We undertake cleaning, polishing, repairs and conservation to all silver items from antique silverware, plates, silver cutlery, silver ornaments and jewellery.
We use non-destuctive and non-toxic methods such as electrolysis to remove tarnish, and only polish when absolutely necessary. Each time an item is polished, it removes a very small amount of precious metal from the surface. This is a particular problem when an item is silver plated - the layer of silver can be extremely thin.
Items made of brass or copper will tarnish very fast after being polished, particularly if you live near the ocean. If required we can spray them with a protective layer of lacquer.
We can also cast and replace missing parts of silverware, and silver solder repairs if required.
These photographs show the before and after of a recently cleaned and polished silver plated candelabra.
We used heat and solvent to remove the candle wax residue, electrolytic ionic reduction to remove the tarnish, then lightly polished the silver as required.
The heavily tarnished silver of the candelabra above was carefully restored to its original condition using an electrochemical cleaning process designed and marketed by JCR Solutions. It simply reverses the natural tarnishing process. Silver naturally tarnishes as a result of sulfur in the air. The sulfur combines with the silver to become silver sulphide (tarnish). Silver sulphide is a chemical compound, and is normally hard work to remove. Traditionally it is removed with either toxic chemicals, or polished off using an abrasive compound. Both of these methods have drawbacks - the chemical cleaner will erode the surface - particularly visible on a finely finished item. Abrasive compounds also remove precious silver. This is a particular issue when the silver plating is thin, as is always the case after hundreds of years of polishing!
By using electrolysis we combine hydrogen ions with the silver sulfide to turn the tarnish back into hydrogen sulfide - the gas that initially caused the tarnish in the first place. No silver is lost in the process, so you can rest assured that we are maximizing the life of your precious item.
Using non-toxic cleaning methods is also ideal for cleaning silver cutlery, silver plates and silver serving trays.
Ormolu is a decorative technique of applying high carat gold to a copper, brass or bronze surface. It is often used on decorative mountings on clocks and furniture. The type of gilding process used to originally apply the gold layer is fire-gilding, and required the craftspeople to burn away mercury. This was extremely hazardous for the craftspeople who rarely lived past the age of 40.
The layer of high carat gold is extremely thin and extremely delicate, and must only be professionally cleaned. If abrasive methods are used it will remove the remaining high carat gold.
We use an ultra low power form of electrolysis to clean ormolu. This process is extremely gentle on the gold surface. It is completely non-abrasive and will not remove any gold. Instead it gently lifts the dirt and removes the tarnish layer without any risk damage.