Is it wise to lacquer a silver plated trumpet?

Discussion in 'Vintage Trumpets / Cornets' started by Rick P., Sep 1, 2009.

  1. Rick P.

    Rick P. New Friend

    Sep 1, 2009
    Dorset, UK
    I’ve just bought a Hawkes and Sons Clippertone off ebay, which according to another post on this site is about 80 years old now. I haven’t seen it yet and am waiting for it to arrive in the post, but I’ve seen the pictures on ebay and I know that it is very tarnished. I presume that it must be silver plated (real silver rather than nickel, or whatever they plate trumpets with nowadays).

    What’s the best way for me to care for its surface? I presume that I should polish it with a good quality silver polish, but then what? Is it sensible to pay for it to be lacquered? Is there any other way of protecting it from tarnishing again and will repeated polishing wear away the plating?

    Thanks for your help with this. :-)
  2. trumpetnick

    trumpetnick Fortissimo User

    Nov 16, 2005
    Antalya, Turkey
    silver tends to hold better and longer on most horns than lacquer.
  3. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    I assume Rick P. is really asking if you can lacquer over the silver plate. I've only heard of lacquer being used over nickel plate.
  4. Dale Proctor

    Dale Proctor Utimate User

    Jul 20, 2006
    Heart of Dixie
    I wouldn't lacquer over silver plate. Silver tarnishes pretty slowly (if not left out in the open air), holds up well to most people's skin acidity, and is low maintenance. An occasional cleaning with liquid silver polish won't harm the plating.
  5. Cornet1

    Cornet1 Pianissimo User

    May 22, 2005
    Essex, England
    Rick P,.... I assume you are in the UK. When you get the instrument, dissassemble it and give it a soak in warm/hot detergent such as washing up liquid, hot enough so that you can't really leve your hand in it. Let it soak until the water is cold. If you can contain your patience, leve it over night. Then, rinse and dry the trumpet,...grease slides and oil valves, now, polish with 'Goddards Silver Cloth'. This will work very well on Hawkes silver plate and it will look great in no time.

    Thereafter, a wash in hot detergent about once a month will keep the silver in first class condition.
  6. Rick P.

    Rick P. New Friend

    Sep 1, 2009
    Dorset, UK
    Yes, I am in the UK. Thanks for the advice. I've just had a look and I believe that I can order the 'Goddards Silver Cloth' on Amazon.

    This is all really useful advice and just what I was looking for. :D

    This seems to be a very useful and active forum.

    Thanks for everyone's help.
  7. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Fortissimo User

    Nov 8, 2006
    Greenfield WI
    A person can lacquer over silver plate, but as this is a much older piece, it's probably better that you don't.

    I have Buescher catalogs where they quote an additional charge to lacquer over silver.

  8. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Search the site for trumpet cleaning: there are volumes here on TM.






    The very most you should do mechanically is to use a blue silver polishing cloth which works on the tarnish and not the plating. Electrolysis is the way to go - search on aluminium foil and bi-carbonate of soda too.
  9. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    Yeah Ted, Those Blue Silver cloths work a treat. They go black, but still work. I use a yellow boot cloth to clean/buff as well on silver.

  10. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    Yes Peter, they're extra good when they are black - just DON'T wash them it spoils the whole effect, and they then do not polish the gunge off.

    The Blue Silver Cloth is designed especially for silverplate and isn't suitable for lacquered instruments. The Blue cloth leaves a faint film on the trumpet that serves to protect the horn a bit and keep the beastie nice and shiney, but I too like to give mine a buff with a microfibre cloth from KMart - no fluff, great finish. I just loves shiney things (I must have been a magpie in a former life.)

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