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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Settee and Chair, day 8

Today I finished the gluing.
video

Monday, January 12, 2015

Settee and Chair. Day 7

I did some minor gluing yesterday and moved on to gluing up the three failure spots today; the center support and the two back joints. I've been curious whether those two back joints are original to the piece, or part of a later repair. I've found the answer by googling and finding several photos of Meeks settees that clearly show those joints. Most telling is the description and photos of this lot in a 2011 Cowan Auction, where the back is also "loose and needs reglued": http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/item.aspx?id=95062

Here is today's episode:
video

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Settee and Chair, days 4 and 5

Continuing on with the settee issues. Yesterday and today I worked exclusively on the crest carving...softening the glue with vinegar and working up to soaking the right amount of heat into the piece to get it to let go. Here's the result...
video

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Settee and Chair, Part 3

Today I made a little progress on the settee. I didn't originally intend to turn this into a documentary, but one thing leads to another. Here is day 3:
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Settee and Chair. Part 2

A further look at the Meeks settee to evaluate its structural problems and how to fix them.
video

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

J. and J. W. Meeks Settee and Chair

I'm uploading this short video to document what I've discovered so far about the condition of the settee and armchair we recently acquired at Oak Hill Cottage from the estate of Wilda Lee Preston, great granddaughter of Dr. Jones of Oak Hill. These are laminated rosewood pieces, generically referred to as "Belter" after the manufacturer who originated this type of construction. Ours were made by the J. and J. W. Meeks furniture company in the "Hartford" pattern. At Oak Hill we had one side chair of this set still in the house, so now the set consists of three pieces.
video