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Author Topic: Dry "things in jars"?  (Read 6587 times)
Jake of All Trades
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« on: June 06, 2007, 02:21:37 am »

While most TIJs we see around here involve the suspension of a specimen in liquid, what of things that can not (or should not) be wet?  I'm sure such preservations exist, but what was done to the air inside the jar?  I realize that, by nature, a dried specimen would need less preservation than normal tissue, but there are still the air-born elements to consider.  Was there anything in the way of desiccants in the good ol' 19th?  Salt and sand, I suppose, but you'd have to pack the thing in the grains to do any good, wouldn't you?  Would a few crystals at the bottom do the trick?

I have what, for all intents and purposes, amounts to a mummified thing that I would very much like to put in a jar.  Now it has been doing just fine sitting out in the open for all its "life", but I should like to keep it as-is for as long as possible--while maintaining a good Victorian aesthetic, of course Smiley

Post Script:  What is the mysterious item of which I speak?  Well, you'll just have to wait to find out!  It's worth your time, I guarantee it   Wink
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rollerboi
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« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2007, 03:03:49 am »

What if you put it underneath a simple bell jar, as in this picture?

http://www.biblelandstudios.com/images/reward/pedro/Pedro%20Bell%20Jar%20150dpi.jpeg

Also looks like these were used to produce a vacuum, as shown in this picture:

http://www.sciencetreasures.com/image/instruments/si131.jpg
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2007, 03:15:15 am »

Hmmmm, bell jar, eh?  I like that!  The object in question wouldn't stand up on its own (we better hope), but an ornate brass stand affixed to it's stump...  I've already said to much  Grin 
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CinnamonAndSpite
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2007, 03:51:32 am »

I've always wanted to mummify something. Cheesy
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rogue_designer
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2007, 04:08:38 am »

Hmmmm, bell jar, eh?  I like that!  The object in question wouldn't stand up on its own (we better hope), but an ornate brass stand affixed to it's stump...  I've already said to much  Grin 

Hand of Glory?
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Obadiah Askew
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2007, 04:22:44 am »

see now, i particularly like the idea of having something partially packed in salt and sand, and perhaps a vacuum as well would help in the preservation of the as-yet unnamed item to be preserved.
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rollerboi
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« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2007, 04:31:34 am »

Now you've got us all atwitter with anticipation, my dear colleague. Smiley

(And isn't a Hand of Glory simply a disembobulated hand of a thief made into a candle, that renders all paralysed except for the thief? No reason to fear such a thing "standing up on its own"... ;-) )
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 01:05:15 pm »

I've not tired it but on the ground that more ideas the better.... I would seal it in a airtight jar (with sealing wax) but in there id put some silica Gel...the stuff one finds in camera or binocular boxes to fend off moisture. Heat the Gel to drive off any water in it and seal it all up tight.

If being sophisticated one could encapsulate some inert gas....CO2?(possibly captured from a soda bottle?)
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Atterton
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« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2007, 02:01:11 pm »

But if you filled the contained with sand or salt, you wouldn´t be able to see the object anymore.
I´d suggest getting a glass container, and some helium balloons. Fill the container with the helium from the balloons, that is an inert gas and so you should avoid decomposition or drying out.
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Von Effenger
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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2007, 02:24:51 pm »

Actually, a great place to find odd glass containers is the TJMaxx stores.  They have just a huge selection of various decorative pieces (bell jars, regular jars, giant sized brandy snifters, etc), that nobody seems to want.  I picked up a rather nice size bell jar there for about 9 dollars.
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Simon Hogwood
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2007, 10:03:39 pm »

Now you've got us all atwitter with anticipation, my dear colleague. Smiley

(And isn't a Hand of Glory simply a disembobulated hand of a thief made into a candle, that renders all paralysed except for the thief? No reason to fear such a thing "standing up on its own"... ;-) )
I've also heard that it can give light that can only be seen by the bearer of the Hand, as well as opening portals through solid walls. However, I fear Jake's specimen will more resemble the Thing from The Adams FamilyShocked
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2007, 12:07:28 am »

Actually, a great place to find odd glass containers is the TJMaxx stores.  They have just a huge selection of various decorative pieces (bell jars, regular jars, giant sized brandy snifters, etc), that nobody seems to want.  I picked up a rather nice size bell jar there for about 9 dollars.

I can say without hyperbole that that's about the last place I would have looked--thanks!  I'll check them out soon...

I've also heard that it can give light that can only be seen by the bearer of the Hand, as well as opening portals through solid walls. However, I fear Jake's specimen will more resemble the Thing from The Adams FamilyShocked

Actually, the Hand of Glory is closer... Wink

But, anyway, back to preservatives.  I will put some silica gel in there, but should I conceal it?  Obviously I'd take them out of the modern-looking packet, but would the crystals themselves look too out of place?  Similar looking crystals of course existed in the 1800s, but would they have been used in such an application?  I guess what I'm saying is that I need to know more about how it would have been preserved, rather than how I should...
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CapnHarlock
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« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2007, 04:59:26 am »

Quote
But, anyway, back to preservatives.  I will put some silica gel in there, but should I conceal it?  Obviously I'd take them out of the modern-looking packet, but would the crystals themselves look too out of place?

a little brass-screen-mesh container on the base?
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2007, 05:08:26 am »

Quote
But, anyway, back to preservatives.  I will put some silica gel in there, but should I conceal it?  Obviously I'd take them out of the modern-looking packet, but would the crystals themselves look too out of place?

a little brass-screen-mesh container on the base?
Yup, that's pretty much what I had in mind.  The way I've got it now (mostly in my head) is a small bell-jar on a wooden base with a brass "pedestal" inside the glass, upon which the item sits.  I will conceal the modern desiccants within said pedestal, which is hollow and will have some holes drilled around it's circumference.  I guess that's all I need, I just don't want to hear "you know, if that was real there would have been xxxxx in with the specimen" or anything...  I'm being unusually thorough here and I'm not sure why--but thank you all for bearing with me and being so helpful!
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CinnamonAndSpite
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« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2007, 08:15:23 am »

Well, if you really wanted to do a classical mummification, I would dry the specimen in Natron, wrap it neatly, then attempt to seal the jar with vacuume pressure. Perhaps a bit of salt/sand to keep it in whatever pose you desired...

Also, if you are kind with the specimen, and simply vaccume out the air pressure, it should mummify itself, in a manner of speaking... keep it out of light and unjostled and it should stay preserved.
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2007, 08:33:48 am »

Oh no, I assure you it is already quite mummified Smiley
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CinnamonAndSpite
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« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2007, 08:44:53 am »

You shouldn't need anything really fancy then... I know it seems opposite to try to be practical, but all you would need is something to hold the specimen in place, then vacuume the air out, poof! Drythinginajar.
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2007, 11:02:05 am »

The Nicholson Museum at uni has a mummified head under a bell jar, which came from a private collection. I don't think it is in a vacuum -- I'm not sure it is even sealed, but the environment of the entire museum is very dry. There is also a cat and a hand in the cabinet next to it, contained in nothing more than the cabinet itself.

The note with them states that such artefacts "were popular mantlepiece ornaments" in Victorian times, and also mentions unwrapping parties.

If it must be in a jar, I'd probably take inspiration from a normal (non-vacuum) dessicator.

As for the dessicant, silica gel would be the best possible thing to use, and I don't see why loose crystals would be a problem. As in a normal dessicator, you'd have to sit the specimen up above the dessicant in order not to damage it.
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Von Effenger
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« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2007, 02:36:22 pm »

The Nicholson Museum at uni has a mummified head under a bell jar, which came from a private collection. I don't think it is in a vacuum -- I'm not sure it is even sealed, but the environment of the entire museum is very dry. There is also a cat and a hand in the cabinet next to it, contained in nothing more than the cabinet itself.

The note with them states that such artefacts "were popular mantlepiece ornaments" in Victorian times, and also mentions unwrapping parties.


that's true!  there's a good article <a href="http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0029-5132%28199423%2928%3A1%3C24%3ATOOODV%3E2.0.CO%3B2-8&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage">here</a> just in case anyone wants to know about the Victorians and their mummies.
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Atterton
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« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2007, 03:40:02 pm »

Aparently there was a kind of paint which contained pulverized mummy parts. I guess you´d only use that if you wanted your house to become haunted.
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2007, 04:11:56 pm »

Ahh, just what I was hoping to hear, Ms. MacCallister!  Thanks for the help, everybody!
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sidecar_jon
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« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2007, 05:11:40 pm »

Aparently there was a kind of paint which contained pulverized mummy parts. I guess you´d only use that if you wanted your house to become haunted.

Well it was more of a paint for artists, its said that when Rossetti found this out he took his own tube of "mummy" to the garden and gave it a decent Christian burial...
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Jake of All Trades
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« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2007, 05:33:20 pm »

They've got a tube of it on display in Michigan Tech's Seaman Mineral Museum.  I'm home for the summer now, but I'll be sure to get a photograph or two come fall!
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CinnamonAndSpite
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« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2007, 07:18:07 am »

The Nicholson Museum at uni has a mummified head under a bell jar, which came from a private collection. I don't think it is in a vacuum -- I'm not sure it is even sealed, but the environment of the entire museum is very dry. There is also a cat and a hand in the cabinet next to it, contained in nothing more than the cabinet itself.


True, but most museum's have temperature/humitidy controls to keep conditions just right for persevering their artifacts....

They've got a tube of it on display in Michigan Tech's Seaman Mineral Museum.  I'm home for the summer now, but I'll be sure to get a photograph or two come fall!


That's just... so very cool. This was painted with mummy! *imagines*
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Flynn MacCallister
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« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2007, 12:12:07 pm »

True, but most museum's have temperature/humitidy controls to keep conditions just right for persevering their artifacts....

As I said:

the environment of the entire museum is very dry.
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