Do you love the glimmer of the holiday season? November is the perfect time to take stock of your silver pieces and start shining things up.
Now, I should preface by saying, as much as I love antiques in general, and silver in particular, I’m not a stickler for collectors’ quality or impeccable provenance. All I need is a great looking piece that will make the statement I want to make and I’m good to go. So what if it has a big gash in the back or is missing a hinge? Save perfection for the collectors; I’m all about the visual concept.
With that in mind, there’s nothing quite like unearthing a piece from the wreckage of an antique market, buried in a banished location and tarnished beyond recognition. These are the treasures that call out to me as I prowl the aisles, with an eye for such discoveries like a patrolman with night vision goggles. Such was the case when I found this teapot in a back room curio on the third floor of one market. The lines were so lovely but the tarnish so heavy, I really wondered whether it would ever shine. But the price was right, so I took a chance.
Once at home, I couldn’t wait to get to work on it. I spent the better part of a day smothering it in silver polish and buffing like my life depended on it. I started with a generous slathering of Weiman's Silver Polish. I put the first coat on and let it dry, then went back and began buffing with a simple paper towel. Well ok, lots of paper towels.
Here you can see the shine begin to emerge. I started with the large belly area since it was smoother than the beautifully detailed handle, legs and spout. But once I realized I could get it to shine, I redoubled my efforts as my motivation was rewarded. I just kept applying the polish and continued rubbing, leaving some of the dark visible in the decorative recessed areas to emphasize the aged patina.
I kept walking away feeling I needed a break, but it kept luring me back until the job was done. I was delighted with the results!
As the holidays approach, I like to refresh all the silver objects around my home. I love repousse and I’m careful to leave the dark bits in the recesses untouched. Much of it isn’t silver at all but some combination of silver plate and other metals, yet they shine up quite nicely nonetheless.