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AFCA Forums > Antique Fan Collectors Association > Pre-1950 (Antique) > Chasing Perfection | GE BMY Restoration

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Chasing Perfection | GE BMY Restoration  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Jan 28th, 2022 10:35 pm
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Alec Burns
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(TL;DR: I restored a fan. Before and After photos are below.)



It has been a while since I have been on the forum, and even longer since I have worked on a fan... over 3 years actually. In this time though I never stopped buying fans, I can't stop. Reading the posts on this forum and being in this community since 2015 tells me there must be some type of previously undiscovered mental attribute that is fan collecting. I like all antique things, but for whatever reason antique fans just speak to me, sometimes they keep me up at night thinking about the types I haven't found in the wild yet or how to best work on one I currently have. I don't know, maybe I should speak to my therapist.

Well anyways, about a year ago I was in Denver for work and happened to see this BMY on the marketplace nearby. Was able to negotiate a bit and snagged it for $60. As soon as I saw it I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it, MAKE IT WHITE! Now if you know me, you know I never like to restore fans. It's a hot debate, but in my opinion, as long as the paint is at least 75% there and the patina is even, the most I recommend is to electrically refurbish the insides and preserve the rest, like a fine art conservator may do. My reason for this is because the original Japan is stronger and more durable then almost anything we have now, and true 100 year old patina on brass is special and jeweler's for many years have desperately tried to match this effect to little or no success. Also philosophically, most of these fans have survived 2+ national scrap metal drives and sometimes 100+ years of wear, meaning at least someone at any given time saw the beauty in them, who are we to alter its history and therefore its future? Alright, I'll get off my soap box, and this is purely just my personal opinion. And to be clear, RUST IS NOT PATINA. So when I saw this complete BMY with the paint almost 100% shot, I thought it was a great opportunity to take all of the skills I've learned with restoration from the wonderful members here and put them to the test, restore this fan inside out, perfectly...

I soon discovered that there is no such thing as perfect. Mistakes were made, some compromises had to be met , and all I could do is focus on making each little part as perfect as possible to get as close as I could to perfection when every piece came together. The result, a fan, not perfect, not anywhere near the excellence I have seen from other members on the site, but a beauty that I and others will cherish hopefully for another 110 years. Thank you to everyone's knowledge and expertise that helped make this possible. I'm looking forward to which one I'll work on next!

 

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