The official definition of the word “antique” is any item of furniture that is more than a century old, and with some fine pieces dating back 4 or 500 years, there are many variations in style, and as these beautiful items were handmade by the best cabinet makers of the time, they are very well made indeed. It is rare that an antique piece would require major repairs, and the damage is usually superficial, such as a scratch or knock, yet to be able to repair something like that and leave no sign is not easy.
Restoring antique furniture, the cabinet maker must view each project individually, and with the right materials and skilled hands, the end result sees the repairs blended into the piece, and without prior knowledge, a person would be unaware that any repairs have been carried out. If, for example, a person was looking for an antique furniture restoration specialist in London, there are online companies who can take on any restoration project, and it won’t cost a fortune either.
Often this is the issue, as fabric has a limited lifespan, and if a chair or sofa is in good condition apart from the upholstery, the restorer would recommend re-upholstering the item, and with thousands of quality fabrics to choose from, you can make some changes if you prefer. Leather furniture can also be re-covered, and an established restorer would have access to a wide range of leathers, and would be able to match any existing designs.
Turning a Profit
For antique dealers, making money is the name of the game, and typically, the dealer would look for untouched items, that is, furniture that has not been restored, and with a good eye, it is possible to buy an item, have it restored, sell it on, and still make a tidy profit into the bargain. This is a very busy industry, and with different types of antiques coming into fashion at different times, a dealer needs to keep his ear to the ground. Any successful antique dealer, big or small, would rely heavily on his restoration partner, who would undertake the projects as they come in.
There really is no limit to what an antique furniture restorer can do, and the items he would work with would include the following:
- Sofas and Armchairs
- Chest of Drawers
Of course, there would be other items, but generally speaking, the cabinet maker would be able to restore any item, providing the damage is not too severe.
There are online companies who specialise in restoring and repairing antiques, and if you have a period sideboard or wardrobe that needs some work, an online search should locate the nearest expert, and after he has viewed the item in question, he will be able to quote a reasonable price.