Ship precious items safely

For the shipment of artworks recommends the use of specialized couriers. These ones will treat your shipment with maximum care and attention. However, won't be held responsible if the product will be damaged. For a safe shipment, we propose following recommendations for a suitable packaging, so that the transport takes place in excellent conditions.


Those who think that artworks cannot be sent by courier, are mistaken. Of course, the art world without the support of shipping companies would not be all around the world as it is today; large and small exhibitions in different museums would not take place, if the artworks could not be sent with a transport company. Although the most precious works of the museums in the various films are handled only with white gloves - artworks exhibited daily in galleries or sold through auctions in some way should reach the new owners - in most cases, this is made through couriers. Even in the case of shipments of art objects, the most important aspect remains the appropriate packaging. Especially for delicate goods such as paintings, artworks on paper, canvas or sculptures there are special packaging materials and tricks, to ensure that they reach intact and in perfect condition the house of the new owner. What you need to pack artworks can be acquired in any do-it-yourself center, or perhaps even available at home: air-bubble polyethylene, adhesive tape, cartons and possibly also folders for drawings. An artwork is certainly not the same with another. The packaging changes according to the type of the goods shipped: artwork, painting or sculpture. Below we have listed the individual cases:

1. Paintings

In case of paintings, particular attention should be paid to the conformation of the painting. Paintings, most of them oil painting, are painted on canvas and mounted on a frame. Thanks to the frame, the canvas is stretched to a certain extent, and the painting forms a flat surface. Even if the artwork is protected by the frame, the surface is still at risk, as the latter can be damaged if exposed to pressure and may even tear. For this reason, during the shipment especially this part is to be safeguarded in an accurate manner.

a) The use of air bubble polyethylene is essential for artworks. First of all, a picture should be wrapped in protective film. If the picture has a frame, add a large piece of film to the floor and place the painting face down with the film on top. The nodules of the film must absolutely be inside, so as to protect the frame directly. If you place the panel on one half of the polyethylene, with the second half you can cover the back of the board and fix everything with adhesive tape. If the film is not enough to wrap front and back, the individual pieces of air-bubble polyethylene can be glued. The important thing is that in the end, the whole picture is covered by the film. Of particular importance are certainly the corners, which during the fixing with the adhesive tape can be wound several times, so as to soften the edges and prevent any damage. To reinforce the panel's surface, a piece of cardboard in the framesize can be applied as a further layer on the front and back. In this way you avoid direct pressure on the canvas.
b) If you have a cardboard of certain dimensions available, in which you have placed the whole picture, you can certainly use it to insert the picture. If the dimensions are not perfectly adequate, the excessive space can be filled with different materials (polyethylene with air bubbles, paper or polystyrene). If you do not have a cardboard of this size, even single pieces can be enough to have an additional layer for the work wrapped in polyethylene.
c) If you want to do everything in a professional way: for the transport of paintings there are special re-closable wooden boxes, which also protect artworks in an optimal way. If you have skills as a craftsman, then make a box for transport, which can be used several times. Even if the box increases the weight of the shipment, the artwork only thanks to this type of packaging is protected in the best way.
d) Suggestion: if you want to align several panels at home, before hanging them, these must be ordered in order of size as follows: front to front - back to back. This way the canvas and therefore the surface of the panel won't be scratched.

2. Works on paper in an interchangeable frame

While oil paintings are usually made on canvas, works on paper such as watercolors are fixed on interchangeable frames. These prefabricated frames have flexible hinges on the base, generally a plywood panel up, and a glass on the front, in which the paper works can be exchanged at will. If you want to organize this type of work, you must pay particular attention because of the glass plate. The air bubble polyethylene must be properly secured to ensure that the glass does not break or break. To reinforce the stability you can add an extra cardboard over the glass, to further soften blows from the outside. Also for this interchangeable frame the corners must be well protected, to prevent the edges from becoming detached, which could also break the glass. For this reason, besides protecting the metal frame from graphs, additional cardboard protective elements are sometimes affixed to the corners.

3. Drawings, photographs

Beyond paintings, protected thanks to their frames, in every house there are continuously works on paper or other drawings, which maybe are not even hung and are not found in protective frames. Also in the photographic field there are precious prints, which are kept only in folders protected from the direct light. If you have more work of this type, paintings or similar, we propose a housing in special folders, which can be acquired in the specialized paper shops or online. Even for the shipment of artworks, these cases lend themselves an appreciable service, given that the cardboard elements of the folders protect the works on paper from foreign influences. In these cases, before sending, put the work carefully in a folder and pack it as described above in some layers of air-bubbled polyethylene film. Finally, the light folder can be inserted into a cardboard top up, to avoid a direct pressure on the folder.

4. Sculptures

Not only paintings are sent, but also sculptures can be confidently entrusted to the couriers. Naturally, also in this case the conformity of the artwork is to be considered: before doing the shipment, it is advisable to check the material of the sculpture, to choose then the suitable packing material. A widespread material is the wood, for which it is necessary to prevent individual pieces from splintering and protecting the piece from external influences. If your sculpture is made of bronze or other material, the weight should be kept under observation. With certain dimensions, the metal but also the stone naturally have considerable weights, which must be considered for shipping. In any case, it is advisable to weigh the package before shipping it, to make sure that it does not exceed the limits of the package type shipment (from Italy maximum 50 kg, from Germany maximum 40 kg). The advantage for an artwork made in metal or stone is that the material is not particularly delicate. However, the packaging should be done in polyethylene with air bubbles and further placed in a rectangular cardboard, on which the transport documents can be applied. In addition to the sculpture, add filling material to prevent the article from slipping into the cardboard. Use crumpled paper, solid foam or pieces of air-bubble polyethylene. Attention: if your sculpture is made of delicate material such as earthenware, gypsum or similar, further preventive measures (other polyethylene with air bubbles, stronger cartons or possibly a small wooden box) should be taken.

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