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The Ultimate Silver Restoration Challenge

Updated: May 19, 2023

This is the story about a silver restoration challenge of a lifetime. Two years ago, we acquired this museum worthy centerpiece bowl made of German 800 fine silver all beautifully decorated with cherubs and rams heads. When we first received the piece it was beat up and even cracked.

More majorly, the glass liner that fit inside of it was missing. We tried fitting it with a number of different Waterford Crystal bowls and nothing would fit. After a year or so, we gave up trying to find a pre-existing bowl to fit this and decided a custom made one would be needed. We also considered just giving up and scrapping it out and have the silver recycled, but the piece was too nice and we decided to continue pursuing it as a rescue project.

We sent the item to Replacements Restoration Services in North Carolina and they had success in repairing the crack in the silver. However, they were not able to create a custom glass piece.

Upon its return, we contacted Pairpoint glass in Massachusetts which has been in business since 1837. They had done work for us previously and made several smaller replacement bowls for us. This one however, was too great a challenge and they simply could not do it.

One of our staff members then drove the piece down to St. Petersburg, Florida to see if the local famous glass sculptor Duncan Mcclellan was up for doing a custom glass job like this. No luck, wasn't up his alley.

We finally gave up on the glass replacement liner ever being an option. The expertise and knowledge to make it this way just doesn't exist anymore was our conclusion.

The Silver Museum Owner Greg Arbutine finally drew upon his experience as a sculptor and

decided that maybe a ceramics potter and artist would be the way to go.

He contacted Martha Stoltz at MCS Clay Studios in Clearwater, Florida and even though she had never done a custom insert previously, she agreed to take on the project.

After 2 months of dryings, firings and 4 failed attempts, Martha was finally able to make a beautiful ceramics insert glazed in a beautiful cobalt blue. She was able to do in clay what no others were able to do in glass.

After an almost two year journey we finally had our German 800 fine centerpiece restored now to its former glory.

Our next acquisition piece will hopefully be an easy breezy purchase and that can just be instantly put out on display

We Buy! We want to purchase silver pieces like the ones shown above! If you have items that you'd like to sell, or even just want to get an idea on valuation

please click the email us button for a quote.

Please send us photos, measurements and item descriptions. Thanks, Greg Arbutine

Silver Museum Owner

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Apr 19, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Awesome Story

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