POSSIBILITIES

In general, there are five categories of white stuff:

  1. Natural Qualities (ie plant waxes or white areas of cow horn)
  2. Natural Deterioration (ie delamination of baleen)
  3. Premature Deterioration (ie Byne’s disease or insect infestation)
  4. Intervention During useful Life (ie grease dishes)
  5. Intervention During Museum Life (ie adhesives and coatings)

LIST OF COMMON POSSIBILITIES:

Adhesives

Arsenic

Asbestos

Borax

Byne’s Disease

Calcination

Coatings

Cornstarch

Corrosion (lead, tin, aluminum, zinc, especially)

Cocoons

Crizzling

Delamination

Devirtrification

Exhibition materials

Fatty spew/spue/bloom

Frass

Friable surface

Insect debris

Kaolin

Label residues

Lint

Marine accretions

Mechanical damage

Mold

Packing materials

Paint drips

Putty from exhibition

Pesticides

Plant waxes (cutins/suberins)

Polish residue

Polyethylene glycol (PEG)

Salt efflorescence

Soap

Tin pest

Wax

Weeping

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