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Metal and Glass


MORAVA GLASS STUDIO (Oak Park) repairs stained, leaded, and art glass windows and lamps. The owner, Peter Morava, has a lot of experience with Arts and Crafts and Prairie-style pieces, including Frank Lloyd Wright items, but he also repairs Victorian, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau styles. Repairs can include edge gluing glass to fix broken or damaged pieces or resoldering broken joints. In Old Irving, CIRCLE STUDIO specializes in repairing and restoring stained glass and offers thermal panes on old and new art glass windows, which both protects the glass and increases energy efficiency. The shop can also repair glass tabletops and glass lampshades. DAVID WIXON AND ASSOCIATES (Glen Ellyn) exclusively handles full restorations of stained glass in homes, churches, and other public spaces, particularly in cases where structures need to be reworked, such as deteriorating frames and poorly fitting transoms. “We have unique skills,” he says. “We are able to match old techniques.” While TAYLOE GLASS (Oak Park) mostly deals in replacing window glass, it can also repair cracked glass on furniture and tabletops. UNIVERSAL INSTRUMENT COMPANY (Palatine) primarily creates and repairs glass items for commercial industries, but it can also repair blown glass objects. For repair and restoration on vases or objets d’art, try COSTUME JEWELRY REPAIR HOUSE in the Loop, THE CRYSTAL CAVE (Wilmette), and RECHERCHÉ (Skokie).


THE CRYSTAL CAVE (Wilmette) on the North Shore has cornered the market on crystal in the area since it opened 40 years ago. Although its main business is selling and engraving crystal giftware, the shop also repairs both crystal and glass stemware, figurines, bowls, vases, picture frames, lamps, and chandeliers, to name a few. The shop does not melt down glass or crystal, but rather glues pieces back together or polishes the edges back to smoothness. The Crystal Cave has clients from all over the country based on referrals from the Swarovski crystal company, and the shop can re-glue Swarovski figurines. In West Town, ARMAND LEE & CO. repairs glass objets d’art, from figurines to vases, as well as practical items like stemware.


Replacing and refinishing hardware can be tricky in older homes. AL BAR-WILMETTE PLATERS (Wilmette) carries a vast collection of vintage and reproduction doorknobs, back plates, screws, hinges, and lock sets offered under its custom hardware arm, WILMETTE HARDWARE, which also offers replating services. The company can also replicate hardware for clients who can’t find a close match among the styles available.

In River North, CLARK AND BARLOW is an old-fashioned hardware store downstairs and a decorative hardware kingdom upstairs, with 10,000 items available for order, many of which match vintage hardware, including doorknobs, kick plates, hinges, drawer and window pulls, and bathroom hardware.

VILLAGE TRUE VALUE HARDWARE (Western Springs) carries a large selection of hardware in-store and can source reproductions to match existing hardware for doors, windows, locks, and latches.

CAVALIER ANTIQUE LIGHTING in Lake View carries antique doorknobs, push plates, window locks, window lifts, doorbells, hinges, window pulls, and a myriad of other hardware. In Rogers Park, CLARK-DEVON HARDWARE carries specialty hardware, such as radiator parts, for older buildings. THE BELLOWS SHOPPE (Winnetka) repairs antique hardware and has a selection of replacement door hardware on-site, or the shop can cast a duplicate of the original. And for those who want to match old hardware and don’t mind a hunt, SALVAGE ONE in West Town has a collection of vintage hardware pulled from demolished buildings.


Some people take black splotches or cloudiness to be part of the character of an antique mirror. But for those who want to gaze upon their pristine reflection, ARMAND LEE & CO. in West Town is the only place in the Chicago area we could find that offers resilvering services for mirrors. The process includes chemically removing the old finish, cleaning the glass, and resilvering through another chemical process. The service runs $39.60 per square foot, so the cost may only be justified for a valuable piece.


AL BAR-WILMETTE PLATERS (Wilmette) started as a silversmith shop in 1937 and has added replacement and custom hardware, as well as lighting, clock, and piano repair since the Bettenhausen family took over in the 1970s. The shop offers nonabrasive silver and sterling repair and polish on tea sets, candlesticks, trays, and the like (for a full list, check its specialty website albarsilver.com). It can also solder broken parts and cast missing pieces in all manner of metals, including bronze, brass, and copper.

The West Town repair dynamo ARMAND LEE & CO. offers silver polishing and repair. Barbara Rosin, from River North antiques shop Douglas Rosin, trusts VALENTINE MANUFACTURING JEWELERS in the Loop to repair silver pieces. The owner, Ron Valentine, says he can take care of almost any object, from tea sets to frames.


Illustration: Charles Wilkin

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