The latest rehabbed piece of antique furniture came home today looking absolutely gorgeous. It’s a very large walnut chest of drawers, previously property of my Dad, and his parents before him, and his mother’s parents before them. It holds every stitch of clothing I own that doesn’t hang in the closet.
It occurred to me today that I’m repeating a program my father went through after my mother died: having as many furnishings as possible cleaned, repaired, refinished or whatever. We had several of the most beat-up pieces rehabbed when we moved here, but now I’m working through the items that were battered but functional in 2017. Dad’s chest of drawers was Edmund’s for 22 years, and for most of that time he would habitually roll up his Army-issue belt with its sharp-edged brass buckle and chuck it onto the dresser with some force, taking a bite out of the finish with each impact. Both sides and the top had split, thanks to winter-dry air, and two bits of moulding had fallen off the drawer faces.
Repair and refinishing cost a bomb, but this is the one time in my life when I can afford it. A cat-scratched Victorian ottoman and a late Georgian wing-back chair with a wobbly arm are next, when the rehab guy has cleared some big projects out of his shop.