The main core of our business has turned out to be antique restoration, and we have seen a diverse array of problems that have required the "Magic Touch". We are however , at present dealing with probably the most extensive restoration that we have ever tackled. This is an "Antique" French Coffer. Our client bought this from a dealer online whom, it seems hadn't seen it himself, but arranged for his contact in France to deliver it directly to our client. When she had seen the photos online it was clear to her that there had been a wood worm problem at sometime, but when querying this with the dealer he assured her that it had been dealt with.
On arrival at her home the hinge for the lid had become detached. She thought nothing of this, and subsequently contacted us to repair it for her. On inspection we discovered that there was indeed still extensive wood worm activity within the piece, and the reason for the lid detachment may have had something to do with the fact that the wood had disintegrated due to undermining of the boring insects.
The entire back panel had the integrity of a digestive biscuit, and as we tried to remove it, it just crumbled in our hands.
Our client has contacted the dealer and shown him our photographs of the damage, and he apparently was very apologetic offering a full refund. We are however continuing to restore this piece, which it would appear has been made from old timbers from a building. Using new wood suitably distressed to match what remains of the original.
However this does demonstrate the difficulties with buying antiques online, without being able to examine them first. All furniture that we sell has been first inspected by us and any serious faults remedied, including routinely treating any piece that shows signs of previous woodworm attack to a thorough soaking in insecticide.