Backstamps hard to read - how to please!!

Questions on polishing, restoration, conservation + manufacturing techniques
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Australia

Backstamps hard to read - how to please!!

Postby JanetG » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:18 pm

Hello, can anyone advise how to clean up the backstamps a bit better so that I can see them better. Much appreciated!!!
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 7:18 pm
Location: Portugal

Mark's aren't ever hard to read

Postby silverport » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:59 pm


I use e.g. a cosmetic cotton tip, dipped in spirit, and then after I’m moistening the mark’s and wait a while; maybe for a cup of coffee. Then after I use an old and soft toothbrush, hand warm water with some dishwashing detergent, and brush the area of marks.

Caution: Brushes spatter very “decorative” your clothes and surrounding!

You must always be attending what kind of object you have?

Cutlery you could dip several time in water and clean them there. But for other objects is the best way wetting them locally only.

Often it is not the best to clean totally — some remaining help trough differences of contrast in the observation of mark’s.

Other more preferable solution in terms of hygienic is to clean all — and then after draw the necessary contrast in the grooves with a fine liner and soluble felt pen. Responsibility is always up to you if you like to use a permanent felt pen!

But be attend, some times its better and necessary to see also the “valley’s” bottom!

Use a magnifier — and a broader one if your camera hasn’t a macro function. Don’t forget that for observation and take a picture it’s always necessary to have sufficient lighted marks area.

Look trough the here published topics and study their marks photos.

Today digital cameras have so many pixels, that it is better to make a photo out of some distance, have then in marks area sufficient lightning — and make later with the computer a clipping from marks area.

It’s often very helpful to make photos from marks area in several positions of light — e.g. to get a better relief or contrast.

If you don’t have a camera with macro function — make the following procedure:

Observe the centre part of the mark — draw what you see in enlarged (with a soft pencil, e.g. HB) on the centre on a piece of paper. Of course, use if necessary an eraser.

Then observe and draw with same attention the centre surrounding area.

Ever last step: Draw the »cartouche« or mark’s »frame« around your sketch.

Last step: Draw all important lines again, with a felt pen — if necessary not only in black.

Make a photo from your drawing.

These steps could help you and others a lot.

Kind regards silverport

Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:10 pm
Location: Australia

Cleaning Solutions

Postby JanetG » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:11 am

Thanks Silverport. Will try it although it is an EP silver fruit bowl I think very old and well worn but will give it a shot. Certainly worth trying to find out who made it when and where! Cheers!

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Joined: Sun May 28, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: Denmark

Postby Hose_dk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:21 am

use spit - spit one drop on the mark - and wait a few minutes, then clean. Spit contains enzymes and they are very effective (and always available :-) )

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