Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Pierced bride's basket, and oval picture frames by ... could it be Gordon Blacklock?
Porringer, silver capped inkwells, chased hairbrush all by Obadiah Fisher
Ivory and sterling baby teether by David Edwards
Engraved 'Baby' cup by Pete Aquisto
Candlesticks by various artisans
Occassional table by Warren Dick


Even though I like a bit of tarnish and patina on my human-sized pieces of silver, miniature silver should never be left to tarnish long, as it's almost impossible to restore its original shine without a lot of tedious, time consuming effort. When I do polish I use a dampened Q-Tip (cotton swab) and a bit of silver paste (Wrights is good, or any other non-abrasive brand), but never a liquid dip, as it will remove all that lovely dark tarnish that has gathered in the nooks and crannies to outline the details. I keep a glass of hot water handy to drop the pieces in when finished, and after the water bath use a fine, soft brush to remove any residue that may remain in a few tight places ... rinse again, then use a tea-shirt like fabric (preferably 100% cotton) to polish gently. If you've missed some of the paste it will show white when dried, and you can remove it then. Word of warning ... never do your cleaning near an open drain! You will cry yourself to sleep fretting over some little lovely that took a notion to explore the dark underbelly of the kitchen sink ... trust me on this one! When you've finished polishing it all, there's nothing quite so satisfying as the lustre of old silver mixed amongst all your beautiful weensie crystal, and embroidered linens.


Catherine said...

You clean miniature silver the right way! I have told people not to use those dips.

Personally I like Hagerty's Silver Foam. It is a reddish paste. I use a small sponge rather than a Q-Tip.
I always cover the drain with a small strainer.

Flora said...

Monica, now leave me breathless again!
A wonderful collection, beautifully portrayed: it looks like a still life :-)
Mini hugs, Flora

Linda Carswell said...

Such a beautiful collection from some amazing artists....I adore all your pieces.

Monica said...

Catherine, Flora and Linda
Thank you so much for your most appreciated comments!

Catherine ... I'll try to find Hagerty's Silver Foam ... thanks for the info. ... in the meantime I'll just sit here and remain awestruck by your wonderful metalsmithing.

Flora ... your words are wonderfully inspirational, and will be the impetus for getting me back to work again ... soon... I hope!

Linda ... I'm truly honoured by your lovely compliment ... seeing as how I admire your beautiful, informative blog so much, and your flair for design and photography as well.

Garden of Miniatures said...

Hi Monica,at first,thank you for all your kindly comments on my blog:-)!
So I was curious and went to your blog.And now I'm totally in love with your wonderful silver collection!!!Especially the very fine hairbrush with the monogram caught my eye.Jeannette x

MiniLover said...

Monica, your basket is Gordon Blacklock--I have one exactly like it.

Very lovely collection!


Monica said...

Jeannette ... I'm so happy you stopped by, and you're right ... the little hairbrush is a mini masterpiece!

And, Sophia ... thank you so much for letting me know that the sterling 'bride's basket' is by Gordon Blacklock. However could I have halfway forgotten such an important artist's name! BTW, it just happens to be one of my favorite pieces, along with that minuscule ivory and silver teether!