Restoration – Conservation
Often we are asked if a piece is worth restoring. We can help you decide the best course of action for your piece or even if any work should be done at all. For more about this subject see the “refinishing and repairing questions” in our FAQ section. The following photos show some very nice pieces that were brought to us for various forms of restoration-conservation.
Duncan Phyfe Sofa
Circa Early 19th century [Restored 2020]
After making an extensive search and with notable books on the subject I found a smaller settee with similar lines and especially the richly
carved Parcel Gilt classical claw feet which are one of the hallmarks of the Phyfe workshop. The write up on this piece said “rare and original 1816 New York Classical Mahogany Settee most certainly attributed to the workshop of renowned New York City Cabinetmaker Duncan Phyfe” This particular piece was for sale under Duncan Phyfe furniture and had a price of over $10,000 USD.
The larger sofa that we restored brought the real craftsmanship to light after removing the fabric. Whomever crafted this sofa was a master joiner and furniture maker. Attached are various photos of the work in progress as well as before and after shots.. Phyfe opened his shop in 1794 and the exact date of construction for this piece is unknown.
To make this project more exciting the customer supplied us with history of the sofa. The great-grandfather of the current owner was Ambassador Henry White. He was a well known and respected
diplomat during the late 19th century and early 20th century. He worked under Theodore Roosevelt and was a signer of the Treaty of Versailles. Ambassador White lived from 1850-1927.
This important piece of Americana moved from Rome to Paris and will now reside in the White-Meyer House in Washington D.C. Ambassador White supervised the construction.
Again, as a conservator of fine furniture, it has been a privilege to undertake this job.
Period Philadelphia Dining Table with D Ends, Seven Leaves, and Elaborate Acanthus Craved Floral Decoration
There was extensive water damage to this table with many splits in the top and base, large split in the cylinder base. Butterflies were needed to secure all of the splits. We restored the entire piece as directed by the client.
Very Fine Chippendale Sofa
This piece needed extensive work to the frame. We saved as much of the original as possible. After many re-upholstery jobs the wood was very brittle due to the tacks.
Important Teak Dining Room Chairs
Restored water damaged important teak dining room chairs. The finger joints were re-glued,
chairs refinished and the seats reupholstered with leather. These chairs are by Danish master designer Hans Wegner for Johannes Hansen.
Fine Early Pine Clock with Wooden Movement
We restored the water damaged finish and replaced missing molding on bonnet with custom molding. The wooden clock movement was disassembled, cleaned and reassembled. The gears and wheels were damaged as a result of excessively heavy weights. Correctly sized weights were located. The verge or crown wheel escapement was cleaned and the clock put back in the correct beat and time.
Important Kipp Stewart Walnut Credenza
We did a complete refinish on the Kipp Stewart walnut credenza as it was badly water damaged.
Potthast Side Chairs
This was a completed restoration and reupholstery of the six Potthast of Baltimore side chairs. The Potthast Brothers of Baltimore built hand crafted furniture from 1892 – 1975. These handmade reproduction chairs were very high quality and each piece was marked in a similar way as shown. Many pieces from their shops are in museums and private collections.
Their slogan was “The True Antiques of Tomorrow.”
Restoration of Rosewood work cabinet due to water damage.
John Wood Tall Case Clock, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
This beautiful clock needed loose parts re-glued using hide glue and was lightly cleaned.
Re-glued all loose parts and touched up damaged finish areas.
Neoclassical Empire Sofa
Major damage on the right side which had been repaired before was repaired saving existing fabric. A new carved spiral turning was made and missing veneer replaced. Original finish was saved where possible.
Repaired and carved various parts that were broken or missing. Touched up repaired areas to match and re-caned seats.
These cupboards were popular in the 1900’s. They got their name from the Hoosier Manufacturing Company in New Castle, Indiana. This exceptional example retained much of the original kitchen hardware. Many loose parts were repaired and missing wood replaced. Touched up worn finish.
Queen Anne Carved Walnut Leatherback Side Chair
Boston, MA c. 1720-1740
Tightened up loose frame using hide glue. Replaced several pieces of missing wood on turned pad foot and crest rail.
Bartolome Esteban Murillio Painting – Beggar Boys Playing Dice
This fine work of art fell of a wall. We commissioned a local conservator to repair the painting and we repaired the frame. We replaced missing plaster and cracked areas, carefully matching the existing color.
Original Chippendale Carved Armchair attributed to Joseph Short
Newbury Port, MA c. 1790
Repaired the broken pierced vase-form splat and serpentine crest using hide glue. The carved shoe was also repaired.
Early Mirror with Carved Eagle supported by a Carved Frame with Floral Carving and Egg and Dart Molding
Carved many missing parts and re-glued all loose parts. Touched up missing finish.
Kensington English Bracket Clock
c. Early 1800’s
– Repaired many loose parts, especially on the works door. Hide glue was used and the original finish preserved.
Fine Early Chippendale Secretary Bookcase
Repaired drawer blades and runners and loose feet. Replaced writing deck surface.
Federal Tambour Secretary
Loose veneer was re-glued and tambour doors repaired.
Fine William and Mary Walnut Dressing Table
New England c. 1700-1720
This fine piece had many loose parts and structural damage. We were able to save most of the original finish. The X-stretcher had many previous repairs and the reverse curves were cracked. The vase form legs were re-glued using hide glue. The top was very damaged and butterflies were used underneath for support. Loose veneer on the carcass was re-glued.
19th Century Knife Boxes
Missing veneer was replaced and frame repaired. Preserved original finish on the boxes.
Baltimore Fancy Side Chair
Loose frame tightened using hide glue.
Chippendale Carved Mahogany Drop Leaf Dining Table
Boston c. 1765
Repaired broken leg and molding using hide glue and preserving original finish.
Diminutive Eastlake Secretary
Tightened up loose frame and pigeon hole gallery, replaced inlay and felt on writing deck.
Eames Lounge Chair
Re-glued various broken parts of this nice lounge chair.
Early Tiger Maple Chippendale Desk
Repaired drawer blades, gallery and frame.
Testimonal from customer: “The desk is FABULOUS! Thank you again.”
Renaissance Revival Style Marble Top Table
We replaced a few of the missing carved motifs and cleaned the ebonized wood, and re-glued various loose parts using hide glue. For the period this is an extremely well-executed table with pleasing form.
Period Federal Inlaid Mahogany Serpentine Front Dressing Table
New York c. 1795
Re-glue loose divided storage wells and quill holders. Recessed hinged cupboard door was loose and concave line inlaid drawers had loose inlay and cockbead surrounds. The proportions of this graceful work speak for themselves.
Antique writing bureau
Re-glued numerous pieces of loose veneer and banding.
Period Federal Carved Mahogany Side Chair
Providence or Newport Rhode Island c. 1790
Re-glue the loose H-stretcher.
This secretary needed numerous veneer repairs, the hinges were repaired, and the brasses were polished.
The panels were cracked in several places and loose in others. The chair was taken apart and repaired. The draw pins used to hold it together were reused or replaced.
Eastlake Style Small Desk
This desk had many loose joints that were repaired and re-glued. The writing deck was replaced.
This graceful secretary needed various repairs to the glass and veneer. The feet also were loose.
Queen Anne Turret-Top Card Table
c. 1730 – 1750
Repairs to loose legs using hide glue. Notice the intricate dovetail work on the frame.
The face of this clock had been repainted previously but was peeling. It was repainted in house by one of our artisans.
Eastlake Style Secretary
Repairs were made to the upper doors, pigeon holes and bottom drawer surrounds. The writing deck was replaced.
Period Baltimore “Wheel-Back” Chair
Complete re-glue and cane, leave original worn finish.
This chair is one of a set of 6, making it more worthy of repair than if it was a single.
Federal Style Sewing Stand
Repaired loose frame and drawers.
This cradle arrived here with many veneer pieces in a bag. Most of the other veneer was also loose. We replaced and re-glued all of the missing and loose veneer, cleaned the finish and re-glued the stand.
William and Mary Chest
This William and Mary chest on frame had missing veneer which was replaced.
Tall Case Clock
Tryall Rider of Manchester England c. 1750 to 1760
Various parts of the case were loose and re-glued with hide glue. The wood was cleaned and waxed to preserve the original finish. The moon dial was cleaned and silver was applied to the large chapter ring, the second chapter ring and the rings above the painted moon dial. As was done in the 1700’s the silver was real and hand applied. The clock movement was cleaned and overhauled. We contracted a professional Horologist to perform the clock movement work.
Period Chippendale Mahogany Cellarette
Philadelphia circa 1765.
Clean brass, re-glue loose foot and interior brackets. Bring back sun bleached and crazed finish on one side with out removing any of the original.
William and Mary Day Bed
William and Mary day bed with stretcher base was unusable due to bug eaten wood and broken joints. We made many new pieces and stained them to match.
Period Queen Anne Carved and Figured Walnut Compass-seat Side Chair
Philadelphia circa 1750
The gracefully carved crest which flanks a central shell was re-glued. This has to be one of the most beautifully executed and well balanced original chairs we have had the privilege to study and conserve.
Chippendale Carved Mahogany Side Chair
(possibly by Benjamin Randolph, Philadelphia, circa 1770.)
Repairs were needed to breaks in the shaped C-scroll and ruffle-carved crest rail. The ruffle-carved reserve, which is directly above the pierced vase form splat, was also loose and missing various pieces of wood. The seat rails also needed several areas re-glued. We use hide glue for this type of repair.
This is a fine chair and was a pleasure to work on.
This beautiful secretary had many loose pieces of veneer as marked with all the small white bits of tape in photo.
Federal Side Board
Had small scratches, missing beading and minor veneer damage.
Tall Federal Chest
Tall Federal chest had broken foot, broken drawers, and deep scratches on side.
Pembroke Table – which is another name for a drop leaf table or breakfast table circa 1780-1800. It had a break in the top and loose hinges that were repaired.
Federal Style Desk
Federal style desk had a broken lid which was re-glued and butterflies added for strength. The brasses and finish were cleaned.
The pedestal table had been in damp storage which loosened the veneer banding and inlay around the top and edge. After replacing the loose and missing veneer the top was refinished to match the base
Period Queen Anne Inlaid Mahogany Block Front Knee-hole Dressing Table
Boston, Mass. c. 1730 – 1760
Re-glue loose bracket feet at the molded base, re-glue various loose cock-bead surrounds and clean old polish behind brasses and chased areas.
All the old fabric, springs and padding were removed before the chair was taken apart and reassembled to fix the loose joints. The chair was then webbed, springs and padding were added and covered with fabric. Trim was added to complete the restoration.
William & Mary Style Chest
The top panels were split there was some damage to the back feet and the whole case was loose. The draw pins were carefully removed and the whole case repaired and re-glued as needed. As many of the original draw pins as possible were reused or replaced for reassembly, the lid was reinforced from the bottom and the rear leg repaired.