So we tried rust solvent ... slathered it on and waited.
Frankly, I'm not sure how much that helped.
In the end, the husband had to chip away at the rusted parts and finally managed to pry it apart enough to remove the old faucets.
[Inkybinky checking out husband's handywork - she is insanely fascinated by sinks]
Installing the new ones was a breeze and they are -lovely-!
They work so much better than the old ones, and of course they are shiny, new and sparkly!
Now I really have to check into having the sink professionally refinished. It got banged around a bit and now looks really worse for wear. I'll keep you posted how that goes.
[The menagerie follows me around all the time. Obviously you never know when Mom will start cooking dinner
.... or turn on the sink ...or flush the toilet, and it's good to be nearby when that happens. ]