Knowing Collecting And Restoring Early American Furniture Ninth Impression

MY FIRST encounter with the problems involved in the refinishing of antique furniture occurred many years ago and impressed me deeply. A friend of mine, while somewhat overzealously engaged in scraping a venerable mahogany table top with a fragment of broken glass, seriously lacerated his hand. At the gory moment I felt that he had suffered a serious accident. Subsequently, I came to realize that the damage which he had sustained was insignificant in comparison with the ruin which he had...

When To Shellac

No move toward shellacking any piece which has been cleaned with varnish remover should be made under twenty-jour hours, as this period allows the last traces of the remover to evaporate. Shellac applied too soon over traces of remover may later become white and discolored. Whatever solvent is used in cleaning furniture, great care should be taken to avoid spilling it about on the interiors of drawers or on any surface that was not originally finished. All drawers should be removed, and a...

The Philosophy Of Restoration

I SHALL assume that collectors of early American furniture intend their collections, either large or small, for actual use in their own homes. Furniture acquired for museum purposes might be considered from quite another angle. Household furniture will be put to strenuous daily service, while the furniture of a museum is for inspection only. A rash individual attempting to try a chair in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum will quickly discover that such specimens are not for use. What...

Ijilill

B HAND-IORG1 D NAILS AND BR U WITH ROUNDLD HEADS still used to denote a condition of intense and feverish industry. Hand-forged nails were made from soft, fine iron of a very good quality. They were strong and tough they bent easily but did not break. The density of texture produced by intense heat and hand-forging made them extremely resistant to rust and dampness. They were the honest productions of an honest age. Where modern cut-iron nails disintegrate in twenty-five years of exposure, some...

Tavern And Stretcher Tables

This class of tables covers a delightful variety of sizes and styles, ranging from the extremely rare and valuable oak tables of the seventeenth century to the smaller and more easily found sorts so much in use throughout the eighteenth century. Tavern tables were turned out in large numbers and were the favorite tables in the kitchens of the old homes, where they suffered much rough treatment. They often come to us minus tops, drawers, and feet. The loss of height, through wear, decay, or the...

Linecuts in Text

3 table tops and leaves 55 4 incorrect restoration of table top 56 5 drop-leaf table joints 57 6 correct and incorrect edges of table tops 58 7 the joining of boards of table tops 59 7a the joining of boards of table tops 60 8 end cleats on old tavern table tops 62 9 foot and stretcher of tavern table 63 10 incorrect restorations of tavern table feet 64 11 restoring stretchers of tavern tables 65 12 seats of windsor chairs with wedged leg-ends 75 13 wedges of windsor chair legs 76 14 making a...

Word On Collecting

A growing interest HE interest in all sorts of early American articles both _ useful and decorative has tremendously increased throughout our land. It would seem that almost every cultured American home shelters at least one member who collects or at least has some knowledge of those things which were made and put to daily use by our ancestors. Museums which, not so long ago, gave scant attention to things American, now have fine collections properly classified and displayed. Local historical...

Ornamental Hinges

I am not at all sure that the hand-forged hinges which were placed upon the outer surfaces of our early furniture may properly be called ornamental, but to distinguish them from the plain hinges used on drop-leaf tables, desk lids, and cupboard doors locations where they were hidden from sight let us use this term. H, HL, or butterfly hinges certainly appear to us as ornamental features when found upon the doors of cupboards, and they are always to be preferred to the hidden butt hinge. Of...