A Short Biography of Johannes Noll

Born January 9, 1929, Berlin, Germany, Hans was a true Renaissance man in the field of furniture construction and restoration. He was trained in the Berlin cabinetmaker’s guild from the age of 14. He served his appren­ticeship in carving, gilding, marquetry, French polishing and joinery.

He was drafted by the Hitler Youth and asked to take the Aeroflot mechanic’s aptitude exam. He placed first in the country and was so brilliant with things mechanical that Hitler’s Air Force wanted him to train to maintain their airplanes. Hans’ father, an artist, forbade him to support the Warmacht, and promised to disown him if he supported the war effort.

Hans escaped long enough for the war to end. He never forgot the period during the American and Allied occupation when there was a very strict curfew enforced by sharpshooters at the ends of the city blocks. Hans would amuse himself by putting a pot on a broomstick out a crack in the door and in seconds there would be several bullet holes in the pot. His mother didn’t approve but there was not much fun to be had in post war Germany.

When it was possible to return to work as a cabinetmaker, Hans con­tinued in that field before coming to America as a still young man. He learned enough English to knock on peoples’ doors and say, “I’ll reglue your chairs for five dollars.” By the time I met him in 1971 he had built a successful antique restoration business and dealership, all housed in valuable real estate he owned at 11th and Pine Street in Philadelphia.

Hans was a truly multi-talented artist in the fields of furniture construc­tion and restoration and in creating period rooms. He had great talent and training combined with great energy. I was blessed to know him for nearly 30 years and though he is gone he will not be forgotten. He was a great source of information for many who knew him. I know he was es­pecially generous with me. If you are still listening, Hans, I love and miss you and I know heaven is a more beautiful place because you are there, my friend.

– John Hobe
The restoration of antique furniture is both an art and a science.
Copyright 2012 John Hobe Antique Restoration
We serve clients across the North East in the greater Philadelphia, New York (NY) and Baltimore areas.  Our antique furniture restoration and repair workshop is in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia with easy access to Montgomery County and the PA turnpike via Rt 309.  Please call us if you wish to arrange transportation for your furniture.