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Antique Dealers Guide

Some Miscellaneous Tips Concerning Your Silver Antiques….

Tips for preserving antiques,tips for preserving antiques,precious silver antiques

If you have noticed antique silverware, many of them come with monograms attached. These have been engraved by hand and match the style of a particular period. In actual fact, monograms are an essential part of history and convey a lot of information about antiques. Yet, most collectors feel that removal of the monogram will ensure a better sale. However, this is still a debatable point, as the discarding of a well-crafted monogram may lower the price rather than raise it. Again, it is hard to find engravers of standard quality in modern times.

Here are a few suggestions that might come in useful for antique sellers or buyers—

(1) While examining something that is hollow or flat (a tray, for instance), test the thickness of the metal that has the monogram on it. It is easy—just rub your fingernail inside or under it. If the metal remains intact even with the movements of your fingernail, then it is thick enough. But if you observe a slight wave developing, the metal is thin. Do not tamper with the monogram. You do not want to display an object with the center caved in, do you?

(2) If you still wish the engraving to be discarded, do go to an experienced silversmith. Do not attempt to do anything by yourself. How do you find out if the person you have chosen is competent or not? Show him/her a piece of deteriorated flatware first. If it is beyond repair, he will say so honestly. And if it can be restored, his job will speak for him.

(3) Okay, now that you are satisfied about the ability of the individual you have hired, get the monogram removed. You will see that the ex-presence of this engraving cannot even be discovered; its removal has been managed so expertly!

(4) In the case that the monogram has been set in quite deeply, the silversmith will push out the metal from the inside and level the surface.

(5) After all this, if you wish to have the monogram re-engraved, get it placed on a thicker portion of the object. Otherwise, thin areas will sink in.

Now monograms and their removal are over and done with, let us move on to silverware that we use daily. This is a common doubt expressed by many—“why cannot the dishwasher be used to clean silver items too?”

Well, your precious sterling items and silver-plated pieces will head for doom in a dishwasher. Here is why—

(1) Your dishwasher uses a combination of an abrasive detergent full of chemicals, as well as a high cleaning temperature. Your silverware will lose its black patina or factory-applied oxidation eventually. The result is a non-reflective, dim look!

(2) Your utensils might consist of knives with hollow handles. Because of age, they might have gone in for repairs already. Now, the repairing is done with pitch or low-melting cement. As soon as these knives enter your dishwasher, the handles will expand due to the heat. A soldered seam might open up or the knife blade and handle will separate. Would you like to spend the rest of your life constantly visiting the silversmith with your damaged knives? They will need blade re-oxidizing or re-mounting or re-finishing. Sometimes, they might need all three!


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