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Federal Boston Desk

Object Description: Federal desk attributed to Boston with mahogany doors and satinwood veneer drawer faces and desk top lid.
Dimensions: (h) 51 ½” (w) 41 3/8” (d) 21 ¼”

Condition Before Treatment

The surface was severely damaged from a water leak. The coating had lost optical saturation and was severely blanched in many areas. There were numerous areas of veneer crossbanding lifting or completely missing. Additionally, the writing surface was missing, only leaving a varnished substrate.

Treatment Performed

Structural: The portions of the veneer that were lifting were readhered with animal hide glue. Missing portions of crossbanding received new veneer patches from old stock. This veneer stock was selected for visual continuity with the patina of the entire desk.

Surface: The blanching in the coating was removed with a gelled ethanol resting on isolating layers of towel. This solvent microclimate was very effective after only a few minutes. The moisture was released with no noticeable softening of the varnish. All blanched areas treated were successful with the exception of the desk top lid due to considerable loss of coating. The varnish on this lid was removed with ethanol and a new bleached shellac finish was applied.


BEFORE                                                          AFTER

FILLING LOSS                                                       INPAINTED



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