Remember - a valuable object does not have to be one of financial worth, so record items which have sentimental value to you as well.