Early 18th Century Bureau Bookcase

  • Tired Bureau Bookcase

    An early 18th Century Oak bureau bookcase, in need of restoration to address multiple structural problems. The piece had been restored maybe 80 years earlier where there was an overall reliance on nails to hold it all together.

  • Bureau Partially Taken Apart

    Interior section of Bureau has been removed along with the back. The piece will need to be fully taken apart to correct all the problems.

  • Dis-assembly of Bureau

    The bureau was in such a bad way that the decision was made to completely dismantle the lower section of the piece. This is an extreme course of treatment but sometimes its easier to start from scratch especially when dealing with so many structural problems.

  • Missing Section

    A badly broken section to side of bureau, an old repair which has failed. A new section of Oak will be spliced on to replace the missing section. Notice the split to the side panel on the left, this will also be closed.

  • Missing Section Repaired

    The new piece of Oak spliced on including front capping strip. The split to the side panel has also now been closed. This new piece will be lightly distressed to match the surrounding areas.

  • Repair Coloured Out

    The side section coloured and polished, scratches have been put in to further blend the repair with the surrounding area.

  • Restoring Dovetails

    Some of the dovetails had perished from woodworm infestation. New sections had to be spliced on to replace the missing areas, the shape being cut here is designed to maximise strength through using as much surface contact as possible.

  • Side Panel Assembly

    A side panel of the bureau being glued back together to deal with the split that was in the middle. The patch previously shown is also being glued in at the same time.

  • Lock Repairs

    Some soldering work being done to the lock bolt on the bureau's fall. The original lock was missing so the present one had to be adapted, here I'm lengthening the bolt as it was too short.

  • Reviving A Dead Finish

    Here the surface is being carefully washed back on the left to reveal a warm richer colour. On the right you can see what's termed a dead finish, notice the green anaemic colour. This results from over exposure to sunlight causing the surface polish to become opaque, its always a greyish green hue. The bottom two drawers have also been treated.

  • Finished Bureau

    The Bureau put back together having carried out all the repair work. The colour and Polish have been revived, view with bureau fall open.

  • Finished Bureau

    Another view of the finished Bureau. Notice the contrast in colour from the first image, anaemic and dull, to this image being richer and warm. Sun damaged or dead finishes are very common and very often hide the true colour that sits beneath, careful reviving will bring back the hidden colour.