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Author Topic:   How irritating!
Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-13-2000 11:49 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does anybody else get as vexed as I do when an antique piece of silver gets mangled into a piece of jewelry?

Take a look at this eBay auction: [gone from the internet] I believe the pattern is the very rare "Celestial" pattern by Wood & Hughes. If the second tine wasn't broken, I might be tempted to bid on it in the hope that I could straighten it out...but that would require annealing, which leads to the need for a heavy duty polishing, which I never like to do to an old piece.

I have also gone to flea markets and seen wind chimes made from pieces of flatware beaten flat.

Paul

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Brent

Posts: 1502
Registered: May 99

iconnumber posted 11-13-2000 02:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Brent     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a tricky question. I guess the people behind this stuff feel that a worn out piece of silver is better put to some other use. Unfortunately, when an old fork's outside tines become really worn, or a tine is broken, it just can't be used anymore. You either preserve it as a well used antique with little market value, or try to make something salable out of it. I certainly wouldn't do this kind of stuff, but I wouldn't buy a worn out fork either, no matter how rare the pattern. I one saw a nice Gorham Medallion fork turned into one of those god-awful "Potato Forks", and it broke my heart. I wouldn't buy that either!

At any rate, I have a tiny bit of sympathy for turning a broken or irreparably worn piece into something else. On the other hand, I fear that all too often perfectly good pieces are ruined to satisfy the demand for "Potato Forks", wind chimes, magnifying glasses, rings, etc. I don't think the people doing the modification really care what they do, as long as they can make some money.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-13-2000 02:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I definitely agree with you on not buying worn out/busted pieces and upon closer inspection of the pictures, the Celestial fork does appear to be worn (hopefully worn & broken before it was made into a bracelet). I worry that for every ten pieces of worn/broken silver converted to jewelry, there might be at least one crisp/unbroken piece ruined...

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-15-2000 11:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Follow-up...looks like a piece of Wendt 'Medallion' converted into a brooch (whoever made it hammered the face out from behind as well)--> [gone from the internet]499422187

Paul

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The auction listing will eventually expire... Here is the image:


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wev
Moderator

Posts: 4046
Registered: Apr 99

iconnumber posted 11-15-2000 02:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wev     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I don't know; the back looks hookey, but the size -- 1 1/2 x 2 1/8 -- would seem to eliminate conversion from a piece of flatware. Even the medallions on the few pieces of holloware I have are smaller than that and I don't think they could be stretched so far without considerable distortion to the edging and background lines. Pretty hefty reserve, whatever the thing is.

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Paul Lemieux

Posts: 1755
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 11-15-2000 09:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Paul Lemieux     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I didn't even think to check the size, but I looked at some Wendt 'Medallion' pieces and the horizontal lines in the background, style of portrait, and bead surmounting the medallion were the same. Interesting that it looks so much like the pattern; unless it's from some giant ladle or something.

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Trefid

Posts: 78
Registered: Nov 99

iconnumber posted 11-18-2000 11:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Trefid     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I own one of these brooches. It's a cast copy of a Wendt large ladle, possibly soup, dating from around the 1970's. It's 2.125 inches from the top of the knob to the bottom and is stamped "sterling" at the center. A thorough examination showed the tiny flecks of roughness from the casting around the inner edge.

There's a good story about having found it: at the Round Top Show I came across a silver booth I'd not seen before. The proprietor was wearing a hat with a bunch of pins/brooches in it, one of which was this medallion. He asked if he could show me anything, and I answered, "Yes, your hat!" Mind you, the things on his hat weren't for sale, but I finally persuaded him to let me have it. Other than those microscopic roughness, the casting is superb.

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