Restoration

 

  

  A set of George III mahogany dining chairs including two carvers, moulded tapering legs and pierced back splat incorporating wheat, husk and fan motifs, A Hepplewhite influenced, fairly common design with serpentine/`camel back` top rail. c. 1800

This set of six was likely originally part of a larger set, you can often check for this by looking for marks around seat frames usually roman numerals, if you have a series then  perhaps there were more, perhaps not, but if you have a mixture with numbers above your quantity then this could be a sign of a larger set having been split up.  This is not a definite rule but certainly something to observe.

 

Being a set of one carver and five chairs,  it was decided after some careful consideration to convert the most damaged chair into an additional carver. Not a decision to take lightly,  it is not good restoration/conservation practise to alter furniture or fake one type of piece from another for profit, but an exception was made in this case. There are good reasons to have a two carver set, increasing market value, desirability and practicability, and less likely that the set will be further divided.

The chair in question required so much work to the joints such that the conversion process was little different from the restoration process in terms of reversibility. This involved the lengthening of broken rails, (or replacement with regards to some non original previous replacements) as the carvers are wider and deeper as well as the additional arms.

 

 

Repairs to a leg being blended in with the serpentine & beaded profile
These chairs are now in very good order. With no looseness, or crude brackets, or PVA or screws or nails, as present on arrival in the workshop.

 

The underside of a drop in seat. If the drop in seats are in good order and well upholstered in a traditional way I tend to keep this visible, bottom covers obscure the state of the upholstery and frame beneath and tend to sag after handling. The drop in seat frames must also be good and strong and originals are valued. Always be wary of getting antique furniture upholstered by upholsterers more familiar with modern methods, and always consider paying the extra to have the drop in seat frames restored properly if necessary.