I originally trained as a carpenter and furniture-maker. That background helps me in my job as a packing specialist since I completely understand the fragility of materials and techniques.
At Crown Fine Art we try to develop the best packing system for every object and its journey. A good crate provides protection against shock, vibration and climate changes – the relative humidity needs to be as stable as possible. Because humidity is related to temperature, we also try to maintain a stable temperature. When art works travel by air, they are at their most vulnerable. Climate changes can be huge and vibration is always an issue.
A lot of our crates are tailor-made. The biggest challenge is to pack models of ships. You will find many of those in Dutch collections and most are old and very rare. They are also extremely fragile. It's a challenge to secure them in a rigid case and also provide enough cushioning to absorb vibration. A stable climate is essential to those models as the materials are very fragile. After taking detailed measurements and fabricating the crates, we take them to the customer's premises and help them pack the models. On the spot adjustments often need to be made to ensure everything is just right. It is always a pleasure when you secure the lid on one of those cases, knowing that the model will be safe for the whole of its journey.