Whenever we tune into the Antiques Roadshow, we are faced with experts waxing lyrical about an antique being in its original state.
This is particularly true with antique furniture, where ‘marriages’ in the trade are frowned upon. A top should certainly match its bottom but more than that, a piece should be as it came out of the cabinet maker’s workshop.
However, it may get to a stage where a piece needs some work. Antique furniture is bound to change over two hundred years or so but the formulation of natural patinas is very different to a radical re-polish or the re-arrangement of its basic design to suit changing fashions. Also, a few scratches here and there only add to the charm of a dining table that has been well used and many years of waxing will help to give it character. Antique furniture owners will lovingly wax pieces one or twice a year to add depth to the patinas already there, the only extra care being a weekly dust.
Leaving antique furniture alone to age gracefully is not without risks. They are there to be used after all not just looked at and admired. Keep pieces out of direct sunlight and when joints wear out, that is the time to call in a good restorer. When an antique dining chair has been through a good restorer’s hands, there should be no visible trace of restoration at all.
When looking for antique dining chairs in Lancashire or elsewhere, local antiques dealers will be able to advise on the quality of any restorations that have been carried out to pieces.
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