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Topic: Best cups for medieval event?
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 7, 2005 07:16AM)
Next summer I want to perform the Cups and Ball's during a medieval market in Sweden. What is the best set for such an event. I momentarily use a brass set from Bazar de magia. To shiny and to small! Are the Bosco cups from Harries a good solution?

I am also looking for medieval, drawings, reproductions etc that illustrate the fact of the C&B being performed during the medieval ages.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Oct 7, 2005 08:35AM)
Greetings and Salutations poesjenel,

Bill Palmer should be along sooner or later when he sees your post and will be able to give you something definitive. Until then, I'm thinking resources for showing medieval cups workers will be a little thin. If I recall correctly, the first drawings or paintings that I have seen were done in the mid-1500s, although a gentleman by the name of Bob Read would be the one to find for the correct answer -- as I understand it he has a large or the largest private collection of cups-and-balls worker art. I believe Harries' Bosco cups are going to give you the closest period look. I have a set and they haven't tarnished yet, which is fine by me as I don't use them all that often, but I suspect they have some type of sealer on them to prevent or slow oxidation. To get them to tarnish up you'll have to remove the finish. Again, Bill will be able to give you the most complete answer. Hope this helps in the interim.

Good luck, sounds like fun!

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Payne (Oct 7, 2005 10:03AM)
Harries Bosco Cups are the cups I use in my mediaeval show as they have that traditional "flower pot" shape. Occasionally you can find a vintage set of cups that have this classic shape as well on E-Bay. Just keep your eyes open.
I know of no pictorial references to cups being played in the middle ages however there are several excellent illustrations from the fifteenth century onward. Kurt Volkmann's treatise "The Oldest Deception" is a good source, if you can find a copy
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 7, 2005 10:45AM)
Go to the cups and balls museum. The URL is in my signature line. There is a page with "Cups in Art." That will help you.

Now, as far as the details of what would be authentic are concerned. The shoulder bead did not appear on cups until roughly 1700. The first illustration that I have seen (from Bob Read's collection) that has a shoulder bead would be 1710.

If you can find three large brass cups -- any kind -- that will nest and give you a gap of about 1.5 to 2 cm, then you will have something that is close to authentic. You will need to put a recess in the bottom. You can do that with a block of wood that has a concavity in it and a ball pein hammer.

It's not easy. I'm well convinced that most c & b workers either made their own cups or had them made by tinsmiths.

If total authenticity is not necessary, go with the Harries Bosco cups. They are reasonably priced and should work just fine. They are a little thinner than, say, the Gazzo's, but for what you are doing they should be fine.

Or you can go to http://www.freerszauberladen.de/ which is Freers Zauberladen. Do a search for "Becherspiel." There is a set of Gauklerbecher that look roughly medieval. They are not extremely large. Most c &b workers of those days did not use huge cups. At least, that is what the drawings indicate.

What is the actual timespan of the venue you are working?
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 8, 2005 03:08AM)
Thank you all for your kind reactions. Very usefull! I think for now I'll order a set of Bosco cups and take off the protective sealer so they oxydise more quickly. I have some experience with brass, made keys in brass for a classic clarinette. So I am a bit familiar with forming brass, annealing and hardening, hammering, soldering...I think I could make a set without shoulders in copper but I wonder how you work with these because once they are stacked there is no space for the balls, unless you let the balls make the space but then the cups are kind of wobbling on each other or do I see that wrong? I wondered about that to when I saw the leather cups in the cupsandballsmuseum ( waaw what a fantastic site and source of information! ).
Bill, I'm not completely shure what you mean when you ask what the timespan is. English is not my native language. I suppose you are asking for the period the event is covering. Correct me if I'm wrong. Anyway I will be performing on a medieval festival, all people dress medieval, the market stands have to be carefull not to show or use any non-medieval materials, like plastic. Authenticity is important but only that way that I could not perform any magic that was not performed in the ( late ) middle ages. So C&B are ok. Does anyone have an emailaddress of Bob Read?
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Oct 8, 2005 08:02AM)
Payne's mentions, "traditional "flower pot" shape."
There are small clay and wooden flower pots that you could use.
These are timeless.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 8, 2005 08:09AM)
By timespan, I mean the year or years that the festival is supposed to be taking place in. For example is the hypothetical year of the festival a specific year, such as 1574, or is it a longer time span, such as "the 17th Century" or "the Renaissance?"

Different criteria could be applied to each of these.

You are right about cups without a shoulder bead having a problem with nesting and unnesting. That's precisely why the shoulder bead came about. 1700 would be the approximate time that occurred. It doesn't appear in any engravings or paintings before then.

But I really wouldn't worry about it. Just get the Bosco cups, and you will be fine.
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 8, 2005 01:35PM)
No particular century. Actually the complete middle ages. Just ordered the Bosco cups but I'll have a look in our local garden set for the flowerpots too. Thanks again for all the tips.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Oct 8, 2005 02:23PM)
Poesjenel,
I found the wooden flower pots in a craft store.
Message: Posted by: Partizan (Oct 8, 2005 04:35PM)
The nesting can be resolved by using a slightly belled taper from base to neck, with a simple bit of maths you can govern the amount of space to be left for the ball.

For your artwork I suggest scanning or obtaining a picture of medieval folk working tools and then use photoshop to adjust the image into what your require. You might try to find a pic of a glass blower and modify the tools/glass into cups and balls!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 8, 2005 05:36PM)
If you want the cups and balls section of Hocus Pocus, Jr., transcribed into modern type, you can download it from http://www.hocuspocusjr.com/hocuspocusmced.pdf .

There are numerous drawings of cups in the section I worked on.

You will need to PM me for a password.
Message: Posted by: Tom Frank (Oct 8, 2005 10:15PM)
Cups, Cups "King of the Cups"

[url=http://static.flickr.com/24/50436212_2eb5442aed_o.jpg]Cup Pic[/url]
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 9, 2005 02:39AM)
Is that Gazzo's own private collection?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 9, 2005 09:58AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-08 23:15, Tom Frank wrote:
Cups, Cups "King of the Cups"

[url=http://static.flickr.com/24/50436212_2eb5442aed_o.jpg]Cup Pic[/url]

[/quote]

How does he get that one to stay balanced on the top of his head?
Message: Posted by: Tom Frank (Oct 9, 2005 12:04PM)
He's Gazzo! He's good.

Looking forward to hearing more about his Master Class here in Seattle.

Meanwhile I will watch a couple hours of football on TV before hitting the streets at Pike Place Market.

Posted: Oct 9, 2005 1:07pm
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rams just took the opening kickoff down the field for a touch down. 99 yards in 20 seconds. Might be a long day for the Sea Hawks. Knew I should have signed up for Gazzo's class.
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 13, 2005 02:35PM)
The Harries Bosco cups just arrived and they look great and big! Just what I wanted to perform on the streets during the medieval festival. They look much to shiny but I'll expose them constantly to air and light to see of they oxidise quickly. I wonder of other methods to make them look older because they really look to neat. I also did a search on the net for some info on making leather balls. These would have a more medieval look than the red crocheted balls. Lots of information with sewing instructions and pattern intended to be used by jugglers but very usefull for my purpose!
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Oct 13, 2005 03:00PM)
You can also buy rolled felt, and sewn or monkeyfist leather balls. These are available from several great places.

Air and light will not create a patina on the cups. The moisture from your hands does it. It is handling a lot that speeds the process.

If they have a lacquer coating, you will need to remove it with paint thinner.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Oct 13, 2005 03:46PM)
Do a Caf search for aging your cups. It's been discussed more than once before, including the compounds necessary to accelerate the process. Look at my website in the photo section for the results of artificial aging. Oh, there's some stuff there about leather balls too.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Oct 13, 2005 04:27PM)
These cups are coated with lacquer I believe as I have had mine for several years and they are as shiny as they were the day I got them. You'll need to remove the coating with a solvent to get the patina process started.
I use rolled felt balls with my cups tough I've been thinking of going to nutmegs.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 13, 2005 05:15PM)
Removing lacquer from these cups may be a bit difficult. Find a fairly strong paint remover -- not a thinner -- and work on one cup. If the finish is ordinary lacquer, it should come off. If it is epoxy, then it is there to stay.

There are various chemicals that can be used to age the copper, but I would just let it happen naturally. On the whole, it looks better that way.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Oct 13, 2005 06:15PM)
I'd write Harries and ask what they use to seal their cups.
Personally I like the shiny look as they stand out better against my black doublet.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Oct 14, 2005 03:51PM)
I have to use Zim's Crack Creme and/or Cornhusker's Lotion in order to give my hands tack - normally they are as slippery as glass.

Because of this (I presume) the patina on my copper cups develops VERY quickly and is dark, dark brown - almost black. Looks interesting for awhile, but then they just look dirty.

So if you want to hasten the patina process....
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 14, 2005 09:41PM)
If the cups are lacquered use either lacquer thinner or better yet ACETONE. Then cat urine in sawdust will tarnish them fast.
Posted: Oct 14, 2005 10:42pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's a thought... leave the finish alone and get a spray can of metallic paint that gives an antiqued look and paint them. Then you can remove that and go back to the original when you want to.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 14, 2005 10:09PM)
Actetone will generally remove lacquer fairly quickly. Pete is right about this. However, if you do use acetone, be sure that you have plenty of ventilation. This stuff is deadly.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Oct 15, 2005 03:27PM)
...and also use gloves. If I recall, it's easily absorbed through the skin.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 15, 2005 05:01PM)
Yes, that's true. Acetone was at one time used to remove spirit gum, but it has proven to produce liver cancer and brain cancer, not just in mice, but in humans.
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 17, 2005 12:17PM)
I tried to contact Harries to know what lacker is on the Bosco's, no answer yet. I'm thinking of using wirewool, finest grades, turn a wooden base on the lathe, the inner size of the cups, put the cup on and then gently apply the wirewool at the slowest speed. I think I prefer this method because I really dislike using chemicals and solvents.
Bill thank you for the cups and balls section of Hocus Pocus, thank you all for your kind and usefull advise.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Oct 18, 2005 01:16AM)
Wonder if it is possible buy a set of Bosco's before they are finished.

poesjenel, you might want to talk to a silversmith before you attack your cups with wirewool. He might be able to suggest a way to strip the finish. The wire wool will of course scratch the metal.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 18, 2005 02:26AM)
There are some orange based lacquer solvents that are not as harmful as things like MEK and Acetone.
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Oct 18, 2005 07:43AM)
[quote]
On 2005-10-17 13:17, poesjenel wrote:
I tried to contact Harries to know what lacker is on the Bosco's, no answer yet. I'm thinking of using wirewool, finest grades, turn a wooden base on the lathe, the inner size of the cups, put the cup on and then gently apply the wirewool at the slowest speed. I think I prefer this method because I really dislike using chemicals and solvents.
Bill thank you for the cups and balls section of Hocus Pocus, thank you all for your kind and usefull advise.
[/quote]

If you wish to avoid chemicals and prevent the scratches that wire wool might cause I suggest you use a buffing wheel with polishing compound. I used this method on an old irregularly finished set of cups with excellent results.

Bill
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 18, 2005 12:50PM)
Bill,
do
I thought of using the finest wirewool first to be shure to remove the lacquer and then the polishing alterwards to remove the scratches. I have some experience with making brass keys for musical instruments. There the brass is sanded with finer and finer grades of sandpaper. After the finest grade ( 1000 ), the buffing is done. I thought the finest wirewool might give me a finer surface. I'll have to check that before starting. Thanks for the tip
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Oct 18, 2005 02:36PM)
Poesjenel,

Perhaps I should have explained my reasoning. The buffing wheel will remove the lacquer coating quickly with no difficulties, even when using a very fine polishing compound. This eliminates the wire wool step as well as the final polishing. I was trying to save you some work / time while still providing excellent results. Wear gloves when you do this, your cups may get quite warm. :)

Bill
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 18, 2005 04:36PM)
Good thinking Bill. I wonder if there is any problem of buffing compound getting between the cup and the bottom roll?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 18, 2005 04:56PM)
If this happens, you can probably dissolve the buffing compound with ordinary alcohol. A bit of Akavit should do the trick.

Drink the Akavit first. Then you won't care about the buffing compound.
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Oct 21, 2005 07:59AM)
This is the reply I got from Harries Magic :
Hello
The seal is burnt in an oven. Maybe if you heat the cups again it would come
of but we are not sure since we have not tried it. Good luck!
Best regards
Ulla Harries
HARRIES MAGIC
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Oct 21, 2005 08:21AM)
Sounds like a powder coat treatment. I would sitll use the buffing wheel. Powder coat can be burned off, then you are still left with the task of final material removal and polishing. The buffing wheel accomplishes all operations in one step.

Bill
Message: Posted by: gerard1973 (Mar 10, 2006 07:13PM)
Poesjenel:

The best cups for a medieval event would probably be any style of cup made out of brass, copper or wood. Aluminium cups did not exist at that time.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 10, 2006 10:32PM)
Although aluminum would not be my first choice for a cup for a medieval event, unless the audience was allowed to handle the cups, there would be no way for them to tell whether they were aluminum, silver or some other metal with a similar color, unless you told them that was what they were.

Cups in the Paul Fox style would definitely be out. Cups with a shoulder bead would also not be authentic. The earliest example of a cup with a shoulder bead is in a drawing dated 1710.

The cups in Hocus Pocus Jr. are the kind that were used up until that approximate date -- tapered sides, no shoulder bead, recessed bottom.

The late Bob Read and I shared a lot of information on this very subject. (Naturally he had more to give than I did -- he had been studying the cups much longer than I had.) His feeling, based on decades of research, was that the recessed bottom of a cup was the first indication of an actual piece of magical apparatus. Cups were made that way intentionally, and the cups that showed up in medieval drawings and paintings had that feature.

However, it is very difficult to obtain the proper cups. I have a source, but in order to purchase them, I need to purchase 50 sets. There aren't 50 cup and ball workers that will buy them. So it's not going to happen.

However, you can do some interesting work with a block of metal that fits inside a cup, and a ball pein hammer.

It all depends on how authentic you want to make your show, and how hard you want to work. Frankly, for me, I'd use the Harries Bosco cups as is, in a heartbeat.
Message: Posted by: DAK (Mar 11, 2006 02:24AM)
What about a set of leather cups?

Kindest Regards

DAK
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 11, 2006 10:29AM)
Leather cups are good only if you can get cups with a recessed bottom. That recess is crucial to the working of the cups and balls. The ones the "Great Scot" sells are rubbish.

Posted: Mar 11, 2006 3:16pm

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I should add this. When "Great Scot" started putting these cups out, he touted them as being authentic for Renaissance Festival use. He claimed that they were patterned after authentic period cups found in such sources as Hocus Pocus Jr. in 1620. I pointed out to him that the cups in Hocus Pocus Jr. were specified as being of "brasse or Crooked lane plate...with the bottome set in a little."

I pointed out to him that these leather cups of his were not authentic at all, since they lacked the recessed bottoms that were necessary for the performance of the trick. I also pointed out that Hocus Pocus Jr. was first printed in 1634 -- even sending him a copy of my manuscript.

He countered that leather cups were often used for drinking in English taverns.

I did not bother to point out to him that the ones used in English taverns did not have rough leather interiors or sewn seams.

It took him a year to change the date in his advertising.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 12, 2006 01:26AM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-10 20:13, gerard1973 wrote:
Poesjenel:

The best cups for a medieval event would probably be any style of cup made out of brass, copper or wood. Aluminium cups did not exist at that time.
[/quote]

Aluminium existed in the mediaeval period. It is a naturally occuring mineral, albeit rare. Granted your average street Juggler in the period could ill afford a set of aluminium cups as they would have been worth many, many times their weight in gold it would still be possible, but highly unlikely, for a set of aluminium cups to exist in period.
The little crochet balls on the other hand are totally out of period as that form of textile work didn't come about until the nineteenth century.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Mar 12, 2006 11:27AM)
I've had many leather cups made this way but as a single chop cup.
I never saw much of a market for them as a set of three.
They do have the recessed bottom. I have one set somewhere near completion
that I'm giving to Mr. Palmer for the museum.

Here's a photo of similar cups. They are hand-stitched.
If you're really interested in them, I can look into making them again
as a standard item.

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/img/th-023.jpg
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 12, 2006 11:40AM)
If you were going to use leather cups at a Medieval event, these would be perfect.
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Mar 12, 2006 09:15PM)
While it is nice to be totally authentic, oxidized copper cups will pass for most audiences and faire administration.
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 12, 2006 09:30PM)
[quote]
On 2006-03-12 22:15, KirkG wrote:
While it is nice to be totally authentic, oxidized copper cups will pass for most audiences and faire administration.

[/quote]

Yes, cause as we all know they never polished metal in the middle ages.
Shiny cups are just as "autherntic" as tarnished ones.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 12, 2006 11:05PM)
Now, Payne, you have to realize that there is "authentic" and there is "authentic." ;)

Nobody would come to a Renaissance Festival that had an "authentic" sewage disposal system.

Gardy loo!
Message: Posted by: BSutter (Mar 13, 2006 08:36AM)
[quote]

Aluminium existed in the mediaeval period. It is a naturally occuring mineral, albeit rare. Granted your average street Juggler in the period could ill afford a set of aluminium cups as they would have been worth many, many times their weight in gold it would still be possible, but highly unlikely, for a set of aluminium cups to exist in period.
The little crochet balls on the other hand are totally out of period as that form of textile work didn't come about until the nineteenth century.
[/quote]

I beg to differ;
Copper, lead and tin have been used by man for thousands of years. Aluminum, on the other hand, was not "discovered" until 1808 (less than 200 years ago) although early civilizations used aluminium-bearing clays to make pottery and aluminum salts were used in making dyes and medicines. In 1854 we learned how to produce aluminum commercially. Today, you can't live without it! Well, you could, but it would take a lot of getting used to for most of us!

Aluminum - in its metallic form - does not exist naturally. It is found only in combination with other minerals in the form of silicate and oxide compounds which make up about 8 per cent of the earth's crust. Aluminum is the third most common crustal element and the most common crustal metal on earth. These mineral compounds are very stable and it took many years of research to find a way to remove the metal from the ore minerals in which it is found.

Aluminum can be very strong, light (less than one third the specific gravity of steel, copper or brass), ductile, and malleable. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Polished aluminum has the highest reflectivity of any material - even mirror glass. It can be cast, rolled or extruded into an infinite variety of shapes. It has unique barrier properties as a packaging material, it resists corrosion and it can be recycled again and again and again, with no loss of quality or properties. Mixed with small, often minute, quantities of other materials such as iron, silicon, zinc, copper, magnesium, tin, titamium, lithium, chromium, tungsten, manganese, nickel, zirconium and boron, it is possible to produce an array of alloys with very different physical properties.

The following are important dates in the history of the discovery of aluminum and in the progress of our knowledge and use of this important metal we depend on every day.
1808: Sir Humphrey Davy (Britain) discovered the existence of the shiny metal we are so dependent on today and gave it a name - Aluminum.
1821: P. Berthier (France) discovered a hard, reddish, clay-like material containing 52 per cent aluminum oxide near the village of Les Baux in southern France. He called it bauxite - after the village. Today, we recognize bauxite as the most common ore of aluminum.
1825: Hans Christian Oersted (Denmark) produced very small quantities of aluminum metal by mixing dilute potassium amalgam with anhydrous aluminum chloride. When the two were allowed to react chemically, a residue of slightly impure aluminum was produced.
1827: Freidrich Wohler (Germany) developed a method for producing aluminum powder through a chemical reaction between potassium and anhydrous aluminum chloride.
1845: Wohler determined the specific gravity of aluminum (2.7) which illustrated one of its unquie physical properties - it was extremely light in weight compared to most metals known at the time.
1854: Henri Sainte-Claire Deville (France) create the first commercial process for producing aluminum which - at that time - was more valuable than gold.
1855: A bar of aluminum was exhibited alongside the Crown Jewels at the Paris Exhibition.
1885: Hamilton Y. Cassner (USA) improved on Deville's process for producing aluminum and 15 tons were produced that year!
1886: Two unknown young scientists, Paul Louis Toussaint Heroult (France) and Charles Martin Hall (USA), working separately and unaware of each other's work, simultaneously invented a new electrolytic process (eventually called the Hall-Heroult process) which is the basis for all aluminum production today. They discovered that if they dissolved aluminum oxide (alumina) in a bath of molten cryolite and passed a powerful electric current through it, molten aluminum would be deposited at the bottom.
1888: The first aluminum companies were founded in France, Switzerland and the USA
1889: Freidrich Bayer (Austria), son of the founder of the Bayer chemical company, invented the Bayer Process for the large scale production of alumina from bauxite.

Bill
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 13, 2006 10:27AM)
There is evidence that it existed before the Nineteenth century. Pliny wrote.

"One day a goldsmith in Rome was allowed to show the Emperor Tiberius a dinner plate of a new metal. The plate was very light, and almost as bright as silver. The goldsmith told the Emperor that he had made the metal from plain clay. He also assured the Emperor that only he, himself, and the Gods knew how to produce this metal from clay. The Emperor became very interested, and as a financial expert he was also a little concerned. The Emperor felt immediately, however, that all his treasures of gold and silver would decline in value if people started to produce this bright metal of clay. Therefore, instead of giving the goldsmith the regard expected, he ordered him to be beheaded."

Alchemists had a symbol for it so its existence was known in the middle ages.
It is conceivable that a few people while attempting to create a philosopher stone stumbled upon a way to extract aluminum for themselves.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Mar 13, 2006 10:42AM)
"...to be beheaded".

at least he didn't get grilled alive like st. lawrence.

in the photo above I have felt balls (an idea from Payne, no less)
that, in the right colors, would seem perfect.
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Mar 13, 2006 03:13PM)
Hey Frank, I'm sure more than a few people are interested in your leather cups. I for one would like to get a set someday soon, however my next set will be the Phoenix Cups.

johnny
Message: Posted by: KirkG (Mar 13, 2006 07:38PM)
Payne,

While shiny cups in silver and other metals could certainly exist, nothing says "old" to the muggles like tarnished metal.

Kirk
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Jul 24, 2007 08:28AM)
I found a link on how to remove lacquer from copper.


http://www.friendlyplumber.com/plumbing101/how_tos/copper_cleaning.html
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 24, 2007 11:27AM)
The only problem is that Harries said the clear is "baked on" which would mean it is probably epoxy and NOT lacquer.

I think painting them with a spray of "antiquing" coloring would be best.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jul 24, 2007 11:35AM)
The article he cited said "Most pieces of decorative, modern copper are protected by a factory-applied, [i]baked-on[/i] lacquer."

Hmmm. Who has a set of Harries they're willing to try this on?
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Jul 24, 2007 12:23PM)
I did it to a brand new set of Bosco cups (the same day I got them)
I bought them with this process in mind.
First I tried the acetone method with limited success. (Maybe 20% came off)
Then I boiled them in washing soda, not baking soda. It worked great on 2 of the cups. One still needs more boiling. (It looks spotty). I must warn that they look horrible at first, but over a few days of handling they look great.

You can always experiment on some cheap copper kitchen stuff.
I will try and post a photo later.
Message: Posted by: lint (Jul 24, 2007 02:20PM)
I used a citrus based spray "paint/varnish/lacquer" remover on my Irelands. The clearcoat (whatever it was) melted right off. The stuff smelled nice and is non toxic too! It was very simple. I did two coats and then stuck them in the washer. They are now tarnishing beautifully. Also I had no idea Renaissance fairs were so strict!

-todd
Message: Posted by: professorwhut (Jul 24, 2007 08:04PM)
Here are my Bosco Cups with no lacquer.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jul 24, 2007 08:30PM)
They look awful. In other words, for Ren Faire use, they look great!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 24, 2007 09:33PM)
The Irelands and the Boscos are made by two different companies in two different countries. The chances of the finishes being the same are very slim. The toughest finish that I have ever seen on cups was the old Rings and Things Magipoxy finish. It was so tough that even cups that have been very badly dented show little or no signs of tarnishing.

None of the conventional paint removers would even touch it. But there was one chemical, available from a paint company in either St. Louis or Chicago, that would remove it instantly.

Environmental regulations prohibit the use of it under current conditions.
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Jul 24, 2007 09:53PM)
There is a solvent marketed as "ATTACK". It easily dissolves clear coats of most types. But it's really just trichlorethylene- nasty stuff- I just polish it off with Tripoly using a dental lathe-any buffing wheel will do.You do want to use a fairly agressive polishing compound . I was too lazy to change the wheel (It takes all of 7 seconds) and and used green jeweler's compound and laid into it harder than I normally would . Because it really wasn't abraisive enough to chew of the epoxy quickly the wheel broke through in some place and not others resulting many subtle streaky looking gouges . Luckily going back over it with tripoly then rouge fixed it.Why is there never time to do right the first time but always time to do it over. Arrrrg! I know better.
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Jul 24, 2007 10:04PM)
I have used he above method to remove the lacquer and epoxy from Church Chalices dozens of times. I really wouldn't fool around with chemicals and witches brews.It's really not hard to polish them. You can make just about any grinder motor into a polisher.pm me if any of you would like some help to do this.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 25, 2007 12:14AM)
This solvent Rings and Things used was specific to this finish. You could dip a cup into it for a couple of seconds, and the finish was completely off of it.

That finish was put on with an electrostatic charge and baked.
Message: Posted by: padre rich (Jul 25, 2007 02:01AM)
Sounds like Trichlor- great solvent - bad for kidney function and risk of cancer - I was just told by a friend that it can't be used in L.A. any more .
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 25, 2007 02:46AM)
Could be. I think it was a mixture of several solvents. It had a trade name like Hot Shot or something like that. Back in the "good old days" these mixtures like Trichloroethane, MEK and acetone, were fairly common. But normal paint remover wouldn't even touch this stuff.