Good Day Ganoksin,
My sister inherited our Grandmother’s antique hand mirror, which is
very ornate, but it has a broken handle. I remember Nana reverently
handling the two pieces. She stored the handle in a jewelry drawer
for years. I think it belonged to her Mother.
Knowing my Grandmother to be VERY frugal, I am sure the expense to
have it fixed would have been considered by her to be a frivolous
expenditure. We have so few mementos left from Nana. Even though it
may not be of high dollar value, it has huge sentimental
significance, so I would really like to repair it for my Sis. I don’t
have any images yet, but they are coming. I was wondering if anyone
would like to offer some advice for how to proceed with the repair.
The glass of the mirror itself is actually silvered, so I know it’s
very old. I will not tamper with that at all, I don’t care that the
silvering shows age. I think it gives it character. I know from
memory that the mirror frame is plated silver over what is most
likely a lead based metal alloy, (it is dark greyish at the broken
edges and if I remember correctly it is semi soft).
I am wondering how best to proceed. I’m thinking a real low heat
soldering or perhaps even using a soldering iron instead of a torch
may be required to join the two ends. I know I would need to clean
the broken edges to make them meet smoothly, then try to make the
ornate nature of the design match up through fabrication and
engraving, perhaps even building up lead solder in the raised areas
as best I can and using my burs & such to carve in the designs and
then polish it as best I can? I should most probably insert some form
of reinforcement inside the hollow handle, maybe using a part of a
stainless steel knife blade so that it does not break easily again.
Am I at all on the right track here? I would be most thankful for
any advice on how to proceed with this type of repair.
I have a “Midas Plating Station” with rectifier, and although I
don’t yet have the necessary fluids or a cathode of fine silver, I
will be acquiring them in the near future for other plating
Thank You in advance!