Category Archives: traditional varnishes

Heirloom Child’s Chair

The chair came to us through the heiress (hereafter called LB) to the Frank Crowe Mason Monterey Collection. The sweet chair was made by her grandfather… Someone had recovered it, but thankfully the original stuffings were intact! She wanted it … Continue reading

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Process: Gustav Stickley Ladderback Chair Finish

Continuing from the Reparation of the Gustav Stickley Ladderback Armchair (Or to begin at the beginning go here.) We began our finish with a quick review of the chair with the repairs completed, above. The chairs were covered with radial … Continue reading

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Process: Gustav Stickley Ladderback Chair Assessment

We’ve not chronicled a project for a long time and these original Gustav Stickley circa 1900-1910 Ladderbacks are so lovely (and often poorly conserved and restored) that it is a good way to begin again! We will chronicle our process … Continue reading

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S is for Shellac Varnish Damage: A-to-Z Challenge

Damage to traditional shellac varnishes — original varnishes made from shellac, and possibly with additional resins such as dammar, etc. — is often preventable.  We see several common and preventable mistakes owners make over and over again.  Before stripping, call … Continue reading

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M is for McLoughlin’s Melodeon: A-to-Z Challenge

John McLoughlin was the Father of Oregon, and his history is celebrated at the McLoughlin House in Oregon City. We conserved the Prince & Co. Melodeon he gave to his granddaughter, part of a larger collection housed at his home, … Continue reading

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L is for Lead: A-to-Z-Challenge

Let’s talk about lead as in lead paint, shown right in a Mason Monterey Horseshoe-back Chair, especially in the cream, yellow, and greens.  While we are at it, let’s talk about toxic pigments in antique or vintage paints. We love … Continue reading

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D is for Dragon’s Blood: A-to-Z Challenge

Dragon’s Blood is a pigment that was widely used in furniture finishes before and in the early 19th century.  Synthetic dyes and a shift to different preferences in wood species moved makers away from this very popular finish, and of … Continue reading

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