French Walnut Country Buffet, 1, Assessment


Our client’s French Walnut Country Buffet was created in the mid to late 17th century.
The finish, likely original, has not been tampered with any modern finish materials…
It has a lovely patina that we will preserve and enhance.


An in-studio assessment begins as we are readying for the excavation.
Every side is photographed; everything we notice is detailed.
Many overall images are taken so that if we open up the buffet and find something unnoticed we can see it in an image from before we disassembled the buffet.

Our “before” images are our reference documents!

Some of the obvious items we assessed in their home.
Everything might not be repaired, and everything is discussed prior to reparation.

We have a relationship with our client
to inform and come to agreement about protocol.

The buffet is built with two interior shelving areas.

Above, the largest, uses the center door and the right-facing door;
the interior has shelving and support issues.
The center door hings will be thoroughly checked once they are off the carcass
for possible compromised areas… this “tune up” is a wise thing to do when a piece
is in the studio because it is better to repair issues when everything is apart.
The right-facing door has compromised hinges, and a split in the frame.
We have the missing escutcheon, thankfully.

The drawers are a great example of damages that may not be repaired at this time, however, during excavation we are certain we will find compromised drawer skids!

The left-facing interior shelving area is the one which has the large opening where the outside panel has slide backwards leaving a huge crack.  We will repair this and examine the hinges for stability when the door is removed.

At some time the interior shelf was removed and a plywood shelf was inserted;
the stanchions were compromised.  This will be repaired.

As stated above, the drawers are a great example of damages
that may not be repaired at this time.

To show all the repairs in this buffet would be monumental;
we will offer a sampling of the many preservation/conservation repairs performed.

Next post, we excavate (disassemble) the carcass.
Sign up for notifications to follow!

Written by Kate Powell, ©MPF Conservation.
May be printed for your own use ONLY, not for use on blogs without permission.

About MPFConservation

We are a conservation and restoration firm located in the Pacific Northwest, specializing in objects: furniture, but also other objects; wood, stone or metal furniture or objects; lacquered and painted furniture or objects; traditional finishes on furniture or objects; quilts, beaded objects, and some textile reparation and interior architectural elements, such as leather or upholstered walls. When you think about conservation, equate it to restoring the furniture or object the best way possible for the history, life and value of the object. We are fully qualified to perform museum-tectbook treatments, but also flexible enough to work with private clients to allow for daily use of objects. We work West of the Rockies from Canada to Mexico, and once in a while venture beyond the West for specific treatments. Kate and Mitchell Powell are partners in work and in life; we each have our specialties in work and in our marriage. Mitchell is the cat charmer in both! To see our work visit our official website:
This entry was posted in antiques, conservation techniques, French Furniture, Interim Report, pest infestation, preservation, process, reparation, restoration techniques, wooden objects and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to French Walnut Country Buffet, 1, Assessment

  1. loisajay says:

    This piece is a beauty but the inside of the doors is even prettier. Such craftsmanship…. Looking forward to your repairs.

  2. Dan Antion says:

    This looks like a lot of work, Kate. I am very interested to see how you guys proceed. I really wouldn’t know where to start. Good luck!

Leave a Reply