Specialist Restoration of Antique Upholstery
Green and Cockburn Antique Restoration have been under taking traditional upholstery for over 49 years. We specialise in the restoration of traditional upholstered furniture (that is furniture using horsehair and traditional upholstery methods). All upholstery is undertaken in the very same way and period concept as when they were originally made. We do not use upholstery foam or modern upholstery tacks.
When an item comes in to our workshop for restoration it is first stripped down to the carcass, at this stage any horsehair will be removed and washed for later use, and any woodworm infestation will be treated. Any missing items such as legs, arms, mouldings are made using timber contemporary to the period.
A 19th Century Napoleon III Egyptian Revival gilded ormolu Mounted Throne Armchair.
This very fine chair as you can see is in need of restoration, it came into our workshop requiring for it to be reupholstered and totally restored all the joints to be made sound and the gold sphinxes and and ormolu mounts and griffins to be gilded in 24 carat gold.
Dismantling this sort of thing is very time-consuming as most of the screws have become rusted within the frame in the joints of the chair all require restoration.
Chairs of this nature were quite often made in what we call a campaign style meaning that they were often all screwed together apart from the main jointing structure which was glued henceforth they could be assembled away from a workshop.
Chairs of this nature are extremely rare and extremely valuable.
We are still waiting for the client to choose the upholstery which would invariably be made from silk.
In the photograph on the right you can see the Sphinx and Griffin which has been removed from the right-hand side of the chair prior to gilding.
In the next photograph you can see the chair after restoration, the old upholstery has been removed repairs have been undertaken to the frame, woodworm infestation treatment has been undertaken, the chair has been re-assembled and polished.
New webbing, springs hair and bridal ties have been added calico and the final material layer have been applied to the chair the chair now fully upholstered is ready to receive the gold work.
Originally these brass items were fire gilding using Mercury, we are not allowed to do that these days therefore we have to undertake a process of electroplating to gild the items this is slightly more complicated process in many ways and takes rather more time is it all relates to the conductivity of the item.
These gilded sphinxes and griffins were then applied to the chair as you can see below.
An example of our traditional upholstery
Below you can see can see a really rather fine 17th-century French walnut framed chair the upholstery on this chair originally had gold and silver thread inlaid into the surface of the upholstery.
The client would like us to undertake the restoration of the chair and the upholstery to copy very much the original material including the silver and gold thread.
The original material will be taken off very carefully and kept for prosperity as it is really rather delicate.
The first process of restoration would be to remove the upholstery very carefully remove any understaffing which in this period is very often grass or heather horsehair was used sometimes on particularly smart and important items for the role around the edge, when these items have been removed the chair would be checked for woodworm and infestation if any is found it will be treated.
The restoration of the timber will then proceed.
Chippendale Period chair before and after repairs .
This fine Chippendale chair now French polished and upholstered in red Leather and brass nails.
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Tel : 01462 790646 or E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org