Inlay Repairs

Figures 543-5 show the extensive renovation and repair of a set of six Regency-style chairs carried out by Mr CM. Lacey of Brighton, England. (The appellations 'Genuine Antique', 'Genuine Regency' etc., etc., cannot be applied to any furniture made after 1830, which is the fixed datum line. As it would be impossible to distinguish between furniture of the same type or style made in, say. 1820 and 1840, any claim to genuineness must be supported by an original bill of sale or other trustworthy documentary evidence. The terms 'Antique Style', 'Regency Style', etc. therefore mean exactly what they say, i.e. 'in the style of . . .'. They could be genuine antique but are not claimed as such). The chairs in question were beech framed stained in imitation of rosewood, with a beautifully executed Boulle inlay of brass and rosewood veneer on the curved back rails; as there was no point in using old beech, even if it could be obtained (beech is highly susceptible to woodworm), new wood was used throughout. As some of the Boulle inlays were damaged and others althogether missing, rubbings of a complete inlay were taken, a clear tracing made and glued to sheet brass of equivalent thickness and colour (brass is obtainable in several tones and colours according to the composition), and

543 Renovating Regency-type chairs

543 Renovating Regency-type chairs

545 Brass inlay completed

544 Brass inlay part cut 544 Brass inlay part cut the brass sheet then glued to a thick rosewood veneer. The pattern was then cut out with a fine jewellers' piercing saw, the parts assembled and glued to the rails with shaped cauls and G-cramps/C-clamps. All new work was then stained, the rosewood markings drawn in with Indian ink, which was the usual practice of the time. and french polished. It was then distressed by the usual methods, i.e. beating with rubber or hide hammers, hammer-heads covered in sacking, barbed-wire wrapped round a stick, round pebbles, etc., and scratched with the milled edge of a new coin, with parts which would be expected to show wear rasped or sanded away. No attempt was made to fake or deliberately deceive with the inclusion of worm-eaten timber or simulated worm holes, and the distressing was only carried out sufficiently to fade in the new work with the old. The completed chairs were then sold in good faith and to a reputable dealer as 'Regency Style, extensively renovated".

545 Brass inlay completed

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