Restorations

"Dear Jim,
Thank you for your great ivory restoration work. My customer came in to pick up her bracelet and was thrilled and thankful that you were able to save the bracelet. If I need any work in the future, I will definitely give you a call."

Lee Ann Miller
Garden of Gems Jewelers
Pinole, California

"Dear Jim,
It looks absolutely wonderful! Thank you so very much for your care and concern and knowledgeable work. Believe me, it will never get tangled in a bunch of kids' jeans in the washer again."

D. Dreher
Black Creek, Wisconsin

Ivory restoration is time consuming, very detailed work for any skilled scrimshander to undertake. Persons thinking about getting a piece restored need to be aware that quality restoration work can take time – so be patient.

I do accept work for restoration and, having been a member of both the Denver and national Better Business Bureaus, my work is guaranteed, however, each piece is going to have its own unique requirements and while I can give you an estimate over the phone, I must physically examine a piece before I can quote a final price for restoration. Some restorations are obviously easier and less expensive than others, but pieces that have broken or missing parts that need to be fabricated to match the existing art will be more costly and require more time to complete. That being said, my prices are very reasonable and usually far below what you might expect to pay.

Before After Ivory Restoration

Before and After
One of eight antique ivory panel restorations.
The owner had previously been told that the pieces were a "total loss".

My uncompromising concern is for quality and invisibly matching the restoration effort to the original work of art. This attitude has consistently made my work desirable to both industry professionals and private individuals when it comes to restorations and/or reinking. I have restored everything from "lost" scrimshaw images to historic ivory tusks carved by ancient Chinese artisans.

"Never has writing a check been such a pleasure for me. You are a wonder!"

Dr. S. Meadows, Beckley, West Virginia

Pieces that need to be reinked must be examined to determine the difficulty of reinking. Pieces that have a large number of scratches as a result of wear or damage are more difficult to reink than pieces with few or no scratches. Also, color reinking is more difficult to color match and complete. "Quickie" reinking services are certainly available out there, but the results are invariably disappointing because proper reinking requires more than just wiping on some ink. It requires careful recutting and restoration of the original image.

U.S. dime illustrates size of micro pierce-carving.
Each restored 1 1/2" x 2 1/2" ivory panel took one week to micro
pierce-carve by hand to exactly match remaining original antique pieces.

Ivory is very reactive to its environment, chemicals and light sources. Properly used, certain chemical compounds and light sources can be successful at removing stains, cleaning or even bleaching ivory . But, in my experience, the many chemicals and processes touted by laymen on the Internet produce marginal results at best.

The compounds I use in my restoration work are proprietary, formulated as a result of many years of personal experience and work with professional colleagues. And they work. I have removed stains others could not and then restored the original patina on those same ivory pieces.

I have removed stains and restored the patina on pieces valued in the thousands as well as those having only sentimental value. All with the same attention to quality restoration.

"My rehabilitated walrus arrived, and he looks great – wouldn’t even know that he had broken feet. Thanks so much for taking such good care of him."
-Donna W., Groton, Connecticut

Cracks in ivory can be minimized, and in some cases they can be repaired almost to the point of invisibility, but no one can guarantee a totally invisible ivory crack repair. A quality restorer may repair a crack to near invisibility, but guaranteeing such a result is not professional and one should be wary of anyone making such a statement. Some repairs may involve the use of simple materials, while others may require more involved techniques. No matter the materials or techniques, however, a near invisible repair is difficult to achieve and a quality repair requires extreme care on the part of any restorer.

"I received the bracelet today. I rubbed my finger over the inside and I cannot tell there was a break. I don't know how you did it but thank you so much."

-D. Beasley, Louisville, Kentucky

Restorations and reinkings must be discussed with me directly to determine exactly what is needed. Prices are figured on cost of materials + the labor involved. You will be given a guaranteed price. If more time or work is eventually required to complete the repair, the price to you remains the same.

 

Before and After
Antique carved ivory sculpture with broken and missing pieces in necklace and crown.

"Amazing! I can't even tell where the missing pieces were ."
-J. Jacobson, Morrison, Colorado

"A few times in my life have I been able to look back and say to myself, 'That was a GREAT decision on my part.' You are one of those times I will add to that list. You are a true master and I can not thank you enough!"

-D. Marsalis, Flippin Arkansas

Restorations usually take 2 - 3 weeks to complete. Some may take less or longer, depending on the work required and the work ahead of it on my studio table.

Click here to email me.

OR...

Phone me at (303) 234-1946

I often do museum and museum quality restorations and have been consulted by both private and government organizations on restorations, but those who feel the need for a certified museum restoration and are willing to pay the additional cost may want to contact:

American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)
1717 K Street, N.W., Suite 301
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 452-9545