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Furniture Restoration & Conservation

Conservation informs Frank’s approach to antique furniture which places a strong emphasis on preservation. This approach focuses on respecting and retaining original materials, techniques and patination.

Conservation and restoration

Principles of conservation differ considerably from restoration (although they may sometimes overlap). Restoration has been widely used in the past and has often caused irreversible damage. Many restorers often radically alter original pieces by aggressive sand, using modern glues, spray lacquers and unnecessarily replacing existing components. Restores operate in an unregulated industry. Frank's approach to antique furniture is based in conservation. This more ethical approach is international recognised as the standard of best practice when dealing with historic objects. Some of the guiding principles are as follows.

An emphasis on preservation.

Documentation of work, photographic and written as required. 

The retention of as much original material as possible.

The avoidance of irreversible alterations.

 

Traditional techniques, French Polishing

An original finish which has been mellowed by U.V light is an important aspect of antique furniture. A finish well over 100 years old can be cleaned touch up and re-worked. A finish should only be striped back as a last resort. When a piece requires re-finishing traditional french polish or wax finishes are used. Frank is an expert French Polisher and has a in depth working knowledge of traditional materials and techniques. He is constantly learning through research and experimentation expanding his knowledge and skills. 

 

 

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Carved Dutch oak cabinet

This cabinet was badly damaged in transit, a combination of poor handling and old brittle timber resulted in a broken cornice and doors.

" We engaged Frank’s services to fix our late 17th century Oak cabinet. It required quite a lot of structural stabilization and work to the original finish. His knowledge of conservation and his focus on retaining the historical integrity of the piece was very impressive.  We highly recommend his work. "

Fred Crowe, Brisbane

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Lost or damaged wood carvings can be replicated and blended into the existing finish.

 

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Mechanical damage and old repairs are carefully assessed and repaired or rebuilt in a manner the retains the structural and aesthetic integrity of the piece.

 

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Marquetry can be re-glued or replaced as needed. The correct timber species are sourced and blended into the original finish.

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This cedar cradle (made buy Joseph Sly, an important colonial cabinetmaker) required structural consolidation and treatments to the finish.

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This pre French revolution commode need veneer repairs and work to the drawers the finish and Brass work was carefully cleaned then waxed.

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Detailed turnings and moldings can be reproduced, replacing loss or damaged to original material.

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