This beautiful desk was made in Holland in 1840 ?. Every surface has intricate inlay. When the desk is pulled out, the top rolls up. Over time it became stiff. ..The wood dries out and shrinks to the point the mechanism no longer functions well. We took the whole inside section, with the cubby holes out, and very carefully, rebuilt it, to bring it back to perfection. The whole structure of the bottom section was falling apart. We got to it in time and were able to keep it from failing completely. To clean it, the whole surface got wiped down with alcohol to remove years of grime. We gave it a couple of coats of shellac and then oiled it. When we hand- rubbed it, the wood brightened up incredibly, yet didn’t look re-finished at all. It had the feel of a old pair of shoes shined up really well.
We consider it a privilege to restore antiques of this quality and age. Part of the beauty is the way it’s weathered the last 170 years. There are bits missing and older repairs. We repair it mechanically, and clean up the surface., but we don’t try to replace all the little splinters of veneer that have fallen off. We leave some idea of what it was like new to the imagination.
In this day and age it’s fun to work on a piece of furniture that is totally handmade. 170 years has turned this desk into a sacred shrine. It connects us with our roots and reminds us why we do this work.