At a recent Antiques Roadshow in Ireland, a man brought in a Georgian silver table for valuation. Furniture expert, Lennox Cato spotted that the table had been restored and this reduced the value of the 1740 table by several thousand pounds.
The table was used to display silverware and had been restored by removing all the dirt to reveal the wood surface. Lennox explained the difference between restoration and conservation of silver tables:
“For me when I see silver tables, Irish silver tables, they are normally quite black because of the fires and the peat fires, because peat is very sooty, and that’s part of its character. And one of the things I would advocate is when you have things restored, have a look at them and think, ‘Should this be restored or should this be conserved?’ And that’s the difference.”
He explained that conservation would have retained some of the table’s wear and tear. He valued a conserved silver table at around eight to twelve thousand pounds. A restored table is worth a lot less at around three thousand pounds. The owner of the table was shocked and disappointed by this low valuation.
Preston and district antique dealers have antique sofas, antique chests and antique dining tables for sale. Many of them will show signs of wear. If buyers are considering Restoring their antique purchases, first seek the advice of an expert in case, like the Irish silver tray, any work decreases the value.
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