When reporter Samantha Castle visited a Snowdonia antique store, she experienced first-hand the hard work that goes into making an antique cabinet ready for sale – by having a go at antique Restoration herself.
Many people in Cumbria and Lancashire have an antique dining table or Victorian oak partner’s desk, often one that’s inherited and has seen better days. An antique desk doesn’t have to be in pristine condition to be valuable; most pieces can benefit from sympathetic restoration, although this must be made clear to prospective buyers.
Samantha Castle is a journalist for the North Wales Weekly News. Recently, she had a go at furniture restoration in picturesque Llanrwst, Snowdonia. The area has a long history of clock and furniture making, making it the ideal place to site a business that restores antique furniture and longcase clocks. Both owners are skilled restoration experts, with over 40 years’ experience. Many of the items they work on are treasured family heirlooms, which are restored using traditional methods.
Having seen the fiddly nature and potential expense of rebuilding an antique grandfather clock, Samantha was put to work among the antique chests and open bookcases of the wood furniture workshop. As she nervously drilled into a 250-year old antique dining chair , she learned every member of the team has at least 25 years’ experience. First, they complete a 9-year apprenticeship, learning a wide range of skills including gilding, leathering, veneering, French polishing, upholstery, cabinetmaking and clock restoration. Suddenly, this makes the price of Victorian dining chairs in Preston antiques dealers seem even better value.
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