In this post, I thought I would give you a deep look behind-the-scenes to see a process museum staff frequently undertake, but most people don’t get to see: what’s involved in packing an object for travel. In this instance, the object is the 1906 Lipton Cup for the first Ocean Race to Bermuda. You might remember the Lipton Cup was one of the winners of the 2017 Bronze Door Society annual dinner. The Bronze Door Society sponsored the conservation of the Lipton Cup to the tune of $30,000.00.
It took several months to find a conservator (we chose Conservation Solutions, Inc.) and finalize the contract for the work, which will take most of the money budgeted for the project: $29,290. Once this part of the process was complete our next task was to troubleshoot how to transport the trophy to the CSI. You’ve seen the thing—with all those delicate frilly bits and the crack in the main spindle we couldn’t just wrap it in a little padding and lay it on its side in a box (we’d need another $30,000 to repair the damage that caused!). Unfortunately, we only had $700.00 left in the budget to cover the packing expenses—which is a pittance when it comes to packing art. Creating a customized crate usually costs anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000.00 or more depending on the object and its size or complexity. As an example, Peabody Essex Museum just spent $12,281 to crate our Kronprinz Wilhelm painting for travel between Newport News, Massachusetts, London and Dundee, Scotland. Granted, the 1906 Lipton Cup isn’t as big, but it gives you an idea of what it costs to crate a complex object.