French Empire Liqueur Cabinet

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Here is a 18th century piece that had serious problems with the rosewood veneer. I completely removed the old rosewood veneer but not before tracing the delicate marquetry design to reproduce it with new wood.

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From this close-up you can see how the original rosewood design is intact, and the way the artisan selected the grain direction to emphasize the image. However, all of the pieces had extensive damage and too far gone for any of the original rosewood to be saved.

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Internal pieces had been removed to be retouched and the new veneer faces are being assembled before bonding to the cabinet sides.

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The new top lids with floral pattern exactly as the original. I looked at several veneer flitches to find just the right grain to reproduce this design.

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I also gave the “Gilded Age” brass details a good buffing.

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The inside tray automatically lifts when the lids are opened by way of a clever system of strings, pulleys and counterweight hidden inside. The felt-lined trays and holders are held together by means of a wood screw topped by the turned knob. To place the crystal back in the cabinets, one just loosens the screw to separate the individual trays and re-tightens the screw before folding the butterfly lids. This action then lowers the trays back down inside the cabinet. The work to adjust those strings to just the right tension for the tray to remain level as it moved up and down had me swearing in French.


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