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Second-Hand Store Find – Davenport C.1850

How’s this for a find?  Our client noticed this piece in a second hand store and snapped it up.

The piece had some veneer issues and the faux drawers down the side had a large crack all the way through.  The leather top had completely perished due to the age of the piece, and some of the drawer pulls were cracked or missing.  Also, one of the feet had come off whilst in transit to us.  It was also in need of a full clean.

With antiques in original condition it is very important to ensure that any repair or restoration work is sympathetic to the age of the piece.  Generally, whilst it is ok to repair or restore antique items in order to ensure that they retain their value the restorer must keep intact their original character.  After all, a piece must be less than 50% restored to be considered a real antique.

Our first step as always is to complete the major repair work.  After this the piece was given a deep clean all over.  We then finished with a fresh layer of French polish and a replacement leather insert for the top.

An interesting side note to this project – It had clearly been in the home or office of someone of importance as we discovered it had a Chubb detector lock fitted to it.  These locks began production around 1820 and were designed to alert the owner to tampering.  If someone without the key tried to pick the lock and look at the contents within the lock broke and the next time the owner tried to use his individual key to access the desk it wouldn’t fit and required a makers master key to open it.  Only someone who had items or documents of value would have required such a lock!

BMW E9 Dashboard Restoration

Timber is a wonderful material to incorporate into any design concept.  The look and feel of wood surfaces can be luxurious and add dimension to something that otherwise might be bland.  Car makers realised that real wood in the interior of vehicles was the height of luxury and many high-end makers used it for dashboards and interior trims.  However, age, heat and lack of proper care can cause the material and finish to deteriorate over the years.  Most enthusiasts want a sympathetic restoration of the aged parts rather than replacement, bringing their pride and joy back as close as possible to original condition.  These BMW E9 dashboards and trims were in a bad way when they arrived, showing splits and cracks in not only the veneer surface but swelling of the substrate.

And so Renowned began the long task of repairing many small (and some large) issues to get these back into showroom condition.

Complete and ready to install back in the vehicles.  Don’t they look great!

Elephant Stool

We sure get to see some interesting pieces…..This much loved elephant stool had been through the wringer and chewed on by the family dog.  We repaired the chips in the seat, gave him back his tusks and touched up his trunk.  Good as new…. our client was stunned by the result.

Piano Stool Refreshed

This stool came in for a full restoration.  Over time finishes can yellow or darken, and fabric and foam can wear and deteriorate.  We stripped back the old finish, refinished and replaced the fabric and foam.  This old family piece is looking fresh again and our client can’t wait to start using it again.

Oak Side Table

The before and after shots on this oak drop-side side table show that with a bit of TLC you can give most old furniture a new lease on life.  Our full restoration process starts with a complete dis-assemble.  We then clean-up any hardware and strip the paint or lacquer surface.  Once stripped we clean the joints and give all the pieces a full sand.  At this stage we complete any repair work that is required and then re-assemble, give it a final sand and put it through the 5 stage polish process.   As you can see it is quite an involved process, but totally worth it.  The piece once belonged to our client’s mother and they were very happy with the end result.

Restoration of Old Cabinets and Rocker Chairs

We previously restored a cabinet for this client.

Restored cabinet

She came back to us with two of old rocker chairs and pose to us the challenge of making them more modern.

Her husband had just wanted to buy new ones to replace them, but we were able to modify and reupholster for less than the cost to replace with something similar.

These are the same chairs (base and frame) but with new modified arms and upholstery.

The before and after is a real transformation.

Restored rocker chairs

Moving and broken ceramics

Moving can be brutal to fragile items like ceramics and figurines.

A client of ours damaged their ceramics during a move.

Luckily we found a talented ceramics restorer/repair specialist, Michelle, of “As It Was” Ceramics Repair to fix the damage.

Take a look at how the ceramics are now seamlessly restored to their original state. It’s as if they didn’t break into many pieces!

ceramics repair

This drinks trolley is broken and sad-looking no more

This little drinks trolley came to us looking a bit sad and tired. The client’s family was going to throw it away, but he thought it could shine again and saved it from the tip. Just look at it now!

From this…

To this…

Restored drinks trolley
Restored drinks trolley