Redipped Graniteware A Major Fire Hazard
Tami Reel of Payson, Arizona, and Tommy and Pat Franks of Maryville, Tennessee, asked me to warn readers about the potential fire and health hazard associated with redipped graniteware.
Redipped graniteware, passed off as period pieces by unscrupulous dealers, has plagued the market for several years. Inexpensive pieces of white and/or damaged graniteware are dipped in epoxy to enhance their marketability. Many collectors have paid premium prices for these pieces only to find out later that they have been deceived. Many of these fraudulent pieces are entering the market in Arkansas and Missouri.
A quick testing method to determine if a piece of graniteware has been redipped is to rub a small portion of its surface with a cotton ball saturated with acetone, allow it to stand for a minute or two, and then see if the paint can be removed with a knife. If the answer is yes, the piece has been redipped. This test will not affect or harm period pieces.
The fact that redipped pieces of graniteware are flammable is of much greater concern. The Franks placed a redipped piece on an outdoor grill. It took approximately ten minutes for the piece to reach a flash point and burn. Once the paint started to burn, it burned until nothing was left. Further, the burning process produced noxious fumes.
As an advocate of using your antiques and collectibles, I am horrified that someone might place a redipped coffeepot or teapot on their kitchen stove only to have the end result be a destructive house fire and/or physical damage from inhaling fumes. I certainly would not want to be the seller forced to defend himself from a major lawsuit filed by the victim.
The bottom line is simple. First, ask any seller of graniteware to provide a money back, no questions asked guarantee that the piece he is selling has not been redipped. Second, do not buy a piece of graniteware from anyone without getting a receipt that provides the individualís full name, address, and telephone number. If a problem does develop, you will know where to have the legal papers served following the filing of your lawsuit.