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Silver Repair and Restoration

 Harriete Estel Berman repairing antique silver.

It doesn't matter if your treasures are silver plate or sterling silver, my goal is to do the best work possible. Repair and restoration on your sterling silver and silverplate require extensive metalworking experience and hand crafting skills.  

Most silver is not designed to be repaired.  Years of use, accidents or even neglect present unique challenges, but  I can usually greatly improve the overall appearance. The goal might be to repair the object so that you can enjoy its character and family history.    

Contact me for an estimate.

Questions about silver?  Look at the Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

Baby cups often arrive with crushed, dented, broken handles or years of tarnish. It doesn't matter whether the handle has fallen off or it has lots of dents, I will do the best I can to restore your baby cup for sentiment and future generations. 

Handles and feet for silverplate dishes, trays, etc.  frequently break off as they are not well attached. The handles can be reattached without damaging the silverplate. The better the condition of the plating, the better the over all appearance after polishing.

Silver candlesticks are vulnerable to broken arms and stems. The arms extend to the sides and are especially fragile right where they attach to the main column. Many candlesticks are also filled with pitch (sometimes labels as "cement reinforced") which starts to break with age. The height of the candlesticks puts a lot of stress on the base where the silver may wrinkle. Take great care when you polish not to pull or twist, but if your candlestick or candelabra breaks, I can repair it. 

The candlesticks below are silverplate white metal. They are very fragile and vulnerable to breaking.

 100 year old Silverplate white metal candlestick are very fragile because the base metal is soft and not very strong.

 Sterling silver teapot had new custom made insulators.

Sterling silver teapot had new custom made insulators.

Teapots and coffeepots are possibly the most frequent silver repair.  Common problems include hinge repair, insulator repair, dents, and broken spouts. 

Sterling silver dresser sets include brushes, mirrors, combs, and many different accessories including  powder jars with sterling silver lids, button hooks, nail buffs, and files. All can be polished, repaired and restored depending on your budget.

View examples of repairs  of brushes, combs and mirror from dresser sets.


 Sterling silver tarnished black with soot after a fire.

Sterling silver tarnished black with soot after a fire.

Removing the greasy soot from silver after a fire should be done quickly as the acidic soot eats into the metal surface. The fire also cause dark black to brown oxidation which is hard to remove by hand.

The most common flatware repairs are damage from the garbage disposal, but also include replacing old knife blades,  soldering broken spoons and polishing. When a family heirloom fork, or spoon breaks in two, this can be soldered back together with an attractive patch to reinforce the repair (as shown in the above photo.)

Flower vases usually presents a unique challenge with a wide top, and a narrow area near the base. This is where they usually break.  I can repair your flower vase to preserve the unique form and the memories in contains. 

This silverplate teapot and coffeepot arrived with dents, and broken hinges. The  hinges on silverplate coffepots and teapots are not very strong and commonly break. Click on the image to see more hinge repairs.

View more examples of hinge repair on coffeepots, teapots and silver objects.

 Sterling silver Besamin spice box before and after repair

This sterling silver Besamin Spice Box arrived with a leaf broken off which meant it fell over to the side. For this example of Judaica, the attractive leaves on the side provided stability. Fortunately, I was able to repair the leaf adding an attractive patch on the back for additional strength.  

Accidents and damage happens to even the most precious examples of Judiaca or liturgical objects.  Churches frequently bring me their ceremonial liturgical silver for repair or polishing. If you can bring your Communion Cup or plates on Monday, I will try to return them within a few days.

Menorahs for Hanukkah always have 9 candles and possibly several arms. This makes them especially vulnerable to problems of candelabra and candlesticks.  Check out theses two very different examples of mid-20th century Menorahs.

Removing dents from sterling silver requires a great deal of skill and patience. I do by best to remove the damage by carefully rubbing out the dents taking time and care to do no harm. Even silver crushed and bent can be restored to a more presentable appearance. It takes time, strength and specialized tools to take out even the smallest dents working carefully and slowly to avoid further damage.

Silver jewelry is a challenge to repair. It is not uncommon that the repair cost exceeds the amount of the original purchase. Contact me so we can explore the problems and solutions for repairing your silver jewelry.  In the photo above, a Native American Bracelet was modified for a more modern stylish appearance.

These sterling silver picture frames had the silver polished, and completely new fabric covering the original wooden form. To see a photo summary of this laborious restoration of the blue velvet fabric and silver polishing  click here. 


Antigue & Vintage Trophy Repair

Antique and vintage trophies are fabricated from a wide variety of materials including lead, white metal and sterling silver. Very often trophies are silverplated, gold plated, or brass plated. My goal for the repair is to restore the sentimental value of these objects without any further damage or greater expense than necessary.

 sterling silver lantern repaired
 Silver plated cast brass reindeer repaired 

I am able to repair a wide variety of metal objects that may have unpredictable challenges. The sterling silver pierced lantern from Morocco (left) arrived with broken glass. Can I take apart the lantern and replace the glass? Will I be able to get it back together? That is usually the hardest task.  Each object is unique requiring experienced guesses and risk.

This silverplated cast brass reindeer arrived with a broken antler. Since the reindeer was quite a large animal, a brass post was inserted into the antler and head holding the antler in the correct position while it was TIG welded. After cleaning up the weld, the decorative marks were recreated in the repair area. There was a slightly different color at the weld area, but after polishing this is not visible except with the closest examination.