Furniture. Friday , March 09th , 2018 - 13:48:31 PM
A simple way to improve antique pieces of furniture, such as a chest of drawers, is to fit new handles. The Victorians had a habit of replacing metal handles with round wooden knobs, often leaving the marks of the former back-plates showing. Sets of old handles can be picked up cheaply from antique and second-hand shops but make sure that the back-plates are large enough to cover any existing indentations.
Furniture Veneer, Inlay, Marquetry and Boulle: Their artistry fell into four main categories: veneers, strips of mahogany or walnut, waxed and polished to enrich their grain and colour; marquetry, patterns and pictorial designs built up from a variety of different woods; inlay, which achieved a similar effect using pieces of tortoiseshell, mother of pearl, ivory and ebony; and boulle, named after a French family of cabinet makers in the 17th and 18th centuries whose furniture was decorated with designs in brass, picked out in black pigment and filled in with inlay. The skills of these craftsmen linger on in many small individual firms. Many of these antique pieces fetch an unbelievably high price at auctions around the globe, especially if they are from sought after craftsmen from early Victorian periods.
Finding suitable replacement materials for inlay and boulle antiques is an even greater problem. They tend to use more complex and varied materials. Antique and second-hand shops often have boxes containing suitable oddments and it is worth searching through them to find matching pieces. As a last resort, missing pieces of inlay can be built up with synthetic resins or wax, coloured to match. If boulle has lifted seriously or is bent, leave the repair to an expert restorer; but if the lifting is only slight, carefully remove the section and scrape clean all the dirt. Stick with an epoxy resin adhesive and weight it down until the glue has dried.
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