Agateen Lacquer

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A brand name for a Cellulose nitrate based solution that produces a crystal clear film often used to minimize tarnish on Silver and Silverplate. In the 1980s, The Winterthur Museum began testing lacquer coatings and chose Agateen Lacquer #27 to care for their silver collection based on its visual appearance, stability, and tarnish protection. Even so, the coating has a limited life expectancy of approximately 20-30 years dependent on environmental conditions. The application process, via brushing, spraying or dipping, is critical as the coating must an even, continuous film to provide protection from atmospheric pollutants. Agateen thinner is a solvent blend of Methyl isobutyl ketone, Toluene, Butanol and Butyl acetate that is sold for use with Agateen lacquer.

Synonyms and Related Terms

Agateen lacquer #7; cellulose nitrate


  • Coating silver

Personal Risks

Collection Risks

Becomes yellow and brittle with age.

Links to Oddy Test results posted on AIC Wiki Materials Database Pages for individual materials below

Physical and Chemical Properties

Soluble in acetone.

Working Properties

Forms and Sizes

Resources and Citations

  • Chandra L. Reedy, Richard A Corbett, Deborah L. Long, Robert E. Tatnall and Bradley D. Krantz "Evaluation of three Protective Coating for Indoor Silver Objects", Objects Specialty Group postprints, American Institute for Conservation 27th Annual Meeting, St. Louis. Washington, D. C.:AIC. 6:41–69, 1998. Link
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 436
  • Marie Svoboda, Conservation Survey Index, unpublished, 1997