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Author Topic:   scrap story
doc

Posts: 705
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 10-05-2009 09:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was at an antique show/flea market earlier this week, and was told a story by one of the dealers there that renewed my faith.

This dealer had a mix of items, including some silver (nothing of great note, but a few decent pieces). He told me that at a recent show, he had brought a bit more silver and a customer came up and asked for a price for the entire lot. When the dealer gave him the price, the customer said "too low-can't scrap it for that". The dealer told me that he promptly told the customer that he was not interested in selling his items to anyone who was going to scrap and refused to do business with him.

Nice to know that there are still those who can appreciate the intrinsic value of silver.

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agleopar

Posts: 840
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 10-05-2009 09:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Doc, I have a friend who does a lot of business scraping and like you I have a hard time with it as a concept. On the other hand I would say that 95% of what he melts is the mass produced cheap ugly/badly made paper thin junk from the last century. The other 5% we argue about and to be fair he will take it to shows and sell some but the rest after 2 or 3 shows will get melted. It is mostly better junky pieces like a stamped and pierced dish of light weight or late coin double swell etc.

What I wonder is where is the cut off point is it where he draws the line or is that short sighted and 100 years from now when double swell coin teaspoons are hard to find he will be cursed? I can not see weighted candle sticks ever being missed!

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asheland

Posts: 917
Registered: Nov 2003

iconnumber posted 10-06-2009 01:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for asheland     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have a friend that is an antique dealer, and he told me about in 1980, when he worked for a coin dealer, he saw mixed metals pieces (I believe Tiffany) being scrapped!

[This message has been edited by asheland (edited 10-06-2009).]

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Hose_dk

Posts: 396
Registered: May 2008

iconnumber posted 10-06-2009 01:26 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hose_dk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
and because people scrap - whats left over becomes interesting. We cannot predict what is rare and what is not 200 years from now.

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-05-2009 03:57 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This reminds me of some countries that have laws protecting national treasures. Shouldn't it be criminal if someone were to scrap a Paul Revere tea pot etc.?

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middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 11-23-2009 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As ONC is moving into the basement of the building we are in, we've been scrapping some old pewter and brass stock and items. While at the scrap company, I spoke with a man who was scrapping several large trays and bowls. He told me he is an antique dealer and the pieces he was scrapping were plated. He said nobody wants to buy them, so he just scraps them when they come into his hands. He may be right about the noninterest, but I thought it a shame the pieces were going that way.
middletom

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agleopar

Posts: 840
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-23-2009 08:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi Middletom, silver plated base metal objects, which by definition were "cheap", are hard to get excited about their end. On the other hand early silver plate sometimes has a great deal of hand work, engraving and chasing as well as beautiful finishes, it is a shame that these things are not appreciated for that alone.

Maybe the real question is what is worth saving and how to educate people to recognize these objects. It is hard enough with sterling (today my friend showed me an 1811 London teapot that he bought in an antique mall for $28!!! They thought it was silver plate???). Also a lot of the low end thngs were made in huge numbers for many years, so are they worthy of keeping especially when replating them today is more expensive than buying them new.

Another thought is let it go to melt and as Hose_dk says "and because people scrap - whats left over becomes interesting. We cannot predict what is rare and what is not 200 years from now". So start picking up the good stuff now before it gets rare.

[This message has been edited by agleopar (edited 11-23-2009).]

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middletom

Posts: 467
Registered: May 2004

iconnumber posted 11-25-2009 08:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for middletom     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Agliopar,
I once knew a man who worked in the repair department at Replacements, Ltd and he told of being called to the showroom to polish a plated tray that had been sold to a customer. As he was carrying it out back, it seemed to him too nice and heavy to be plated so he flipped it over and sure enough, it was clearly stamped sterling. But the sale had been made so the customer got a nice bargain.
I suppose you are right that so much plated ware has been made, and most of it poorly, the loss won't really be great.
middletom

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-26-2009 10:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"so are they worthy of keeping especially when replating them today is more expensive than buying them new.".

When I see newer silverplated tea sets by firms such as R&B I'm horrified at how cheap they look, and no chasing or decoration of any kind unless it's stamped out.

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agleopar

Posts: 840
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 11-29-2009 05:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Could not agree more - I saw a beautiful three legged, inverted pear shaped plated tea pot today with delicate engraving, probably 1880-90. I am sorry that I do not have a place in my life for it.

There is nothing today in silver plate that even begins to come close. Also the plate is so thin that it can wear off in a matter of months...

The problem for me is occasionally as a favor I will try to repair someones silver plate and the repair is more than if they bought it new.

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 11-30-2009 09:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I may be mistaken but I seem to remember a plated tea set in a box at a sale that had a name of one of the once decent silver manufacturers and I'd swear I saw Made in China stamped on the box.

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doc

Posts: 705
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 12-19-2009 07:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was recently in a coin and jewelry shop attached to an antique shop. The owner's main business is scrapping gold and silver, but he has a few cases for items that he thinks are worth more than scrap-mostly coins. He let me look through a big bag of scrap silverware that he had decided wasn't worth putting out separately and was scrapping. From the bag, I pulled a Gorham Fontainebleau serving spoon, a John Polhamus Louis XIV sauce ladle and a Towle Georgian pattern spoon (one of my new favorite patterns), saving them from the scrap heap!

The best part is that I have been invited back after the first of the year, when a good customer of the shop is bringing in 500 lbs. of silver to scrap (apparently, he's scrapped over 3,000 lbs. over this past year, but wants to wait until 2010 to get paid for the latest batch). Wish I'd gone in sooner-who knows what could have been saved!

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vathek

Posts: 962
Registered: Jun 99

iconnumber posted 12-19-2009 07:48 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for vathek     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
One wonders where all this silver came from. That's a lot by any standards. I heard a story recently from one retail shop I go to that there are a couple of guys from Chicago who travel to other big midwestern cities and stop at shops along the way just looking for silver to scrap. Kind of frightening. This is why I feel if I can even find a nice teaspoon or souvenir spoon to save from these people I need to do that.

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agleopar

Posts: 840
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-19-2009 09:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for agleopar     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a shame there is no system in place - where refiners, pickers, dealers - all who do scraping as a business should have, at the least, a relationship with someone who could recognize the wheat from the chaff. There is so much out there and 95% is very junky, it's the other 5% that is a crime.

A friend who works with a dealer who scraps 800+ oz. every 2 weeks is working on a scheme to sell that 5%. They know the value, the problem is with those who have no idea and look the silver content purely as a commodity.

If the scrapers could be shown that it is worth their time and money to save the rare, good and interesting then the carnage might stop?

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Hose_dk

Posts: 396
Registered: May 2008

iconnumber posted 12-19-2009 01:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hose_dk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Scrap has been performed at all times. Rococo items where made of baroque silver. And empire - the new style resulted in melting rococo and baroque style into fashion. Old un-modern silver transferred to desirable items.

In 1813 Denmark went bankrupt - and a lot was scrapped. As late as after WW2 people scrapped. To buy new silver during WW2 people had to scrap old silver 1 gram to buy 1 gram of new.

The danish silver book came in 1946 - so before nobody knew how old items where.

And people wanted new items so they found old silver - silver out of style - to get new.

Sad story or ??

In my mind it is so easy to be clever afterwards.

One could imagine that the 3000 pound silver man had tried to save scrap - but now he realized that either he sells or his children does. It might be his pension. We are all guilty when he cannot sell his silver at the marked.

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taloncrest

Posts: 169
Registered: Jun 2004

iconnumber posted 12-20-2009 01:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for taloncrest     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a local fellow that I know from auctions who comes to me if he has anything to scrap, although he doesn't scrap a lot. Last week I traded him some scrap silver that I had (dented gadrooned bonbon dishes, one poor horribly mistreated Lord Saybrook water goblet and some common monogrammed spoons)for some of the better pieces that he had that I hated to see go to melt. They were pretty common too, but I wanted them. I gave him a couple of ounces more than I had gotten from him, and he was happy and I was happy.

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doc

Posts: 705
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 12-21-2009 08:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have developed a relationship with a couple of antique dealers/scrap purchasers who will hold out pieces for me to look at before scrapping -this week it was a beautiful 1840's coin punch ladle. It requires a commitment on my part to stop by their shop on a weekly basis, but that's part of the fun-you never know what you'll find!

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Hose_dk

Posts: 396
Registered: May 2008

iconnumber posted 12-24-2009 04:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Hose_dk     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A merry Christmas to everyone.

This is a bit off-topic but still.

In france and everywhere royalty had furniture made of silver. In France a lot of this is long gone but in Denmark they are exhibited at Rosenborg. In 2008 there was an exhibition at Versailles of 200 pieces of silver furniture - of these 70 was from Denmark (borrowed)


This silver lion - it is one of 3 - they are in natural size. Made in Copenhagen 1665-1670.

I know that these items are out of reach for our scrap story.

Yesterday I read a book "Kronet s�lv" about danish silver from royal collections. I the book and I translate:

    "The National bank held a depot of 41.000 lod manufactured silver. (=approx. 615 kilo) Frederik VII (king) had in 1848/1849 taken this from the Royal champer of silver to finance the war towards Germany. The king Christian IX now descided (1868) that this silver should be scrapped - and a service of new silver should be produced as a wedding gift to his son (the later king Fredrik VIII)

    From the danish people was given 35.000 rigsdaler.

    In total 21.201 lod = 330 kilo was used for this silver servce"


Today we admire this magnificent silver set - but imagine renaissance, baroque, rococo silver scraped - even silver from before renaissance was included. Today we can only guess - what wonderful pieces that was scrapped.

This procedure was not uncommon - therefor I say - "and so" when a few pieces of Tiffany (or similar) tableware from after the industrial revolution is scrapped.

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