Greenwich Magazine, July 2019 Issue: Hidden Gems
Actually, more than silver linings. We're talking about solid sterling. That's the specialty of The Silversmith in Greenwich. In 1997 Mark Fakundiny left the corporate world to take over from his father, a German silversmith who had a shop in town for thirty years. With Mark's wife, Jennifer, and cousin Mike Billowitz joining him, they do it all: appraise estates, buy fine pieces (Downton Abbey-esque tableware), sell gifts (like candlesticks and picture frames), and repair things (the broken arm of a chandelier or great-grandmother's dented coffee pot). Recently they were busy engraving trophies and graduation presents and restoring a giant lion's head door knocker a foot-tall. The craft is ancient, the tools modern, and The Silversmith a unique resource.
Greenwich Magazine, Premiere Issue, November 2015: A Sterling Reputation
Mark Fakundiny likes it when a piece of silver bears scratches, dents, or signs of wear. “It means it’s being used,” he says, explaining that he wishes people use their silver more “as part of their everyday dining experience.” As head of this family-owned business founded by his father, Wilhelm, in 1967, Mark oversees the repair, restoration, and polishing of flatware and hollowware - think tableware used as containers, such as bowls, teapots, and tureens. He uses traditional silversmithing hand tools and techniques honed under the tutelage of his father and Uncle Albert.
Mark also manages the appraisals of estate silver sets for private collectors all over the country, the engraving of trophies and plaques, and a retail arm with merchandise made up of luxurious, old-world sterling and silver-plate items, from candlesticks and platters to adorable baby cups. “It is always busy here,” says Mark, “pointing out that his typical day encapsulates what sets him apart from the competition. “I do a bit of everything, a little engraving, a little soldering, some polishing.” And about those baby cups? “People should let (the babies) use them,” notes Mark. “They are anti-microbial.” silversmithshop.com
Mark’s Tips For Silver Care:
- Wash with soap and warm water. Dry with a soft, dry cloth.
- To shine and remove tarnish, only use liquid silver polish applied with a soft cloth.
- “Don’t follow the dozens of ridiculous suggestions you find online.”
- Detergents and other household products are abrasive and will change the color of silver over time.
Best of the Gold Coast 2006
We were awarded by Best of the Gold Coast in 2006, and the plaque sent to us is displayed proudly in our Greenwich shop.
Bent, battered, scratched or missing a part, Silversmith can fix almost all the damage that you or the years have inflicted on your favorite silver -- or pewter, copper, and brass.
Silversmith's owner Mark Fakundiny reigns over a luxurious trove of sterling and silver-plate candlesticks, knives, dishes, frames, baby cups and other precious pieces at his modest shop on Greenwich's West Putnam Avenue. Some are for sale; others, repaired, restored, and polished to their former glory, are waiting to be returned to their lucky owners. Mark's father, Wilhelm, and his uncle Albert, founded the business in 1967, and Mark took it over ten years ago.
Silver takes a special type of care. Mark's advice: always wash it in soap and water because dishwasher detergent changes the color, and high heat can cause knives to explode. Occasionally polish it with a good liquid polish and a soft cloth (paste can dull the surface). And beware -- many of his repair jobs are victims of a garbage disposal.
"The business is fascinating," says Mark, whose cousin Mike Billowitz works beside him. "Every job and every piece is different."