Often when we think of art, we conjure up images of famous paintings by Picasso, Michelangelo or Warhol. Most, outside of furniture enthusiasts, have never heard of George Hepplewhite. Hepplewhite is regarded as one of best English furniture makers of the 18th century. None of the furniture he built exists today but his designs are timeless works-of-art.
A few months ago, we had the privilege of receiving a phone call from a nice elderly gentleman. On the call, he mentioned that he had fourteen leg table in need of restoration. In all honesty, we weren’t sure if he was mistaken, because its hard to imagine a table with fourteen legs (see below for before/after)? Upon arrival, we realized the gentleman had been correct. The table was made of solid walnut and mahogany and had decorative wood inlays on the top, apron and legs. To our amazement, that wasn’t the best part of the table. Hepplewhite was an artist/genius because of the functionality and simplicity of his designs. At any one time (see pictures at bottom of post), the table could be two desks, a round table, a square table, a smaller dining room table or a full dining room table. The table could function just as well for the owner of one bedroom condo or a mansion.
With all the tables positives, it was desperately in the need of a full restoration. The gentleman stated prior to his decades of ownership, it had been abandoned in a barn. One leaf was fully-cracked and warped (see below for before/after), intricate inlays (see below for before/after) were missing or broken and the table certainly was going to need to be stripped, sanded, stained and sprayed with lacquer to even have a chance of looking decent again.
Roughly, three weeks of work later, the table was restored to the original design Hepplewhite envisioned. Our team was able to to make the leaf look like it had never been cracked or warped and meticulously repaired/added the missing wood inlays. Once the table was in one piece, it was stained and clear-coated with six coats of lacquer.
Getting the opportunity to do this job was an honor for us here at Wehrli Furniture. If you ever need a table restored or your kitchen chair fixed, we will always be there to offer the finest in woodworking skills and customer service.