Here is another example of some of the work I get involved with. It’ll take relatively little carving as such but interesting just the same. I don’t believe both pieces were done at the same time but they will make a nice set in a local church.
The chair has taken the most abuse between the two pieces. Ironically I had looked at these pieces about 15 yrs ago and was going to restore them at that time. They were not in that bad of condition. But as fate would have it I never got the pieces, the priest had them stored at another “woodworkers” home who was going to restore them when he could. Turns out he couldn’t do them, or never got around to it, and had them stored in an unheated basement which was located very near a source of water. I think the temperature fluctuations from winter to summer and the high humidity and dampness really took their toll. Now, the pieces are ready to fall apart under their own weight. Just moving them caused them to loosen even more. Parts fell off in transit to my shop. What a shame. But in a way it does make it easier for me to completely disassemble them for a proper restoration.
From what I can tell these ( at least the Sanctuary Cabinet) was made in Belgium in the late 1700’s. The photos tell most of the story. Currently I have the cabinet completely broken down. I’ll carve and make the missing pieces as needed as well as repairs. Not so much “strip” as deep clean the finish to allow it to keep the patina and aged look of the wood without it looking brand new ( that would be a crime) and reassemble them.
An overall shot of the Sanctuary Cabinet . The missing doors are laying on top of the cabinet.
One of the corner carvings. I had started to remove the moldings prior to photographing it.
The other corner carving.
The open base with some beautiful carvings here as well. The corner legs as well as the Linen Fold panels along the back. These also appear on the sides of the upper cabinet as well.
And the doors which were missing from the first photo.
On to the chair. It should have a seat that is hinged allowing access to the base. There is also a foot rest which should be along the lower edge of the face of this chair. The entire upper back is out at this point which will be seen in following photos. For now just the spiral uprights remain.
This is what is left of the upper back of the chair. Between these spiral uprights will be the large carved panel you’ll see next as well as a canopy with large volutes supporting it . They ( volutes) will be attached to these spiral uprights.
An overall look at how the back panel, corbels and canopy will be arranged as the back of the chair. The spiral uprights support this panel as the chair back as well as the canopy itself.
A closer view of the corbels, canopy and cracked back panel.
And a close up of one of the corbels.
Some assorted other pieces for the chair. Some wonderful carvings in this piece, as well as the Cabinet.
And one of the arms of the chair in need of some attention.
I’ll post updates as I move through the restorations. Time isn’t a factor here so I can work this in between jobs. Though I most likely will continue on them straight through. Hopefully that will allow me to remember how they go back together!