Jul 26, 2013

The Delicate Art of Transporting Valuables

Moving is a stressful business at the best of times, but more so when you are faced with the problems of safe carriage for objects which are utterly irreplaceable. Who can you trust with possessions which are literally worth their weight in gold?

Case study in complexity

A couple of years ago, a major client was staging an exhibition at a new gallery which was opening in downtown Manhattan. The artworks for the show had to be flown in from all corners of the globe, from London, Lisbon, Sydney and even from a small creative community in Paraguay. It was a logistical nightmare. Not only that, but each item had to have crates custom-built before we could even consider the options for getting them delivered to New York. When you have a client who is not only an artistic genius, but known to be a perfectionist with a somewhat unreliable temper, the dangers of getting anything wrong, or perish the thought, losing or damaging goods in transit, were formidable.

White Glove Treatment

It was imperative to source a firm who would understand all the international paperwork associated with airsea packaging, not least the insurances, as some of the items were on loan and of exceptional value. The handling of the art was of utmost sensitivity as any damage would be a catastrophe. It was essential, therefore, to have complete trust in the operators and to know when they said they would treat the art with "white gloves" they were not speaking metaphorically. After several meetings, many of them via Skype to New York, we were highly satisfied they could, quite, literally, deliver.

Careful carpentry

Each picture for shipment had its own bespoke wooden cradle to cushion it from any potential knocks and blows during turbulence or bumpy landings. These were then wrapped in acid-free layers of tissue and encased in strong, resilient double-sided boxes. These were designed so as to minimise the risk of any scratches or scuffs occurring during the unpacking process.

Last minute hiccups

All had gone according to schedule, even the specialist team who had gone out to Paraguay had managed to overcome the hazards of monsoon, mosquitoes and macho customs guards to get the goods to Manhattan on time. Then the gallery owner decided he was not happy with the lighting. This was one day before the opening. New lights had to come from a shop in London's Kings Road!

Overnight emergency

With no time at all to even consider shipping, the only option was to air freight overnight. Thankfully, the worldwide experts we had been working with were au fait with all the vagaries of airsea packaging. They picked up and packaged the lights, booked a priority flight, handled all the documentation and they were installed by the following midday. The launch was a success and the gallery has gone from strength to strength with several celebrities and famed collectors now among its regulars.

AUTHOR BIO: After her degree in Fine Arts from Edinburgh and a Master at Parsons in New York, Simona Faringay worked for several years for internationally renowned museums before taking up a career as a writer on arts and antiques. Recently relocated to Washington from London she was grateful once again to source
safe and secured airsea packaging.

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