Sunday, 6 March 2011

✴ precious metals

{silver card tray, £5}
{pearl knot clip earrings, 50p}
A magpies haul of shiny metals from the local charity shop this week.
The brooch and earrings will be fashioned into new vintage style headdresses and I  had hoped that the silver tarnished card tray might well prove to be a precious metal of sorts. 
I had been practicing my 'pleasantly shocked' face and picked out an Antiques Roadshow appropriate outfit. I think I may have got a bit carried away. 
It clearly isn't real silver. There is a slight copper tone over the pattern which would hint at years of exuberant Brasso scrubbing by an eager maid, I'm guessing that if you owned and used a card tray, that you probably had staff...It's such a piece that depicts a bygone era, don't you think?
The custom of 'calling' in Victorian society and the etiquette of leaving a calling card for the lady of the house. 
Texting just seems so crass in comparison!
{goldtone pearl brooch, 50p}

Here is the method I used for cleaning the tarnish from the silver tray. It should work well for silver, silver plated and EPNS {but not best for gemstones and pearls} although care should always be taken when cleaning antique treasures.

Even though this is an eco cleaning method, there is a slight sulphurous odour during the cleaning process so it's best to do in a ventilated room or even better outside.

  • Line a large bowl with aluminum tin foil.
  • Sprinkle over 3 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda.
  • Place pieces to be cleaned on top.
  • Pour over freshly boiled water from the kettle to just cover pieces.
  • Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove and buff gently with a dry clean cloth, tea towel or silver polishing cloth.
  • See your silvery bits sparkle in the sunshine....or, under a very bright light....

Flea Market Finds here


  1. Great finds! Can't wait to see the headresses! x

  2. I have a tarnished silver watering can that I had no idea how to clean. Thank you for the tip on removing tarnish from silver pieces. Great finds!

  3. Wow! So beautiful, lovely shiny things!

  4. fab finds and fab photographs too :)

  5. Love love love that tray! I'm thinking ... cupcakes??

  6. Well it's pretty all the same! I love your baubles, too!

  7. Hello Sarah,

    I just came here from "A la Modern" where I saw your comment on the Denby. How nice it that you still have it and use it. Your comment about finding it as an example at the V&A was interesting. I had a similar experience after I did some research on Dartington crystal avocado dishes I found in a thrift store. They too are listed on the V&A website as examples of British design - I was very pleased to see that!

    Not a great picture - just taken to inventory the item:

    Your blog is very nice and your pictures are lovely!

    (in Canada)

  8. Love these and your photos are beautiful!!

  9. Sarah, you are SOOOOO amazing! Everything you make is beautiful and I have loved looking through the gorgeous photos (especially those of the perfect pieces you made for my wedding!)! Keep making such lovely things. Big kiss Xx