From time to time even the best cared for silver will need some restoration work – there are a number of different services available to the owner. Conservation involves work on the actual surface of an object, doing the least amount of harm to the original finish. This also involves the removal of corrosion, very common with old salt cellars and cruets. Hand cleaning and hand polishing is always used whenever possible.
Restoration on the other hand will make any damaged area on your silver look new, or make it look its true age without any noticeable damage or repair. This could involve major reconstruction involving dent and scratch removal. It might also entail creating entirely new parts such as handles, finials and pre-ban ivory heat stops.
Preservation is another area we are happy to help with and advise on. Treatments are available that protect an object from further deterioration. This involves sealing the surface of the silver to keep the item looking as good as possible without regular intervention. It is very useful with highly ornate or delicate pieces.
A job we are asked about on a regular basis is the removal of monograms, armorials or crests. This always involves a bit of thought. With many objects the silver is simply too thin to be removing any more metal through polishing, especially if the original engraving is of high quality, and therefore often deeper. If you run your finger over the monogram from behind and you can see the surface of the silver ripple or move, there is a good chance that the silver is too thin. The monogram can sometimes be cut out with new silver being soldered into place, but it is very hard to make this undetectable. One final thing to consider is that removing a monogram will not necessarily make the item more saleable – in some instances it might actually lower the item’s value or put off potential buyers.
Other jobs we have undertaken in the past include repairing threads, often on old candlesticks, replacing hinges and levelling lids on decanters and tankards and tightening up loose components, such as finials and handles.
Whether you are looking for full restoration work or a quick polish, come in and talk though your requirements with one of our staff.
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