Antique Furniture Conservation
Conservation is the profession devoted to the preservation of cultural property for the future. Conservation-focused activities could include examination, documentation, treatment, and preventive care and is supported by research and education.
Art conservation and art restoration is not the same thing. Restoration attempts to bring the artwork to some previous state the restorer believes to be original. Conservation is less concerned with preserving the artwork for the future rather than making it look unspoiled.
Conservation can also involve the cleaning and stabilization of works of art. However, even cleaning is controversial as it is not a reversible process and some fear that cleaning a piece will damage it. Additionally, there are some that would argue that the residue or damage done to a piece of art is a part of its history and should not be “undone”.
Most pieces of furniture are made with several different types of materials on the same piece. All of these are at risk from deterioration of some type, but each has an environmental “ideal” which can maximize its preservation. When undertaking treatment, conservators adopt an approach of “minimum intervention” and will look for a balance between aesthetics, function, and the preservation of finishes and surfaces that can reveal much about the piece’s history.