American Conservation Consortium

Nationwide Collections Preservation Services
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Deteriorated gold leaf and finishes.

Conservation Treatment of Furniture and Wooden Objects

Loose and missing Boulle.

Each treatment begins with examination of the object and preparation of a Condition Report and Proposed Treatment, which lists the specific needs of the object and the materials and techniques suggested to accommodate the treatment, as well as a cost estimate. Treatments strive to preserve the integrity and original component materials of the object and follow the Code of Ethics of the American Institute for Conservation. Photographic documentation before and after treatment and a Treatment Report detailing the actual procedures and materials employed are provided.

Conservation treatments generally are one of four types, preservation treatments, stabilization treatments, aesthetic treatments or restoration treatments. Preservation treatments reduce future deterioration. An example is the application of a reversible protective coating to prevent abrasion damage. Stabilization treatments secure areas of degradation or damage. Re-gluing loose veneer is an example. Aesthetic treatments improve the appearance of an object, such as in-painting a loss or polishing metal hardware. Restoration treatments replace missing components of an object. Adding veneer to compensate for a loss is an example.  Not all of these treatment types are necessarily present for each object.  For example, the treatment may be preservation and stabilization only, with no inpainting or replacement of losses.

American Conservation Consortium provides treatment services for all types of wooden objects from all cultures and eras, including furniture, decorative objects, sculpture, carvings, boxes, baskets, etc.  Treatments are comprehensive and involve all aspects of the deterioration of wooden objects, including the following.

bulletCleaning surfaces of dirt and grime.
bulletSetting down loose paint.
bulletRemoval of later overpaint.
bulletIn-painting of losses.
bulletDetermination of original/historic paint schemes.
bulletRecreation of historic paint with reversible materials.
bulletProtective coating of painted surfaces.
bulletGraining, marbleizing, and fancy decorative painting.
bulletStabilization of degraded finishes.
bulletRemoval of later finishes from original/historic finishes.
bulletApplication of new finishes.
bulletTreatment of gesso and gold leaf.
bulletRe-gluing loose veneer, marquetry, and Boulle.
bulletReplacement of missing veneer, marquetry, and Boulle.
bulletTreatment of light bleaching of finishes, paint, and wood.
bulletSecuring structural breaks and cracks.
bulletRe-gluing loose joinery.
bulletTreatment of fungal and insect damage, including consolidation.
bulletReplacement of missing parts and fills of losses.
bulletColoring of replaced veneer, marquetry, and wooden parts/pieces.
bulletCleaning, polishing, and coating of metal hardware, including ormolu.
bulletTreatment of materials associated with wooden objects.
bulletMinimally intrusive treatment of historic upholstery.

Marc Williams, President and CEO of American Conservation Consortium, was one of the first academically trained furniture conservators (resume).  He has helped to develop many of the procedures and processes currently in use in the furniture conservation profession.  His experience and depth of knowledge are unequalled in the profession.  His personal philosophy is to balance treatment complexity and cost with the needs of both the object and the owner.  Conservation is a three-way dialog between the conservator, the object, and the owner, and all three must be satisfied with the outcome.

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American Conservation Consortium. Ltd.

4 Rockville Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016, 860-386-6058,

Copyright 2008, American Conservation Consortium, Ltd., all rights reserved