|Project by Eric M. Saperstein||posted 10-04-2009 05:52 AM||2096 views||2 times favorited||9 comments|
Typical of what comes into our shop are antiques and collectables that have had better times in the days past. Our function in restoration is to restore, conserve, repair, refinish, restructure, replace, etc. as required to regain the estetic and functional value of a given piece of furniture or artifact.
In this case a set of original circa 1790 Chippendale chairs arrived in less than perfect condition after a shipment from Denver to NJ went array. Not to mention the chairs were already full of beetle damage, joints were loose, and the finish of course was pretty well shot on the completely dried out wood.
The chairs were two that matched our clients existing set of four – and those of you familiar with values of chairs know that the value of 1 chair quadruples by having 2 chairs … a set of four at least doubles that, and again a set of six at least doubles that. Antique chairs in matched sets of 6 or more are extremely valuable as they are rare to find.
This restoration regained the estetic value and “a percentage” of the functional value. Given the extent of the beetle damage in the existing material and the client deciding not to inject with epoxy fillers the chairs are only so strong. We don’t recommend they be used but they can be on display as corner chairs in a room and complete a set of six rare Chippendale chairs.
Anyone who says not to restore something that arrives in this condition is nuts – restoration and proper care of furniture is essential to maintain its function and aesthetic value. We’re not saying take away all the dings and dents, that is impossible anyway. We are saying nobody runs around in a Ford Model T bragging about original oil! If you let furniture go without care – it turns to dust and that has no value.
Moral is – care for and if necessary restore your furniture! Stop letting it rot away where it stands because someone on TV or some antique dealer that doesn’t want to invest in a restoration told you not to touch it!
-- Eric M. Saperstein, Master Craftsman www.artisansofthevalley.com