Repair Vs. Conservation

a confusing collection of terms

The value of antiques makes the decision of how to approach their care, a matter for thoughtful consideration. Points that should be contemplated:

  • The historic value: Is this a rare or unusual piece requiring preservation?
  • The monetary or resale value: Is this a piece that could be depreciated by alteration?
  • The emotional importance: Does this object hold significant personal history?

Repair: to fix or make as new

Objects are sometimes repaired with the intention of nothing more than making then usable. When there is no need or concern for historic or resale value, repairs can be performed in a quick and straight forward manner.

Restoration: to make as before

Pieces with more history or a story to tell require additional attention. Restoration brings the object to it best possible condition, reflecting its age and importance. Care is taken to preserve the provenance and existing patination, while addressing the inherent condition problems.

Conservation: preservation

In contrast to repair or restoration, conservation aims to preserve all remaining material, without necessarily being functional or looking new. Slowing or stopping deterioration and eliminating or mitigating the root cause is the primary task.

Any replacements to missing materials are respectfully done in a manner that neither adds nor subtracts from the original artists intent.