Jazz Bowl

This magnificent ceramic bowl is about 20” in diameter. About eighteen of them were made and it is considered one of the iconic pieces of Art Deco ceramics. It portrays symbols of New York night life in the 1930s, hence its name: the Jazz Bowl. Two of them were purchased by Eleanor Roosevelt – one for their private home and one for the White House. One of them, however, seems to have been purchased and forgotten – and it wound ...

Wooden Music Box

This is the ornate case of a 19th c. German music box. Originally it could play several tunes (fewer than an MP3 player, but the same idea) and the case was a magnificently detailed wooden baroque scene of cherubs and ornate vegetation. Sitting for a while in water, however, revealed that it is actually made from glued sawdust (a precursor of pressboard) with a thin veneer of dark hardwood that had apparently been steamed and pressed into a very elaborately ...

Wood-Handled Knives

These were two boxed sets of very high-quality Sheffield steel - steak knives in one box, and carving implements in the other. Made in the 1950s, they were given pearl plastic handles which were originally strong and resilient. The makers probably thought that they were superior to the somewhat fragile mother-of-pearl that might originally have been used. These boxes lay unopened for about fifty years, and upon opening revealed that the plastic handles had completely degraded – leaving the Sheffield ...

Vintage Bathroom Sink

There are times when a sink or other porcelain fixture is worth saving. Sometimes it is part of a color suite, and the whole set would need to be changed out (exact color matches in porcelain replacements are extremely hard to find except in white). The durability and design of such a piece may also be irreplaceable, as there was a time when plumbing fixtures were made to last as long as possible. This sink had two problems – there was ...

Micro Mosaic Greyhound Brooch

Micro mosaics like these were done in the 18th and 19th centuries by the same workshops in Rome that meticulously copied all the paintings in the central nave of St. Peter’s, and replaced them so that the originals could be kept in a humidity controlled, incense-free environment. It was even noted, at the time, that the atmosphere inside the huge volume created by the enormous dome, had its own weather – and sometimes even created clouds that would hover in ...

Porcelain Sauce Boat

This Meissen porcelain sauce boat, in the traditional onion pattern, had lost a handle. In order to replace it we molded and then cast a replacement from the handle on the other side. We used a water-clear, non-yellowing optical epoxy that we carefully tinted to be a good match for the surrounding porcelain – not only the right color, but the correct degree of translucency. This handle, when joined to the piece, fit so well that we decided with the ...

Shattered Porcelain Vase

This porcelain vase was so smashed that it is hard to imagine what happened to it. It required the patient, deductive skill of a jigsaw puzzle enthusiast to fit all the pieces together. Then the chips were filled and the lines coated with an optical epoxy so that the pieces could be safely sanded smooth without damaging the porcelain surface underneath. Airbrushing and careful hand-painting followed, with a final coat of a durable glaze that was hand rubbed to the ...

St. Paul Church Statue

The two fingers of the Jesus in this statue were broken off and stolen. The gestures on such statues are very specific, and as this sculpture had been carved specifically for this church, we were able to solicit a photograph of the original sculpture from the congregation. Work on site would have been disruptive to the church, so we made a silicone rubber cast of the broken hand, and took it back to our studio. From the photograph we were ...

Steuben Bowl

As Steuben becomes rarer with every year since the workshops have closed down, it becomes more and more worthwhile to save their pieces from oblivion. This elegant Steuben bowl was missing a 3” by 1” curved section from its rim, and would have been completely useless if not restored. We made a silicone rubber mold from a good section of the rim, and cast the missing piece with optical epoxy. While not an exact refractive match to the original lead ...

Tiffany Glass Pendant Shade

This is a Tiffany glass globe that broke out on the side. Although we had all the pieces, the simplicity of the final surface made the assembled pieces quite obvious. Even though the optical epoxy made the seams almost disappear, there was a slight surface expression of the seams. The next step was to mask off the surface to limit the extent of our coating. Then we airbrushed several clear coats – first to completely cover the seams, then to polish the ...