Conservation and Restoration of Fine Furniture and Objects
Drum Table
Drum table after restoration
The table after restoration by Bernacki & Associates

Drum teble before restoration
The circular table prior to restoration

Drum table top - flaking leather removal
Leather is removed from the tabletop by hand

Drum table - finish touch up
The finish is touched-up. The top surface is already prepared for new leather application.

Leather tooling set
Leather artisans prepare for tooling – a scientific (and exciting) process completed without prefabricated products and entirely by human hand

Leather tooling
Tooling the leather…the moment when workers hold their breath!

Leather table top before and after restoration
Table top, seen before and after restoration

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Drum Table with Leather Top

CONDITION PRIOR TO TREATMENT:

The table arrived at Bernacki & Associates presenting a number of challenges. Its extreme degradation was foremost on the list, encompassing both its frame and signature leather top. The circular table top was completely split, veneer lifted or missing, and the piece’s worn-down finish suffering from lost areas and severe staining, blanching, and discoloration. Deterioration of the leather top proved even more complex. Sections that hadn’t gone missing were worn, cracked and flaking…including the piece’s original leather tooling.

TREATMENT:

The project goal wasn’t to restore the table for display…it would be returned to a state fit for everyday enjoyment. With such a difficult project, the client’s full trust in Bernacki & Associates’ ability was paramount. First, structural issues were addressed. Missing veneer was replaced, the split repaired, and finish replaced to create an even, consistent color throughout the piece’s entirety. Next, came the hardest part…leather treatment. Existing leather was carefully scrubbed off and a new leather surface applied. Tooling the table’s distinctive pattern was next – an intricate, demanding process complicated by the fact that the “round” table wasn’t wholly round. With appreciation for fine leather-tooling (and the sophisticated eye to note the difference between commercial leather stamping) the client requested duplication of original aesthetic by hand. Advanced knowledge was necessary in recreating tooled patterns (blind tooling, black tooling, gilded tooling). Deciphering their way around the uneven circular shape, Bernacki & Associates’ artisan leatherworkers tooled the leather with astonishing precision...avoiding the risk of even a single breath altering the direction of their work. Viewing the results, it was clear that the client’s leap of faith – and the dedication of Bernacki & Associates’ team – more than paid off.

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