Our Specialist Museum Grade Restoration & Conservation
For generations we have prided ourselves on commissioning and providing the finest quality artisan restoration and conservation services available in the UK.
Restoration is often a vital part to saving and preserving fine, rare or even regular pieces that have been neglected or damaged over the past decades or even hundreds of years, and by doing so we have had fantastic results that are incredibly satisfying and created a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. However, these specialist arts can progress slowly, and can be expensive, and are thus time-consuming but incredibly worth the wait and effort. Thus we do not actively undertake third-party restoration at all due to the often excessive costs and considerable time involved. It is not unknown for a specialist restoration and conservation project of a single piece to take several years
Another important factor though, is that bad and poorly executed restoration can be far worse than doing nothing at all.
Restoration is a magnificent art, and often well worthwhile for important pieces when successful, but it is not to be undertaken lightly without all due consideration.
It is important to understand all factors when considering such improvements to fine antique pieces.
We were once advisers for the restoration of our magnificent 16th century 'Brussels' tapestry, that we sold some decades ago, to one of our clients in South America, see it in our photo gallery, photographed on display in our Prince Albert Street shop, with Judy Hawkins, Mark’s incredibly talented and beloved late wife, standing in the foreground the eventual restoration cost,, in today’s terms, was over £600,000, and it took over 3 years to complete. A sobering sum, often outside of the deep pockets of national collections resources.
When we undertake restoration and conservation of our own items that we offer for sale, the price shown for the items purchase amount, once they have been restored, will be inclusive of all these costs, and we would have undertaken this work often for posterity to save for future generations pieces that may well might have been discarded in their poor, previously un-restored, original and neglected state. We will often contribute towards, and therefore subsidise these costs ourselves, in order to save a piece of beauty or historical significance for this reason. The improvement of 'value' is never our primary concern, and should, ideally never be the principle desire for collectors either, it should be for the preservation of fine craftsmanship and to restore fine cultural heirlooms for posterity, for the benefit of generations to come.
If we restore an item that was acquired, pre restoration, from us by a client, albeit a museum, a private collector or specialist dealer, the results can be not only spectacular, but also incredibly satisfying to know that a fine piece has been saved for generations to come, and will be an ancestral heirloom for the future