Jeffrey Herman is a master silversmith and a Godsend for anyone who’s had the misfortune of dropping or denting a piece of cherished silver. Great silversmiths are far and few between in the 21stcentury, but when the good people at Georg Jensen give you a referral, you take it and hope the waiting list to have him work on your piece is measured in days rather than months!
Like a fine piece of mahogany furniture, antique silver builds up a lovely color called a patina, and if you send your dented teapot to the jewelry guy down the block who says he can fix it, you’re likely to have it returned to you fixed, but looking brand new: 100s of years of patina gone in one buffing!! THAT is an utter misfortune and the easiest way to knock off, at the very minimum, 10% off the resale price of the piece.
Here’s the phoenix rising from the ashes:
This beautiful Jensen teapot had lost its wonderful original ivory handle, but Jeffrey carved a new one and took care of the dents and bruises to return it to its pre war luster. Jensen silver has that wonderful hand hammering on the surface which has to be carefully handled lest it is removed by an over zealous restorer.
I don’t know what you could do to a water pitcher to have it end up with this many dents, but again, Jeffrey has carefully removed the dents and reshaped the piece to make it as good as new.
I would have thought that silver could withstand a terrible fire, and I guess it does, but the difference between the pre Jeffrey work and the post is unbelievable. I would never have thought he could restore the piece like he has. Look at the ivory insulators in the handle: most would use plain plastic and assume that was good enough, but Jeffrey has completely re-carved them with the original twisted band. I also can’t get over the fact that the flowers retain the definition and contrast that only age can build up.
And lastly, a cherished Christening cup that looks like an elephant sat on it! And here again the work of a true master craftsman who knows when to stop: Jeffrey noted to me that the detailing on the rim had to be left as is because the metal was too thin to rework and could have resulted in a tear. The last thing you want from a restorer is for your silver to look worse than when it went in because they didn’t know the limits of their own talents.
From personal experience, I can definitely recommend Jeffrey’s work. He has incredible skill, is easy to work with and is a true professional. You can’t trust your silver to just anyone and this is why I’m happy to share one of my Rolodex secrets!
image credits: Jeffrey Herman, Rhode Island
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