Antique Clock and Furniture Restoration

Antiques restoration in progress

In the photograph below you can see a rather damaged Fusee wall clock.

This clock had fallen off the wall and bounced a couple of times and broke completely apart.

We were instructed to restore this clock back to its original state this would involve re-gluing all the broken parts using animal glue remaking the brass parts and replacing the broken veneer.

The movement required a complete overhaul as shafts and wheels were broken and bent.

The convex glass was obviously broken.

smashed fusee clock

This clock required fairly insensitive repairs to the movement the bezel was bent and the glass was broken the case was definitely broken, the client phoned us in a rather distressed state asking us if this could possibly be repaired.

All restoration was undertaken in such a way whereas any repairs could not be seen by even close scrutiny.

The movement was restored throughout the case was restored using original veneers and materials and brass inlay which was missing prior to the accident was replaced.

The dial which had become dented and chipped this was stripped completely and repainted.

The client actually said that it now looks far better than before.

Below you can see the result.

fusee clock repaired

You can see below a rather spectacular Dutch marquetry long case clock circa 1680 this came into our workshop in an absolutely appalling condition you can see the progress of its restoration in other pages.

marquetry hood

Below you can see an example of an early marquetry repair on a Dutch marquetry long case clock undertaken in 1864 where they had put newspaper under the veneer to take up the thickness.

Early marquetry repair 1864

This is a broken fret from the hood of a long case clock these frets were made to go at the top of a long case clock and sometimes at the sides to let the sound out.

Example of damage fretwork from a long case clock

These frets get broken very easily, below you can see an example of some fretwork that we have made in our workshop to replace the broken frets.

Example of our fret restoration work

Below you can see a photograph of the frets inserted into the hood after restoration.

Hood with newly made frets inserted

Dutch marquetry walnut clock base circa 1680

This fine antique Longcase clock circa 1680 in Dutch marquetry and walnut, most of the marquetry is loose and the base had been repaired so badly that we had to renew all the walnut veneer. The bun feet were missing completely as somebody in the 1800s had removed them added bracket feet.

There are a profuse amount of timbers included in marquetry clocks. In this clock we have boxwood, ebony, tulip wood, laburnum, cedar and maple.

Walnut Dutch marquetry clock base.jpg

Above you can see a picture of the base moulding which had been scratch moulded and the bun feet turned in accordance with the original concept and design.

A Boulle clock with a damaged bezel

Below you can see a fine early 19th boulle mantel clock with a French movement.

These clock cases were made using turtle shell and brass - the brass was inlaid into the turtle shell and vice versa. They had fine French movements and, in this period, an external count wheel. This particular clock has had some damage where the bezel has become bent. These bezels are difficult to make round again and fit the glass as they invariably break.

Boulle clock before restorationBoulle clock before restoration with bent bezel

Dutch Marquetry Longcase Clock Circa 1680

This particularly fine and valuable longcase clock has received quite a lot of damage in its life from worm and dry rot, common in furniture of this period.

Dutch marquetry longcase clock

This profusely inlaid longcase clock has extraordinary fine marquetry work but unfortunately the timber on which it is laid is rotten therefore the marquetry needs to be removed and relayed onto a solid wooden base.

The base timber we use to restore is the same as the original construction, usually pine or oak. Below you can see a section at the top of the door ( the doors of longcase clocks of this period were cleated). This is where the timber along the top of the door is placed horizontally onto the vertical door grain and then veneered. This over time moves and cracks appears. The fine marquetry work is in the process of restoration and sections of the angels feet and foliage are missing. These will need to be replaced using contemporary timbers of the period - in this particular case box wood, ebony, laburnum and holly.

Dutch marquetry longcase door

Below you can see evidence of some of the rot, the veneer is being removed and the base made good to the original construction and then re-veneered.

longcase with base removed

In the photograph above you can see the base of the clock which is having to be dissembled totally, reglued and veneered. Below you can see the extent of the rotten timber beneath the veneer.

Rotten base side of longcase clock

William and Mary Chest of Drawers

This fine chest of drawers was acquired by our client at auction. This chest had been used in a clay potter's studio to store clay on. Clay was stored in the drawers which caused warping and the veneer was lifting, the original turned bun feet were missing and many of drawer linings were missing.

Furniture of this period was invariably made out of walnut with herringbone bandings, this banding is made from walnut straight grain cut at 45 degrees and then inlaid at 45 degrees to one another and laid on the edge of each drawer.

This chest of drawers had most of its herringbone banding missing, which we have since replaced, we have also turned four new bun feet and replaced most of the missing D mouldings these have been made out of walnut contemporary to the period 1690.


You can see that some veneer has been restored at this stage also the herringbone banding on the drawers has been repaired and some sections of moulding on the base. These repairs can be seen to be whiter than the rest of the carcass.

Most of the original drops and back plates and escutcheons were missing. Below is a photograph of a drawer with original brasses to be used in moulds for copies, on a drawer front looking rather distressed.

William Mary Drawer

Below after restoration.


This William and Mary chest has been completely restored using walnut contemporary to the period Circa 1690 the handles have been copied from the original using loss wax principle.

All the runners on the drawers have been remade, missing sections of moulding have been replaced, sections of walnut from the drawer fronts have been added and new bun feet have been made using timber contemporary to the period, the chest was then polished.

The client acquired this chest before restoration for £750 after restoration the insurance replacement price of a chest like this is somewhere in the region of £6000.

Early Victorian Loo Table

This early Victorian loo table made from burr walnut has bubbling veneer and a large split which goes right through from one side to the other.

Firstly the area is steamed profusely to remove the veneer then the crack is opened and glue poured in and clamped.

A butterfly made from timber of the same gender as the base wood, is inserted across the crack on both sides, the veneer is then re-layed.

Below a photograph of the table showing the split in the veneer and the table.

Table before repair

Below a photograph of the veneer removed and the butterfly which is inserted to a depth of half the tables thickness.

Please contact us for a free appraisal of your restoration work - contact Green and Cockburn on …
Tel : 01462 790646 or E-mail :

The British antique furniture restorers Association

We are accredited members of BAFRA, (British Antique Furniture Restorers Association).

Horologists, Conservators and Restoration Specialists To The Art, Antique And Museum Professions.

Conservation help and advice
We at Green & Cockburn are willing to help with any antique restoration project. Please contact us with your antique clocks and furniture restoration problems. Perhaps we can offer help and advice.

Historic Houses

We are Corporate members of the Historic Houses Association or HHA

Some of these fine antiques are looked after and housed in fine buildings supported by the Historic Houses Association.