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Author Topic:   Pitted surface on bread tray
NY-er
unregistered
posted 03-07-2002 04:53 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
[01-0597]

I just bought an 8 oz. sterling silver bread tray and when it arrived there was some pitting on the surface that resembles orange peel. (Unfortunately, it wasn't visible on the photo they posted). What causes pitting and is there any way to remove it?

Thanks!

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WGS

Posts: 136
Registered: Oct 99

posted 03-07-2002 06:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for WGS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is such a thing as a hammered finish which looks like a continuous non-pattern of dents (orange peel?) introduced by a peening hammer. On the other hand, if the item is actually pitted, I can't imagine any solution other than grinding/buffing away enough silver so the pitting no longer exists. How about just thoroughly polishing the tray and then covering the affected area with a linen napkin?

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Brent

Posts: 1496
Registered: May 99

posted 03-07-2002 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Pitting is usually the result of prolonged exposure to either an acid or salt. Improper cleaning and poor storage are usually the culprits. Silver should always be washed after use. For some reason many people seem convinced that silver should only be polished, not cleaned. As such, things get stored with food residues on them and are often pitted or otherwise damaged.

Salt usually leaves black spots, which are a bear to remove. Some polishes like Simichrome can remove the black, but the pitting will remain. I would imagine that that is what happened to your piece. The only remedy at this stage would be buffing, which could make it look better but might make it look worse. If it is an antique, better to just leave it as is. If it is relatively new, and you plan to use it, then buffing would probably be the way to go.

I hope this helps!

Brent

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NY-er
unregistered
posted 03-08-2002 06:32 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thank you for your prompt response. Although it is definitely a bread tray, I think they might have used it under a gravy boat or something.....it appears that just the perimeter of the oval is pitted, as if a liquid rolled to the edges. It's not too noticeable, but I'm not going to take the chance that it gets worse with buffing. If it were something easily remedied, I would consider having it done professionally.
Thanks again for all of your help...I appreciate it!

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Stephen

Posts: 625
Registered: Jan 2003

posted 02-11-2003 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is it marked "sterling"? It could be silverplate, which should never be buffed.

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Dale

Posts: 2132
Registered: Nov 2002

posted 02-11-2003 09:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dale     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually I buff silverplate all the time and have had only one instance where that created a problem. Been doing it for over 25 years.

I like the advice to put a napkin over the pitting and use the tray that way. It's old. It shows signs of use. One of these is a sign of an indescretion, use of something that pitted. I think most of us carry with us such signs in one way or another.

Should anyone complain about this, don't invite them back. Enjoy your bread tray.

[This message has been edited by Dale (edited 02-11-2003).]

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