An antique desk dealer was counting his blessings on Good Friday, when fire consumed his Restoration workshop – but spared the Victorian oak partners desks and other antique furniture in the adjacent main showroom.
The fire, which happened in Surrey, could have been much worse but for the brave action of local firemen, who – armed with breathing equipment and hoses – were able to confine the blaze to the immediate workshop area, where the owner offered a restoration service. He said:
“It didn’t go into the main showroom where the antiques are, that would have been really catastrophic. And luckily no-one was hurt.”
Nonetheless, the fire is a timely reminder to would-be restorers in Lancashire that Victorian mahogany pedestal desks and faulty electrical equipment do not mix, especially where flammable solvents are concerned. The blaze is thought to have been caused by an exploding TV set, and even though the merchandise escaped unscathed, two pieces being restored for a customer – an antique desk and an antique secretaire bookcase – were badly damaged as a result. The restorer – who has just been accepted into the Guild of Master Craftsmen and is now concentrating on Restoring, rather than selling antiques – had to break this news to the owner. Luckily, many dealers in the area have restoration workshops, and have rallied around with tools to replace those lost in the fire.
Furniture restoration services are also offered by some antique dealers in Lancashire. Any Victorian mahogany pedestal desk , no matter how care-worn, can be saved, so long as the restorer has the right skills.
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