Genuine fine antique chairs become scarcer as time ticks on due to fatigue with function and unnecessary destruction. Poor and inappropriate furniture repairs due to operators not possessing the necessary skills also increase the scarcity. It is important to always use a reputable and skilled restorer.
Our client approached us with a dining chair from the 1880’s which was bequeathed to her by her maternal grandmother as one was for each granddaughter. After receiving the chair she had it repaired and re-upholstered however within a short time with only gentle use the lower back carved section again broke away. The chair remained in her lounge room as a decorative piece for several decades but constantly annoyed her until we were presented with the repair and re-upholstery task.
The lumbar carved section had broken away for two reasons; only an average quality PVA glue had been used for the repair and where the timber had fractured there was burl grain so it was originally flawed. We chipped away the remaining burl timber then stage by stage rebuilt the carved section in question using two-pack epoxy resin. Each section was masked-up and filled with resin then sanded into shape. After this was completed the re-built section was stained to match the remaining timber work.
The existing upholstery was then completely removed with new jute webbing being fitted, coil springs then laced in and tied down and a hessian overlay fitted. A synthetic thumb roll was then fitted to the seat edges and filled in with high density premium padding then a bonded polyester overlay. The chair was then upholstered in a black cut pile cotton velvet and finished with twin piping. This method reduces the cost for our client but also creates a usable and durable seat however not authentic of the period.
Our client was elated with the finished result especially because the chair would once again become a functional piece of furniture.