View single post by George Durbin
 Posted: Thu May 15th, 2014 01:36 am
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George Durbin

Joined: Fri Nov 2nd, 2012
Steve Stephens wrote: Patina, or beausage??

There is a difference and maybe fans lend themselves to acquiring beausage over time mores than patina.

Patina: (one definition that can be applied to old fans) A surface appearance of something grown beautiful especially with age or use.

Beausage:  A coined term that I read about on the link below a number of years ago.  I think this term better describes our old fans when they have not become all rusted, oily and junked out.

I remember an Antiques roadshow where a woman had brought in a Dirk van Erp copper lamp for appraisal.  The final verdict was delivered in two parts:  1.  The lamp was worth about $40,000.  2.  Had the owner not polished the lamp it would have been worth around $70,000.  The patina had been removed leaving the lamp worth far less than if it had been left alone.

In the world of collector cars I have been seeing a lot of "barn finds" with the dust still on the cars, interiors showing much wear or deterioration, and other problems which will probably have to be restored or conserved.  Some of these cars including Ferraris, Aston Martins, etc. have been selling at auction for close to and, in some cases, for a little more than a well restored car of the same type.  Originality is hot now in the collector vehicle world.  

But we collect fans so what about patina and beausage on fans?  I think a lot comes down to personal opinion and how one desires their fans to look.  I have no restored fans in my 190 fan collection and only about 10 with polished brass, maybe fewer.  But that's how I happen to like fans and most of the old machinery and metal that appeals to me.  I think this goes back to when I was maybe 5 years ago although I don't know why.   I've always liked or preferred unrestored old things.

I think most of us would prefer an excellent original that had been been well kept for all its life and might appear close to being new.  Pieces like that are rarely encountered but most old fans will have various degrees of patina or dirt and corrosion.  I think the choice of a new looking old fan, restored or cleaned and polished, or an old 'original' fan with most of the patina conserved is a choice that the owner has to make. 

Which is worth more, restored or conserved or a totally original as found fan?  A well restored fan will often sell for significantly more than an unrestored one in very good original condition but there is also the cost of that restoration to figure into the value.  I'm with the collectors who love the look of an old fan that makes it LOOK old and not shiny and new.  I also have found that I don't care for the totally cleaned AND polished original old finishes.  Cleaned for me is good but rubbed out japan accentuates the nicks and flaws of the original old paint.  My Tesla came to me in excellent original condition but with a somewhat dull finish.  I did only minor cleaning then gave the fan a coat of Renaissance Wax to protect the finish.  The result is not over shiny as it could be made to look but it pleases me and looks old and with "beausage".  Below is the fan before I did some cleaning and waxed it.  It remains "not too shiny" and as I like it.

now thats a purty fan...