William Kent Chair Conservation

The Wallace Collection recently completed conservation of an eighteenth-century English chair, which has not been able to be on display for some time because of its condition.

The chair is believed to be part of a set, designed by William Kent in c.1730, and made for the 3rd Earl of Burlington at Chiswick House. William Kent was a decorative painter, architect and celebrated designer whose work was inspired by his travels to Italy.

The extensive work would not have been possible without the help of the Friends, Benefactors and members of the public who generously supported the conservation appeal.

An English Armchair in Kentian Style, c. 1730.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Antiques, Furniture Restoration and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to William Kent Chair Conservation

  1. Ken says:

    When watching any TV show or video on antique furniture, the importance of patina is driven into our head. Why was the natural patina of this piece destroyed?


    • Jack Plane says:

      Virtually none of the original surface remained as a result of multiple layers of overgilding. Like layers of thick paint, the overgilding had obscured the finer carved details. The kindest thing to do in such cases is to re-gild from bare wood.



  2. voncarlos says:

    Amazing collection ! Thank goodness there are some rich and privileged folks that understood the importance of the Arts.


  3. bcfnc says:

    I was most surprised to see how much overgilding had to be removed before the work could start . As a young man I was fortunate enough to watch an elderly retired Italian gilder at work . The Melbourne antique dealer I worked for in the 70s would engage him to either regild or touch up old pieces and he would silently for days gently applying gold leaf . His previous employer had been the Catholic Church , mainly at St Patrick’s Cathedral . From his silent moving lips I think he recited rosary or catechism as he worked . Amazing craftsman like these featured here . What a collection to visit ! I still have the volumes of catalogues I bought there in 1972. Beautifully researched provenance for most pieces displayed . Thanks for the post


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