I started a new project this week. It's one of the things I've been intending to get to for quite some time but luckily, always thought of something else more important that needed doing, just in the nick of time. Yes, it's long past time to Polish the silver. Oh dear.
You know, back in the day, and by that I mean Edwardian and Victorian days, polishing the silver was one of the zillions of chores that servants did. Only the very wealthy actually had anything silver and heaven knows, they certainly weren't going to polish it themselves! Mercy!
Moving up to a more current time, my grandmother and my mother both owned some very nice silver pieces most of which were carefully displayed (but never used). Several times a year, they lovingly laboured over keeping these pieces bright and shiny or they conned us kids into doing it for them. I know people who own (or used to own) actual Silver Ware, y'know forks, spoons and knives. That's why we call it silverware even though normally nowadays it's actually not silver.
My own personal "silverware" or flatware is absolutely NOT silver, it's stainless steel. And we've had it for 27 years now (it was a wedding gift). It's quite nice, it's holding up well, can be washed in the dishwasher (bonus) and is fully functional. It does the job. But nothing has the same luster as actual silver. Sort of like no matter how high quality a faux marble is, it's just not the same. On the other hand, generally speaking, I have better things to do with my time than polish silver!
Consequently, the only silver we actually own, aside from some jewelry, is my dad's jewelry box (although I doubt that is what he called it). Hmmm now that I think about it, I believe he referred to it as that box on my bureau. As in, "Can you hand me the black cufflinks from that box on my bureau, please?"
And the silver babycup that someone gave Tim's mom when he was born. His initials are engraved into it, all fancy. So funny. I would never in a million years while shopping for a new baby gift think, "Silver cup!". No, I gravitate toward either the very practical, such as diapers, or my favourite gift to give anyone always which is books. But regardless, someone was kind enough to gift this silver babycup and it's one of the very few things Tim still has from his childhood.
As you can see, both of these items are in desperate need of a shine. And for that you need the correct equipment and I did not. When Tim was in the Marine Corps still, he had a terrific polish for the belt buckle of his dress blues. I loved that stuff and once he no longer had to concern himself with military grade spit and polish, I appropriated it and used it liberally. Which means, after all these years, I finally used it all up. Dang.
So I started looking for silver polish. Took a week or so of searching in various places that reported having it but, by the way, did not. Finally, however, I found it. And I couldn't decide which of the lauded products to purchase and ultimately just bought both.
On a recent rainy day, so what the heck, I may as well right? I gathered all of my soft rags (which were pillow cases in a former life), carefully read the instructions and began. I spent the better part of the morning working on the first object - Tim's baby cup. When I finished for the day it was not because the job was done, but because my hands just could not work the process any longer. While it looks better, it is far from perfect. I even got the inside shiny :)
Yes, what you see is the results of several hours of constant quiet methodical careful work with the silver polish. I'm pleased to see some progress but sorry that it isn't exactly as perfect as I'd hoped. I've set it aside for now and started to work on my Dad's jewelry box. It's slow progress but it's still progress. You can see the one tiny area of improvement in this photo. It's the tiny bit of shiny untarnished silver on the front edge.
I will keep at it until it's as good as it's going to get. It may be done in fits and starts over the next few days or perhaps I'll get a boost of determination and finish it at some point today. There isn't much else on my schedule, anyway. (insert eye roll here)
It's a lot of work and it's worth the effort but man oh man, I do not look forward to how my achy hands are going to feel at the end of the day. But I will be pleased with the work I've done! There is a certain satisfaction in looking at something you worked hard on and seeing it complete. Especially when it's a job you don't really want to do anyway. Like shoveling the driveway for the umpti-umpth time, or scrubbing grout, or, clearly, polishing silver. It's so pretty and it's worth the effort to keep it looking nice but I am so glad that we don't have a much of it to deal with.
".......and this is why we can't have nice things"
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.