We restore furniture from all historical periods and bring back its former glory by respecting its qualities as much as possible: the wood, the patina, the fittings.
To restore antique furniture, we patinate with beeswax, polish with shellac, and always try to use materials from the same period when replacing missing pieces, so as to preserve the relevance. Our knowledge of furniture, styles and periods, in addition to the qualities of each wood, allows us to properly conserve and rebuild pieces. By special request, we will custom build bookcases using antique door frames and old shelves.
Over the years we have also specialized in painted furnishings: restoring antique furniture built with less prestigious wood such as fir or poplar and then painted in oil, lime or tempera. With these types of pieces we are able to determine the original coloring, fill it in where necessary and restore the decorative motifs.
One great restoration project that we are particularly proud of is the Farmacia Santo Spirito (Santo Spirito Pharmacy) in Florence. The job lasted a few months during which time we filled in the friezes and replaced any of the furnishing’s missing pieces, uncovered the original color of the shelves and counters, and skillfully applied lacquer with imitation marble parts and pure gold gilding.
In our large restoration workshop we continue the Margheri family from Piazzano craft. Laboratorio, from the Latin Laboratorium, is the work space where we care for the furniture, where we are intent on recovering its integrity, harmony and charm, all the while respecting its patina and signs of aging. Here we rely on Davide, Sandro and Marco and their valuable assistance and dedication to the art of restoration, to work on unique pieces of furniture that always require very specific attention.
The first steps to restoring antique furniture involve cleaning and reinforcing it, followed by applying woodworm treatment, filling in any missing parts with dowels, rebuilding the drawer guides, restoring the color, and then finally wrapping up with either a wax or shellac finish.
The workshop is the place where restorers pass down their secrets: how to remove stains from the wood, fix a warped table, fill in an inlay, create a perfect carving or revitalize a dull patina.
We too jealously guard our secrets; we only share them with the wardrobes, chests of drawers, tables, armoires, sideboards, bookcases, doors and all the antiques that fill our days in the workshop.
Our collection of antique tools
Over many years of research and dedication, Giuseppe Margheri has compiled a small treasure: a collection of antique woodworking tools that are also perfect for restoring antique furniture. It’s a unique collection, and is jealously guarded; it traces the history of materials and technology used back to past artisan workshops. The shapes of these tools tell the story of how expert hands use these trade tools to rough-hew, shape, plane, turn and work the wood. Saws, planers and gouge chiseles alongside framing squares and clamps restore precision and distinction to each process and contribute to a wealth of know-how that continues to shape our workday.