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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DH was killing time in Phoenix and went into an antique mall.

He decided to add to my collection of oil lamps and bought one that he thought was "pretty" and paid about $20 for it. At least that is his claim.

It seemed heavier than glass, but the round base, filling ring and wick holder part were all really dark. I upended it and checked the bottom.

Found the Gorham silver mark and a number. This is an exact match I found on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Gorham-Silver-Plate-Ruby-Glass-Oil-Lamp-YC3060-MINT-/280801904626 :shocked:

Mine is evenly tarnished almost blue black and I haven't a clue what to use to clean the silver plate. I've used TarnX before to clean cheap silver plated trays, but one place I found said not to use dip tarnish removers on good pieces.

I've also used white toothpaste to clean tarnished silver jewelry before, but I don't want to risk scratching the silver plate on this lovely lamp.

Every thing I find says use a gentle polish, but no one names a polish, not even the Gorham website. :huh:

Any suggestions? Frankly I'm almost scared to touch this lamp. If I break the chimney or ruin the silver plate I will have ruined a very nice (and expensive!) lamp. This will be the fanciest lamp in the collection.

Pam
 

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I had an ancient horn that was literally black. Because of all the nooks and crannies of the tubing, conventional silver polish would be ridiculous. I googled it, and came up with using aluminum foil in hot water with baking soda. It was amazing! The silver piece has to actually touch the foil to work. I wish I had a 'before' picture to show you, but this horn is nearly 100 years old.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh that horn looks beautiful. I'd forgotten that method of cleaning silver. I've used it before also to clean some silverplate flatware and it worked like magic. Heck, I think I even have one of those "magic plates" they sell at the fairs that is just a glorified slab of aluminum I think. It might be in the dish hutch drawer...I'll have to look for it.

If I could figure out how to post pictures I'd post one of the lamp as it is now.

And a picture of some of the lamps I've already put on display in the AZ house.

Still not sure which method I'll use, but I have time to think on it.

Thanks everyone.

Pam
 

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I used the foil and baking soda on my mom's antique silver egg cooker. It worked great!! It gets into places you can't get with anything else. You have to put the shiny side of the foil up, add the baking soda then pour in the hot water and let the piece sit in it for a few minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks FM...I'll google the amts.

If anyone can guide me to instructions on how to post pictures I'll see if I can post a before and after.
 

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I've always used Wrights Silver Polish with excellent results. Real creamy, gets in all the loops and swirls and rinses off with hot water after rubbing with a damp foam sponge. Their copper polish just melts tarnish off pots and pans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok...so it is pretty embarrasing to admit how much tarnished silverplate I found in my dish hutch when I actually looked.

I took out a small piece and also took out the "Magic plate" that I'd bought at the fair years ago that was supposed to do miracles on cleaning silverplate.

Refreshed my memory as to the direction on the magic plate and discovered that it calls for using Calgon. Which I don't have any of. Not even sure I ever had any. Heck...I may have never used this magic plate. Am I the only person who has bought stuff, taken it home with the best of intentions and then never used it because once I'm away from the conperson running the display who makes it look so simple and so easy I discover it is totally beyond my capabilities?

Found a container that the silverplate would fit in, put in the magic plate, poured in almost boiling water and put in liberal amts of baking soda since I didn't have any Calgon.

It didn't do a thing.

Some of my internet search said to use salt in addition to the baking soda.

Put in salt.

It didn't do a thing.

So tonight I'll try just aluminum foil and baking soda and see if I can get the tarnish off the sugar shell before I try working on the lamp.

Mush Creek - how big of a container did you use to soak that horn in?

Pam
 
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