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tline3open  How to deal with split bowls and condition issues?

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Author Topic:   How to deal with split bowls and condition issues?

Posts: 3
Registered: Nov 2022

iconnumber posted 12-10-2022 08:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for JoeG     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As a new collector, I need some advice on how to handle wounded treasures found in the bottoms of auction lots. I will ask my question by giving two examples:

A spoon by Seth Eastman, from the photos you can see that the bowl was folded towards that handle and is split. I can find Eastman spoons on the internet and they are not very expensive. How do I know when to preserve, restore, scrap or just shove it in a drawer as an example of a spoon with a hard life?

Second example, similar to the first, a Joshua Davis spoon, again the bowl has been abused and although not split, it looks a mess. Is this a rare thing that should be restored? How do you determine what receives additional investment? I don’t require my things to be in pristine condition, I love them as they are, but if something is deserving of preservation, I am willing to be the guy who does it.

How do collectors handle items in poor condition? Is there ever a time they are scrapped? I appreciate your mentoring of a newbie. -Joe

[This message has been edited by JoeG (edited 12-10-2022).]

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iconnumber posted 12-10-2022 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kimo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Everyone has different standards of what kinds of repairs to damaged silverware is warranted. My personal feeling is that minor dents in non-rare silverware being smoothed out by a professional silversmith is reasonable, but if something is rare then one gets into the ethical question of how much repair is honest unless there is an indelible indicator that something has been repaired/restored so as to not fool future owners. In general, my preference is to leave things as they are found, other than a light cleaning and gentle polishing and view any damages as part of the true history of that item.

[This message has been edited by Kimo (edited 12-11-2022).]

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iconnumber posted 12-10-2022 08:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silverpath     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Interesting question with variable and individualized answers. It helps to have access to a good silversmith who can advise on the cost and options for repair. Amazing silver repairs can be performed that do not result in an "as new" result.
For myself, it depends. I use my silver so I don't want it disfigured although I'm OK with a little character such as a tilted finial. The older the piece, the more I tolerate evidence of its past. If the damage is unstable and could worsen through gentle use I opt for repair. If the damage is what I view as vandalism (example drilling holes to electrify candelabras) I have that repaired. One quirk, if I feel responsible for the damage (in shipping to me or twice items were dropped and dented), I feel obligated to fix that, too. Of course the piece has to merit the expense of the repair either from a personal or absolute value perspective. Scrapping could be the right answer, too, but it's such a permanent step I've never done it.

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