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tline3open  Cracked silver spoons - Repairable?

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Author Topic:   Cracked silver spoons - Repairable?

Posts: 1507
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 12-07-2000 11:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is relatively common to find older silver spoons with split bowls. Cracks often appear along the edge of a drop, or right on the side where the metal has been twisted from use.

My question is, can these be repaired? I know the cost of doing so would likely be prohibitive, but can it be done at all without making the spoon look like a blob of solder? I ask, because I often find a full set of spoons with one or two cracked. The cracked ones have little value, but I certainly don't want to break up the set, so I end up with cracked spoons.

What do people think? If a spoon can be repaired, should it be? Does the repair enhance or diminish the value, or is a repaired spoon as worthless as a cracked one? I'd love to hear some opinions from silversmiths and other collectors on this issue. Thanks!


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Scott Martin
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Posts: 11520
Registered: Apr 93

iconnumber posted 12-07-2000 05:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Scott Martin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To repair an antique and the effect it has on an item's value, collectability, and function really depends on a wide variety of things. First and foremost, to have something repaired well requires the services of a very skilled silversmith.

I have seen far too many repairs which were done so poorly that it would have been better not to have had the item repaired at all.

And every once in a while there are those exceptional repairs and restorations that you get to see. This usually takes the wonderful conservatorship of a world class silversmith like Jeff Herman.

A friend of mine purchased a wonderful John Polhamus flat server. Her boyfriend then made the mistake of forcing the flatware drawer closed which resulted in the flat server's blade bending. Next the boyfriend tried to straighten out the blade causing the blade to start to split half way across the flat blade.

My friend then wanting advice on where to get it fixed, showed the damaged server to me. I told her that it might not be worth fixing unless there was some significant sentimental value. Even then, it just never would be the same. She didn't care. She wanted to use the server. I then showed her several items that had been poorly to satisfactorily repaired. She wanted the best that could be done so I recommended Jeff.

A few months later I saw the repaired server. It was amazing. Unless you knew where to look, you couldn't tell it had been repaired. I do suppose that if (or when) the server is left to tarnish the repair may become more visible. But clean and polished, it really requires a very critical eye to discern the repair.

Jeff will most likely add to this thread with an explanation as to why this type of result is the exception and that it is not typical of results a silversmith could guarantee. All I can say is (given your budget) that you should always secure the services of a top flight silversmith and then be prepared to accept results as the best that could be. Remember sometimes things will work out resulting in near perfect repair and other times it may turn out less than perfect.

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