How Bad is Too Bad for Tarnish?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Artifex, Dec 19, 2016.

  1. Artifex

    Artifex New Friend

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    I am looking at a Getzen Severinsen that is so tarnished it's almost uniformly black. I have read and seen pictures of folks doing the salt/baking soda tin foil water bath and getting amazing results. Is there a level of tarnish so severe that the finish might be damaged and I should be concerned? Or does that layer of tarnish uniformly covering the entire horn mean yay! the silver is probably intact?
    The case is in decent shape, the slides are free, the valves still move smoothly, but that finish - ugh!:shhh:

    Thanks!
     
  2. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    If it is bad, do it twice.

    Sometimes there is a sulphur source in a case, so when stored the trumpet takes on a blueish/black tinge to the silver. I have a case that does it, and put it down to a glue used in construction of the case, I cannot think of any other source. It has a smell when I open it, and one side of the horn is always tarnished if left for a while.

    It does no harm, and the wash does remove it - or elbow grease, but that removes a layer of the oxidised silver. You may be lucky and get the Getzen cheaply because of the cosmetic condition.
     
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  3. tobylou8

    tobylou8 Utimate User

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    Honestly, I've never seen it so bad it can't be cleaned. My Strad 37 was "black" when I got it. It cleaned up very well. Yamaha silver strip cloths can help the valve casing cleanup. Maybe ask for a price reduction? Not a deal killer imo.
     
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Yes, as long as it's just the normal black silver tarnish, it will clean up well. Deeper corrosion takes a bit more work to remove, but will usually come off with some mild silver polish.
     
  5. Niner

    Niner Forte User

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    If you can see tarnish and no brass everything is good to go for shiny again with a little effort and not much expense. What's the worse that can happen? Just won't be a pretty. Take this old Dansant, much older than what you are looking at, that must have been through many hands over a lot of decades. The beauty marks of honest living. No flaws would be pretty....but I like it the way it is.

    [​IMG]

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  6. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

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    Niner,
    That valve block wear is very familiar (like how I hold a Jazz Horn), a Brass Band player will have the wear more between the first and second valve, that's the traditional thumb rest for Brass Band style playing. It also makes for a more natural and faster response that matches the finger practice runs without a horn. Yours looks like a well loved horn.
     
  7. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Ha ha... That's exactly where the lacquer is worn off my Bach cornet. I guess I must be doing something right. :D
     
  8. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

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    Here's a badly-tarnished cornet I bought on eBay and another pic of it after I polished it with some liquid silver polish. I took a chance on it and it turned out to be a little gem. 1890 Besson.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. coolerdave

    coolerdave Utimate User

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    I picked up a totally blackened Olds Super Star.... turned out pretty much like Dales picture. A little microfiber towel afterwards.... maybe some MAAS afterwards ( helps shine up the brass slides)... that's really a fun experience.. before and after pictures are required.
     
  10. BrassBandMajor

    BrassBandMajor Fortissimo User

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    Oh not showing off again Dale? Haha. ROFL
     

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