Friday, June 24, 2011

When is Patina Simply Damaged Goods 2?

I ran into a couple of instances of loss of silver plate masquerading as patina this week. In the first case, it was all good. I took a chance and bought a badly tarnished silver plate pitcher for the price of the recycled metal from a dealer. It polished up nicely and although it has plate loss near the handle, it's quite attractive and most likely the damage occurred due to everyday use.

In the next instance, I bought two pieces from a dealer who was unaware that a serious loss of silver plate stripped the quadruple plate. I'm guessing that this damage occurred due to improper cleaning by dipping the items in a damaging solution. The inside of the pieces look fine. 

I thought I was getting a steal on this but as it turned out, the loss of plate was consistent throughout  the pieces. I worked on them using Maas polish thinking it was just stubborn tarnish. Finally I broke out the Wright's polish {I try not to it due to its abrasive properties} and nothing... So I got the Maas out again and used elbow grease and a soft cloth to bring out what shine I could.

Here one of the pieces is photographed with vintage quality pieces. The creamer on the left is quadruple plated and quite reflective. I took the photo in natural light and due to the blue sky, the whole picture had a blue cast. I had to overexpose the image to show the lack of reflectivity but once you know what's missing, you can see the dark quality of the metal. It looks better in the photo than in reality.

For the rest of the story, the dealer refunded 1/2 the purchase price and both of us are happy. She was totally unaware as she purchased the pieces with the "patina." In the end our resolution was a good one. I can use the items and not feel ripped off and she learned a lesson. I would have passed these pieces up if they had been retail-market priced. Had I need be so eager to get a bargain, I might have missed the lesson these pieces taught me although some might say I didn't come out too well considering the amount of time, polish and frustration these pieces cost me.


  1. Hi Kitty! So glad this worked out for you!!You did make them look pretty good anyway!!
    Hope you have a fab weekend!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by my booth and checking out my Buzz. I gotta get more stuff on my etsy and my blog! I've been "creating" but not so much telling about it. It has been a nice summer in TN. Y'all come back now, ya hear!