The Antique and Fine Furniture Department ensures the functionality of the pieces while preserving their historical integrity. The conservators in this department aim to give each piece they treat the appearance that it has been well-maintained its entire life.

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The Antique and Fine Furniture Department pairs a vast knowledge of artisanal construction methods with modern conservation techniques. Our conservators aim to preserve the historic and artistic integrity of both period and contemporary pieces. 

The Center’s Antique and Fine Furniture conservators undertake a variety of projects which range from stabilizing structures and surfaces to fabricating missing components.  Each treatment is tailored to the individual object, placing special emphasis on structural stability, historical faithfulness, and aesthetic appeal in order to ensure the preservation and functionality of the piece.

Conservation Conversations: Steve Ryan, Furniture Conservator

treatment Gallery

Lincoln Courting Couch c. 1840s. Mahogany and Horsehair Upholstery. Age-related Damage. 

LOUIS XVI TRANSITIONAL GILT-METAL MOUNTED MARBLE TOP MARQUETRY INLAID SYCAMORE, TULIPWOOD AND ROSEWOOD COMMODe. Bearing stamp for Pierre Roussel (1723–1782), Circa 1770. Age-Related Damage.

Early George II Kneehole Desk c. 1735.  Cuban Mahogany. Impact Damage.

Clothes Press c. 1760.  Mahogany. Age-related Damage.

Chevy Chase Monumental Sideboard c. 1863.  Gerrard Robinson (1834-1891). Oak.  Water Damage.

Gateleg Table In a Mid-18th Century Style. Walnut Burl. Age-Related Damage.

Meet the Conservators of our Furniture Department 

Our Furniture Department: A Retrospective

Over the years, the Furniture Department of The Conservation Center has helped conserve many works of furniture, both from museums and private clients. So this month, as the weather chills and we all get cozy in our big comfortable chairs, we wanted to highlight them, their work, and what we think are some of their most interesting and challenging treatments.

Stories related to antique and fine furniture conservation:

a looking glass to the past: preserving a window from oak park public library

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 The Conservation Center is proud to be part of a vast community of individuals and institutions dedicated to conserving the past. We recently had the opportunity to work with such an institution, the Oak Park Public Library, to help conserve a part of their history.

Wax On, Wax Off: A Look Inside The Center's Antique and Fine Furniture Studio

 

Woodworking shops through the centuries—from ancient Egypt all the way until the Industrial Revolution, have been, for the most part, relatively unchanged. Despite variations in readily available materials or slight alterations in technique passed on from master to master, the art of furniture making and conservation essentially revolves around a number of basic, yet important hand tools.


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