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What We Do

EVALUATION

Each piece receives as thorough an evaluation as possible. Sometimes there may be some hidden issues or concealed damage but usually we can give you a pretty accurate opinion including an honest appraisal to determine if the piece is worth doing. We don't want you disappointed in what can be done.


REVIEW OPTIONS

Some customers prefer an "as new as possible" look whereas others might desire a clean but antique finish. Depending on the extent of tarnish, the condition of the plating, or the interaction of dissimilar metals with the elements (including a case of rust), we'll do our best to spell out your options. Ironically some of the latest "life Time" finishes on items produced with modern production technique actually limit restoration without factory redoing; whereas older pieces have better weights, plating and structure and usually this argues for restoring rather than purchasing new. And it is true, the old faithful hardware fits the where it was used with no adjustments - new hardware usually does not have exactly the same pattern and may require that holes or finishes will need repositioning or repairing.


PROCESS

Conscious that most polishing is a "subtractive" process we do as little as possible to remove actual metal. This means taking the item apart and removing wiring to make stubbornly inaccessible nooks and crannies reachable and allow the least abrasive treatment. Sometimes fasteners (mechanical and soldered) or fits have lost function and been held together by mostly dirt and glue. We correct this with as little additional cost as possible. We clean and polish to preserve attractiveness and itegrity - it is called "cutting" as in cutting to the basic tarnish free metal, then we "color" to the showing finish desired.


TO LACQUER OR NOT

Preserving the finished shine is often a matter of controversy, especially for die hard antique appraisers (but they don't have to keep the piece polished). A natural patina is nice but requires more vigilance and more work. For those who want patina we recommend microcrystalline waxes. But most people appreciate lacquer. In our experience the metal underneath the lacquer remains in much better shape and of course the appearance lasts much longer. Polish continues to corrode in the cracks and other places where it is not completely removed. Lacquered items contacting fire or heat do run a risk of overheating, breaking the lacquer/metal seal in places and perhaps discoloring but our only firm advice is not to lacquer items that contact food - lacquer particles are not attractive on your pallet and having to wash off food shortens the life of the lacquer.

 

View a more detailed look at our Production Process

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