Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fully Restored Eastlake Chair - Red Toile

When Pierre delivered the Eastlake settee to our client (who lives out of town), he thought we had been exaggerating when we told him he wouldn't recognize the settee when he saw it.

He was so impressed with our work, that he was pretty sure he had the matching chair, and he wanted us to restore that one too.

This chair was equally butchered, and needed just as much work as the settee.

Again, way too much of the wood is covered for no reason.

Over half the arm is covered here.

A sneak peek:

On this chair, we found a label on the bottom, showing that it had been RESTORED by a company in nearby Nepean. This company is still in business (which is why we blurred-out the name). What is really alarming is that this company presents itself as one of the "best" in the world, having been in business for over 75 years, and if you believe what they advertise on their site, you would believe that they will carefully and lovingly restore your antiques. This is a direct quote:

(Name Withheld)'s Upholstering provides each of its clients with the highest quality workmanship available in the world. Our clients can be sure that each piece of furniture is carefully and meticulously attended to by hand, by our experienced artisans. We know that the quality of hand-craftsmanship is irreplaceable.

We'll let you be the judge of that.

Back leg:

The stuffing visible here is coconut fibre (with cotton draped on the seat).

One of the previous old covers (cover#2):

Cover #3:

Cover #4 (the original rust red - same as the settee):

Some of the damage (lots of broken wood slivers on this chair):

The arm "add-on blocks" (see the settee blog post) had been screwed-on on this chair, which left 2 large holes on each arm.

This is just awful. Why would you do this to such a beautiful chair?

This arm needed some special attention (see farther below).

Both carvings were split.

Missing wood chunks.

The webbing on this chair had been nailed in place with 1 inch spiral nails. This is ridiculous, and extremely damaging to the wood rails.

One of the arms after patches, repairs, puttying, and sanding.

The carvings were re-cut in the new section of walnut.

Chair being reglued after all the repairs to the individual components (it was completely knocked apart just like the settee).

Fully restored frame after repairs and touch-ups. The sides of the rough arm tops were in very bad shape - new wood strips were glued in place. New corner blocks were cut. New front blocks were cut, and all the old staple and tack holes in the rails were filled.


New webbing:

Original stuffing (mainly straw, moss, and cotton) in place.

Back rough cover installed, and springs tied.

Arms re-stuffed with horsehair, burlap, and cotton (see settee blog post for more photos):

Original straw seat pad (first stuffing) before installation, new burlap, and hand stitching.

Second stuffing (mainly straw and cotton, followed by a muslin rough cover):

And finally, the completed chair! What a gorgeous piece.

If you liked this restoration, be sure to check out the matching Eastlake settee.


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