A True Story - A Case For Conservative Historic & Antique Restoration
Philadelphia Antique Restoration & Repair
Sorry, there is nothing I can do. [Hans Noll]
Around 30 years ago at my first studio in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, there was a steady flow of young men who would call or come by to ask if they could find work with us. The fourth guy in so many months seemed conversational so I asked him a little about his experience. He was in his second year of employ at a well-known Main Line of Philadelphia antique restoration shop and was concerned that maybe he was being asked to perform work which was ill-advised. It was his job on Thursdays and Fridays to sand smooth the dozen or so pieces per week which had been brushed with lye on Monday and hosed off and left to dry Tuesday and Wednesday. This went on every week for decades; four decades to be exact. I was, (and am to this day,) shocked that people would actually pay to have their furniture treated this way.
The next time I saw my dear friend and mentor, Hans Noll, I mentioned this conversation with the young man. Hans said he had seen the results of this treatment first hand.
A client of his, rather than drive into Philadelphia with a relatively unimportant chest of drawers, entrusted it to this popular workshop for refinishing. When he picked it up and put it into the back of his Mercedes wagon, he paid for it, didn’t say a word and drove it directly to Hans’ door at 11th and Pine Streets.
He said “Hans, I made a terrible mistake going to this other shop. Would you please fix it?!”