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Author Topic:   damaged knives
iconnumber posted 02-07-2002 01:13 PM           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a large set of Tiffany Persian sterling flatware that has been in my family since it was new (dated 1872). It is monogrammed and there are serving pieces as well. There are two sets of dinner knives, both in what I regard as poor condition--to me, that means I couldn't set the table with them; the blades look mottled. The first set of knives has silver plated blades. I believe they came with the original set. The plating seems to have worn off and the base metal is exposed. The second set has stainless steel blades attached to silver handles; on the handle there are marks on all four sides--one says "Tiffany and Co.", one says "marker", one says "sterling" and one has a symbol of some kind. The blades are sharp, but the metal has been damaged, I suspect that someone soaked these in the sink with other silver and they were somehow damaged. (Since these were used on our Thanksgiving table as far back as the sixties or seventies, I may have a faint recollection of the discussion or I may have been told of it.)

My question is multifold: can either type of knives be repaired? easily? If they can, does this change the value? If they can not, can the blades be replaced (either the original silver plated ones or the stainless ones)? If they are, does the value change? If this is advisable, who does one trust with these things?

Thank you for your help.

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 02-19-2002 11:54 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For technical reasons, my response has been delayed, for which I apologize. As regards your damaged plated knife blades, there are several options: 1) have them replated; you would have to have them examined by a qualified silversmith to see if this is possible and practical from the point of view of cost; there are many good silversmiths around the country; one in whom I have confidence is Jacques Logarides in Va. at (804) 296-2448; 2) have them replaced with old plated blades in good condition; these are hard to come by and usually have to be found one by one at antiques shows, on eBay, etc.; what one does is buy old knives with good blades in any of Tiffany's less popular patterns (which still might cost $50 and up each) and then cannabalize the blades; 3)have them replaced with new stainless still blades; Tiffany & Co. still offers this service; you should contact the customer service rep. at any of Tiffany's stores.
As regards the damaged stainless blades (which already represent replacements), your best bet would be to replace them with new blades in kind.
As regards value, original plated blades in good condition are the most valuable from the standpoint of collecting, but replacement stainless blades don't decrease the value all that much and are certainly the most practical solution, especially if you plan to continue to use your fine old flatware service on a regular basis.

[This message has been edited by William Hood (edited 02-19-2002).]

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