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topic 7686

Antique Stickley Hand-Hammered Copper Bowl Cleaning and Repatination



I am trying to partially clean and repatinate an antique Gustav Stickley hand hammered copper bowl (c. 1910). It has some of its black-brown patina left around its feet, but most of its surface has been cleaned. There is a touch oxidation on the cleaned surface with some darker stains and some blue paint inside. I believe the original surface was an oxidized brown polished color (as if it was old already) with black patina in the hammer mark pits. I am trying to gently clean without abrading and refinish with the brown oxidation/black patina to its original state, to make it look as thought it hadn't been touched in 91 years.
Is there any way to:

1)partially clean the bowl without abrasives and without removing any remaining patina,

2)"oxidizing" it brown,

3)blackening the hammer marks,

4)buffing back the surface so only the depressions and crevices are black, and

5)sealing it without glossy shine?

Any suggestions on techniques, restoration books, sites, materials, restoration services and materials dealers are most appreciated. Many thanks.

John McGowan
- Huntington, New York


I would advise that you check with a reputable antiques collector before doing anything to your Stickley bowl that might reduce it's value. That said: I have used a product called Liver of Sulphur [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] in past jewelry making projects that will darken copper to give it that patinated look. Hope this answer isn't too late.

Susan J. Pinckney
- Centerbrook, Connecticut

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