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Excerpted from the San Francisco Chronicle, September 13, 1995

"The Specialists"
From chipped crystal to cracked tubs: If you break it, there's probably someone out there who can fix it.

When Annie and Geoff Tickner's 6-month old son yanked the cord of a Hungarian porcelain lamp and sent it crashing to the floor, the couple saw hope where most people would have seen 50 pieces of rubble.

They began by calling lamp retailers in search of a specialist they were certain must exist-but hadn't a clue how to find. A local lamp shop referred the Tickners to Mark Harrington Glassware & Repair in San Francisco, which specializes in repairing porcelain and crystal.

Two months and $250 later, the treasured lamp-a wedding present Annie's parents brought back from England-is back on the piano, looking none the worse for wear. Its intricate porcelain "basket weave" base was painstakingly reassembled and re-created when necessary, the blue garland finish again intact.

"They even touched up the paint," Annie Tickner says. "It looks just like when we got it."

...Not all repairs are cost effective. But less elaborate fixes-such as a chipped rim on crystal stemware-are cheaper than replacing the item. An average grind-and-polish costs about $20, according to Linda Gotelli and Connie Larios, co-owners of Mark Harrington.

"Our Crystal repair people can grind and polish out chips on beautiful Steuben and Baccarat vases and crystal stemware, and we can restore porcelain even if the pieces are missing," Gotelli says. "With the high cost of replacing porcelain and crystal, it is often more cost effective to repair and restore family heirlooms."


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