News-Antique.com - Sep 25,2009 - Restoration may be considered from two different view points. The first must be to effect a faithful return to its original state to satisfy dealers / collectors commercial and aesthetic need for perfection and authenticity of its original form, decoration and finish.
The second in some way or other cannot attain the perfection of the first, but for sentimental reasons may be returned to a perfectly functional object which can give much pleasure to the owner. The value of the silver is very much governed by who created it and what hallmark is ascribed to it, and who may have worked on it in the meantime. There being many ‘restorers’ who should not have done what they have done, ie repaired with lead solder and rendered the piece worthless, very much to the displeasure of its current owner and also of the restorer given the challenging task of making good the piece of silver, which previously may have been of good provenance.
Metal and silver in particular, unlike glass, won’t shatter and become irreparable if dropped; it merely dents and sometimes if bent or stressed it will break. Dents can usually be lifted out with not too much trouble and breaks can usually be soldered with silver solder (never with lead solder) and be as good as new again.
Restoration is of course not only removing dents and mending breaks, there are 101 other aspects to be considered. The making good of wear and tear, re-fitting knife and fork handles, emptying, repairing and refilling hollow objects like vases, candlesticks and dressing table brushes and mirrors, which need the filling to give substance and weight, also repairing hinges on opening objects. The list can be endless.
It is therefore to the owner to seek the services of a reputable restorer by contacting those professionals with the interest and desire to effect the best possible outcome in whatever media they work, for advice, direction and referral to the persons best able to effect the optimum results.
A poor restoration is pointless and can be very, very expensive.