Antique restoration refers to the process of returning an object to its original condition. Generally, antiques are objects that are over 100 years old. The restoration process is done by a conservator-restorer and particularly when it has something to do with cultural heritage such as the restoration of indian silver. Such objects often had religious, artistic or cosmetic applications.
Maintenance & modification
There are two main reasons why the process of restoration is undertaken. The maintenance of an object to its original state if said object is genuine and modification of a historical object to meet modern standards. Herein are several processes that are involved in restoring an antique to its former glory.
Cleaning is one of the most important steps in antique restoration. However, it must be conducted with care since cleaning methods can sometimes damage the surfaces of metals or cause tarnishing. It is often inadvisable to clean antique objects using water. Water sensitive objects are mostly cleaned with waddings. Waddings consist of cloths infused with an organic solvent. Once the objects have been polished, they are then re-polished with a soft brush or cloth to remove any abrasive particles left behind.
Re-tipping is the process of removing a weakened part of an antique object and soldering on a new but similar part. This is mostly done to objects that are worn down or have broken sections. This process has to be undertaken by an expert as careless management may damage the object or injure the restorer. Any gemstones present on the object have to be removed to prevent damage during the soldering. Numerous gemstones are sensitive to heat and may discolour or crack in the process. In cases where they cannot be removed then high-tech laser soldering may be necessary.
Lacquering is simply applying a long-lasting finish or coating to the surface of wooden or metallic objects. This is done once an antique object has been polished with acetone or ethanol. These coatings such as Agateen serve to prevent tarnishing especially if the antique has to be displayed in the open. There are several other steps involved such as refinishing, re-shanking, fastening mechanism repairs, componentry reconstruction and replacement, chain repairs and re-collecting. indian silver restoration may require a combination of some of these methods.