52 Things: To polish or not to polish

DearREADERS,
Now to the question of just how much cleaning up or polishing should be done, if any,  to the old steamer trunk? Perplexed, I set up a poll in DearMYRTLE’s Facebook Group and the overwhelming response was to do as I pleased. I rather like what Monta suggested: "No/or just brighten them up without over polishing."


Readers’ Feedback

Cathy N remembers:
"Pat, they just had a similar trunk on Antiques Roadshow. She told the gal to go ahead and polish up the brass and that it could be cleaned even more than she had originally cleaned it."
Jo S adds:
"Most of them aren’t worth a whole lot. I don’t think the Keno brothers will come after you if you prefer to shine ’em up. The only exception would be if it was owned by someone famous, or if it’s a rare example. Otherwise they generally sell for around $100." [I need to shop where Jo does. eBay shows plain old trunks without the compartments and drawers for a minimum of$150US.]
Cheryl E writes:
"I have one that is just absolutely beautiful , and very old stemming from the early 1800, in excellent shape for it’s age. I washed it off with a soft soap, dried it off and then on the wood used Old English Oil. The metal pieces I left alone.

It was passed down to me.. with the death of my grandmother, but I didn’t have room for it .My mother kept it for me and used it as a linen chest with her bed linen and comforters. I brought it home.

I keep wondering, exactly who it belonged to (grandmother never said who she got it from) It may have gone west in a wagon train to Oklahoma. I would love to know it’s story. I don’t know who will get it when I am gone, but I hope they care for it too."

Myrt’s Decision?

Based on a quick-polish on half of the ZCMI label using Brasso (above) and treating the very dry leather saddle soap (below), Ol’ Myrt will indeed take Monta’s advice and clean things up just a little bit. I do not want to see any more cracks in the leather.

 

IMAGES: From the author’s personal collection.
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Myrt     🙂
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Posted On: December 28, 2020 at 01:31PM