A New Way to Spot Repairs on Pot Lids

A New Way to Spot Repairs on Pot Lids – Greg Dean

There has been a lot written about how to spot Pot Lid repairs over the years. Most now understand the advantages of Ultra Violet lamps and magnification. Personally my favourite is using the high magnification of a jeweller’s loop, or if my PC is handy, a USB microscope. Unfortunately this only works if the item you’re viewing is physically available. What can one do to assist reviewing pot lids off the Internet, or digital photos?

To my knowledge there’s no such thing as a perfect repair. The following is the process I use to help review items I own and are considering to purchase. Most photo editing programs have an option to “invert” an image. By this I mean converting a normal colour image to as if it was a negative. Most pot lids run a white background. White is very hard to pick up differences in colour with the human eye often playing tricks. Personally black is far easier. Let’s take a look at a few images and see reviewing in this manner unveils.

The first item is quite a hard shaving mug by HP and WC Taylor. I bought this on eBay just before returning to Australia. I was very happy with the item but unfortunately I couldn’t see it until I unpacked my container two and a half months after the auction had ended. Having shipped my items in summer from Florida, everything in that sealed metal box pretty hot. Unfortunately, or fortunately whichever way you look at it, the repair became very obvious after the journey. Take a look at the bottom of the inverted image for cloudy area in black is exactly where to the hairline cracks appear in clearly this item at one time was dropped.

The next is a HP and WC Taylor shaving lid owned by a friend. This item I know has been repaired and I think most folks would pick this up, however when you invert the image the outer rim lettering becomes more evident to have been redone, in addition to the area under the figures arm shaving.

Next image is a rare Lid and lid from Montréal Canada. Believe there is only one or two of these out there. This one had been split in two and re-joined. Again most advanced collectors will pick this up but for those with a less trained eye, inverting the image shows a cloudiness through the transfer from one o’clock to seven o’clock.

The next is a Royce and Easterly lid and jar. This was in an auction house in Pennsylvania towards the end of last year. The first thing of concerns is the colour of the face doesn’t match the base. This can sometimes happen with a substitute base, when you look at the link inverted though, the colour is very cloudy and this particular lids face has been resealed. Sometime these are known to flake (like blue Touches) and I guess that’s what happened with this one. If you take a look at the unevenness of the black on the face, (cloudy areas) what you should see is a consistent colour all over. Unfortunately when you add a coating to lids, it’s very hard to get it even.

The following is how to navigate to “invert” in Photoshop.