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Trunk with Crystallized Tin, Gold Finish

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Drill's loves525 of 525Art Deco / Jazz Era TrunkVtg trunk
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    Posted 7 years ago

    (1 item)

    My wife and I recently acquired this trunk at an estate sale, can anyone provide advice on cleaning the tin without damaging the crystallized tin or gold finish? You can see the rich original color in the photo of the side of the trunk, where the leather handle bracket has been removed. I'd like to restore this piece myself as much a possible. Is there any hope for cleaning the tin, or is this a lost cause? Thanks for any information or advice. Update 34"x19"x24" to top of closed trunk. Interior was paper lined, lid has some paper damage but the lithograph is in great shape. Paper in the bottoms of trunk not so great, I plan on removing the paper in the trunk and staining, saving the paper in the lid. No tray was with the piece.

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    1. tom61375, 7 years ago
      Great piece!! Makes me wonder what hides under the paint on mine. What are the measurements?
    2. tom61375, 7 years ago
      How's the interior look? Could you please post some pics? =)
    3. Remo22, 7 years ago
      Added requested info to the description and photos. Thanks for looking!
    4. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      Great looking trunk and well worth the effort to restore.Here are some things to consider though.
      " A practical workshop companion for tin, sheet and copper plate workers"by leroy J. Blinn. pgs.163 ,164 (goggle it)
      Helps us to understand the process of crystalized tin that took place. This variegated
      primrose appearance was created by high heating the metal and applying diluted muriatic acid for a few seconds. the book further speaks in much more detail of processes with distilled water and brushing it with a feather and warm drying and immediately coating it with lacquer,shellac.
      This part was critical because Air oxidizes the the color very fast.(That explains
      the differing colors in your pictures.)
      Stripping the original Lacquer shellac will turn it gray !Thus anything
      that you do that takes off the lacquer finish will kill the original yellow gold
      color.(Incidentally a yellowish color indicates a higher amount of lead used in the
      Tinning process) This process was all done before that metal ever was on that trunk.
      I have often though of re- heating the metal and trying my luck on recreating these
      effects but have always chickened out.
      I have come to enjoy ,playing with metallic paint finishes and brush techniques instead.I have overlaid different paints on trial surfaces first. After I master
      what I like I go for it. Is it a true restoration process? No. But its hard to exact this 1880 look without being a damn Tin expert. Good Luck and welcome.
    5. Drill Drill, 7 years ago
      P. S. I think that I would just re-apply lacquer,varnish. Forget all that junk about the
      paint. The original finish doesn't look that bad, maybe show the age.
    6. Remo22, 7 years ago
      Thanks for the advice Drill, I had been reading about the techniques used to produce the tin finish, but your information is new to me so far. I'll read up on it. I'm leaning towards just giving it the best gentle cleaning I can and "letting the age show" as we'll.

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