In Provence we acquired two wrecked chairs. The idea was to restore them. Nothing happened. Now I have time.
These seem to be good chairs. The frame is oak but the upper bits are, I think, mahogany. They have many coats of paint. Due to the highly decorated nature of the chairs, stripping the paint by hand is Sisyphean. I track down paint stripping specialist John O’Neal. He has taken the chairs. He has stripped for Robin Williams.
Before handing the chairs over to John, I had to remove the upholstery. It is clear that these chairs have been re-upholsterd more than once. The frame is a trench warfare of tack holes.
During the upholstery removal a label appears on each chair. Both labels are damaged.
The integrated data gives us, ‘Maison, Francois Borel, Meubles. ‘ Where this menuiserie was has gone. I think these chairs were made between 1850 and 1920 but this is speculative.
All things considered, I would like to see these chairs restored. John will strip the paint in his baths of fire and then I will look into re-upholstery. I dread the price.