Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Each Such Occurence

“Furniture, created for utilitarian purposes in a living environment, predictably undergoes strains, dents, burns, and assorted abrasions, and each such occurrence is a record of the object’s use. The eighteenth-century infant who pounds his spoon on a tabletop and the mother who, trying to keep warm, moves her chair too close to the fireplace are adding to the surface of that furniture an interpretable record of its use. I believe that sanding or scraping away such dents and burns destroys forever an important part of any wooden artifact; and from a baldly economic point of view, a zealous finisher intent on removing clear evidence of a family's usage is also reducing the monetary value of the object, as well as destroying palpable history.”

 - Robert F McGiffin, Furniture Care and Conservation p.6


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