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Antique Buffet

2288 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Antiquegal
I have finally agreed to repair an antique buffet given to my wife by her parents. It was once her father's mother's … anyhow repairing the drawers and casework I can figure out but there are 3 decorative elements on the piece that I would like to repair also…the biggest problem is I am having trouble identifying what they are made from, if it is some type of dried leather, they are definitely not "wood" as I know it, they are cracked in many placed and are not inlayed, (as you can see by where the pieces have broken off)
I'm stumped… and hoping that some of you wonderful people can help me figure it out, and once I know what it is, maybe some ideas on how to repair it,

I appreciate all the help I can get,

you can see more pics of the buffet on my web blog

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Good luck on the rebuild. I'm sorry I don't know what the appliques are.
Cross your fingers on second thought it's hard to work that way.
Sort of hard to tell what the material is from the pics. Where it is broken, you should be able to see the fiberous structure if it is leather. Best of luck with this one ;-)) This may very well be the most important job of your career!
It does appear to be some sort of applied leather. Since you are restoring it I'd go ahead and scrape those off. For some reason restoring old furniture ruins their resale value, so you can recreate the decorative elements in whatever medium you feel fit. Maybe recreate them using walnut?
There is definitely not a fibrous structure to it that would make me think wood, I was thinking leather or some type of early resin substance, but it is not plastic in look or feel, Because of the age, I really did think leather but I have never heard of that being used in this type of application.

I think that you may be right about the walnut Greg, I think that may be the way to go, I'll talk it over with the missus and see what she thinks first. It is her piece.

The most important job of my career…possibly….for sure my most important client :)
Well the repair is done, and the piece is functional again.

My wife made the decision to leave the accents on for now we'll think about repairing them in the future.

Thank you for all your advice and help

If its not fiberous, it may be some early form of plastic. I saw a Ballard rifle with some plastic like material for a butt plate. It was original to the rifle. they quit making them in 1884. Some of these materials date pretty early. A lot earlier than I would have thought. Glad to hear she's happy for now :)) You know what they say about Momma being happy… :))
I sell and restore antiques this piece looks like its amazing condition. you may want to put a coat of oils on it and let the beautiful wood shine through. It might be veneer that your dealing with.
PS restoration hardware. com? might help
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