The antique Georgian mahogany chest on chest come in for restoration from a private client who bought it privately recently. The chest on chest was in a fair condition considering it was dated from around 1740 . The chest was constructed from solid mahogany from Cuba on the carcass side , mouldings and draw fronts. The draws and draw bottoms were made from oak . With the period the draw bottoms run from front to back and they used quarter cut oak boards.
The restoration of the carcass needed was damage to the mouldings around the top section , some were badly damage from old repairs and cracked and become loose. The top moulding was badly damage , with some of the moulding missing . The carcass rails had old repairs done to them and patches along the rails. This was to be replaced during the restoration. The sides of the carcass had some splits down them. This is down partly to its age and the wood drying out . The base section had damage to the feet and old glue blocks fallen of with the feet becoming loose and spitting the wood. The main problem with this was that the brushing slide was missing and a new one was to be made to replace the missing item using period timber.
First job to do is the draws, the draw fronts had some missing and damage mouldings around the the draw fronts. This is down partly due to how the draws were constructed from this period as it’s the draws stop against the rails and will eventually damage the fine mouldings. New wood was cut in and shaped to match. The draws were badly worn and was running on the draw bottoms. The damaged wood was removed and new timber cut and fitted . This would be planed to fit the carcass later on .
The brass handles were mainly original apart from a few odd back plates and key escutcheons . One of each was removed and sent of to be copyed by optimum brasses . The brushing slide was made from period timber I had in storage . The oak was planed and and the front mahogany moulding made and shaped . Once all the repairs were done to the carcass with new mouldings cut and fitted around the draws, new timber fitted to the front rails, the top moulding had new mouldings made and splits repaired. I could begin cleaning down the old dirt and polish . Washing down the surfaces and cleaning the old dirt gets washed into the new repairs ,this will help to age and colour the wood .
After allowing to dry I could begin to French polish the chest on chest, this is done over a period of days allowing the polish to soak into the wood and build up that depth of shine you expect from period furniture . After the polishing I will wax down the furniture and knocking of the high shine of the furniture and leaving a depth of Sheen. The brass handles were cleaned and highlighted with fine wire wool and put back on.
Working with antique furniture you will never know what you will get to see when restoring antiques . The draw bottoms had shrunk over years. With previous restorers and owners it’s common to use cloth or paper that is glue in place with animal hide glue to help strengthen the drawsand prevent dust inside the draws. A lot of this was fallen of and replaced with cloth and stained to match the draws. Some previous owners had written their names and address . This was kept as it was part of its history
The brushing słide Made from period timber and fitted with period style pull handles.Once the chest was all finished and I was happy the tallboy could be arranged to be delivered back to its customer for years of use