Do you think whistles should be graded ?? The thought with some is that they are somewhat like coins in a way. They can be found as NOS ( new old stock ) and be relatively uncirculated or anywhere from extra fine down to good to even poor condition. But can you really go this way ?? I mean can’t you restore a whistle ?? Sorta like furniture and other antiques ?? Yeah, take it apart, straighten it out like a body and fender man and then put it back together and what was once in poor condition is now refurbished, restored, refinished… you know.
Then there is the argument against destroying the patina that took decades to develop. So much so that some actually FAKE the patina with chemicals !! I can’t say I am very impressed with the dull patina to nickle silver , but on brass and copper one has to admit it can really deepen the tone and feel of an age old whistle. Also there is the old steel patina look that is charcoal looking and feels warm and smooth to the touch. Yet it CAN get rusty and need to be cleaned and started over again. Seem to you that the patina returns quicker ??
I am no metallurgist ( did I spell that right? ) but it seems to me that there are different qualities of brass and the patina is different on them. Copper seems generic in quality on whistles and besides that there aren’t that many whistles with copper are there?? Personally I LOVE the nickle silver that has a slightly yellow look to it. Some whistles are almost white looking nickle silver and then there are those sunny yellowish ones to die for 🙂 — Must be more copper in the mix I suppose. For me the bottom of the pile is chrome. Nothing more frustrating than to find an old whistle, say 1883 and then sombody went and had it chromed, even though it was already partially worn !!! Now it can spend the next hundred years flaking off, but never all flaked off like you would like.
Speaking of plating degrdation, where does that plating go to on nickle plated whistles anyway ?? Gotta look that one up somewhere. I have many whistles that the plating has faded away. Not really worn away, just kinda dissolved off ?? How does THAT happen ?? I mean that’s its JOB isn’t it ?? To plate and all. Yet there you have it, leaving the metal underneath exposed. Why plate it, if you can’t rely on it ?? Nickle over brass. Why not just nickle ?? Dunno……yet