A question of style - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-03-2016 Thread Starter
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A question of style

I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in "Good Old Boat", but here it is. I recently purchased a boat that has a nice old (early 70's) brass kerosene heater and lamp set mounted to the main bulkhead. Normally, brass would be considered bright work, so part of me wants to polish it up shiny and bright. BUT, it's also vintage, and I know lots of collectors much prefer to retain the original patina on these sorts of things. Any added value in keeping the patina here?
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-03-2016
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Re: A question of style

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Originally Posted by grnrngr View Post
I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in "Good Old Boat", but here it is. I recently purchased a boat that has a nice old (early 70's) brass kerosene heater and lamp set mounted to the main bulkhead. Normally, brass would be considered bright work, so part of me wants to polish it up shiny and bright. BUT, it's also vintage, and I know lots of collectors much prefer to retain the original patina on these sorts of things. Any added value in keeping the patina here?

Do you intend to keep the gear aboard your boat? If so, I would suggest you do with it as you prefer. If you intend to dismount and sell it (assuming it's all functional), I might be inclined to leave it "as is" although I, for one, think bright work should be bright. That said, I have several old oil lamps for the 1930's '40's (still functional) that we use from time to time (in cold weather!) that I will occasionally turn to and polish up. That is, however, an arduous task and the results don't last too long such that one eventually becomes inclined to say "the heck with it". Of course, a polished reflector on the underside of the top and behind the lamp globe sheds a lot more light, eh?

FWIW...

"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-04-2016
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I polished mine a bit. There is still some patina in the seams.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: A question of style

The appreciation of Patina is a relative thing. For instance, in old Ferraris, an old, worn, and original interior is far preferred to one done up in fresh Naugahyde.

If there is a Name and Provenance to the original Heater and Lamp, just maintain them, just as you maintain your face as the wrinkles set in.
Otherwise, I would polish the hell out of them.

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post #5 of 5 Old 02-04-2016
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Re: A question of style

I suspect that polishing brass has less effect on antique value than would be the case with bronze, as brass will tarnish up again pretty soon. You might want to research on ebay, Kovel's etc whether the stove has any collector value. I suspect anyone who bought it will use for a period boat restoration project, and probably polish it. I agree with svhylyte--if you're going to keep it in place, do whatever looks best to you.
I believe a polished metal surface will radiate less heat than a dull one, if that's a factor--but I don't know how much difference it would make.
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