Wednesday, January 11, 2012

To Polish or not to Polish

photos by Joe Gibbons

Joe Gibbons of Gondola di Venezia sent me this one.
He writes:
Our older gondola "Firenze" here in Boston is 18 years old this season.
As you know this boat was aquired through Danielle Bonaldo's Squero. Our original intention was to have just the one gondola built "Maria" by Thom Price back in 2000/2001
As our gondola progressed with all the carvings and great detail,
a local friend of Danielle, also a gondolier with a few bucks attempted to purchase our new gondola. This situation was stressful and disappointing to say the least. After considerable negotiation and frustration, Thom Price stepped up for us and brokered us a great deal that ulimatley got us Firenze and Maria. 
Danielle's friend was willing to wait considering the squero was going to replicate our gondola for him. Also knowing now he had a buyer for his gondola which was built in 1994.
My initial reaction to all of this was full of four letter words, but in the end we really got a great deal and on top of that we actually developed a friendship with this Venetian gondolier and his family. They actually attended the Vardo ceremony at the squero before the gondolas were shipped here to Boston Win-Win!!
The real prize was in the end, they sent their Cavalli off with us to Boston. They were not included in the deal (a gift to us) but we think they got some nostalgic vibe by having their gondola and Cavalli gracing the water here in the USA. 

      This pair of Cavali has adorned several gondolas and stayed with this family for many years. My recollection was that the previous gondolier claimed they could be 60 plus years old. This would make them antiques!  I do not doubt it! Looking at the iron stands that pass through the corbala and the detail in the brass, not to mention the actual size and weight..They are very unique considering the newer cavalli we see today.

     Here comes the dilemma! Do we polish these bad boys and really show them off and give Firenze the respect and dignity that we feel she demands.She is a lady after all, and I've yet to meet a lady that wants to look old and dull.  Or simply let time, age and some dulling effects of the patina reflect the true grace and character of this beautiful boat. 

    As you can see in the photo above we have made our decision,
but I would like to hear what other enthusiasts out there have to say Good or Bad!

So, If there's one thing I know about gondoliers
(aside from the fact that they're interesting),
is that they all have opinions.
What would you do?
Polish or not polish?
Leave a comment - even if you don't have cavalli of your own.


Bepi Venexiano said...

Polished. People like shiny things. Our gondolas get more "oohs and aaaahs" when the cavali are bright.

Gondola Greg said...

To polish, then to clearcoat.

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