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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Oldies... but goodies! » » Polishing brass collectibles (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of cbmar
With regular antiques I always here that removing the patina hurts the value. What do you think about polishing vintage brass magic tricks? Better to make them look bright and shiny, or aged and worn?
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Profile of Wizard of Oz
Excellent question cbmar. I too have faced the same issue. I have quite a few vintage brass pieces, and as they are well-made (Brema etc.), I'm sure they would hold up well to a good polishing...yet, I always see finer brass items at auction unpolished. I hope we get some feedback here from those who know!
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Profile of hugmagic
Rick Johnson always said to use tung oil rubbed into the brass to help slow the patina. Generally, I would not polish the brass.

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Profile of Sonny_Knight
I really think it would depend on whay you have.
Some antiques really don't have that much value anyway if they aren't rare enough.
If you want to polish any metal without damage, I reccomend a product called 'Flitz', wonderful stuff, they sell it at gun shows a lot around here.
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Profile of rogerpierre
Please do not ruin them by cleaning them up! You'll distroy their value, and they will look like new.
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Profile of MartiniMagic
I clean my brass tricks but they are not antiques, just tricks I like to perform.
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Profile of Rainboguy
I would listen to what Richard says. He knows what he's talking about.
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Profile of Hinge Thunder
Thank you for this information. I was about to polish some brass effects that I had in storage from 20 years ago as I am getting back into magic. I shall reconsider polishing them now. The only thing is, sometimes an uneven patina can expose the method as the item is supposed to look uniform. In other cases, two or more items are supposed to look identical, such as rattle bars.
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Profile of Anverdi-museum
Sonny is right on the money....Flitz is excellent for this type of cleaning.
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Profile of goodingda
Antique collectors (non-magic) will tell you it is personal preference as to whether of not you what to clean the brass. For magic, I think it really depends on the item, and what you are using it for. I have tons of magic props. Some I perform with, some are collectables I just display. If it's a usable prop, I will go for several years without polishing the brass, and then I will remove the tarnish with Never-Dul, a great product! However, if it's an antique magic prop, especially one made of brass and wood, I seldom touch the brass, because if you polish it it won't look right with the natural aged wood patina. Again, this is personal preference.
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