Category Archives: Upholstery

Hunzinger Chair re-tufted with magnets

An upholstery conservation treatment of this Hunzinger chair was prepared for an exhibition The Fabrics of the Home that opened April 2009 through August 2009. The goal of the treatment is to return the current square seat to its original profile with a deep tufted seat. The methods used to create the deep tufting in the seat was presented at the North American Textile Conservation Conference, Quebec City, Canada in September 2009. In order not to disturb the original lashing ties and springs, Rare Earth magnets were used in replacement of the buttons. (more can be read about the use of magnets in conservation here).



The Hunzinger Chair before treatment, with the show cover and seat cake removed, and during treatment.  

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A matching Hunzinger Chair owned by the Brooklyn Museum of Art on the left.

Herter Brother’s Smoking Room at the Victoria Mansion


The restoration of Victoria Mansion‘s Turkish Smoking room transformed the small 9 x 9 foot room. This is the first documented smoking room in a residential house. The reproduction fabrics used in the upholstery, and all of the trims were carefully reproduced, from the vast and thoroughly saved documents and examples in the collection. The upholstery fabrics and trims were all applied using tackless conservation upholstery techniques.

Before image of the long sofa.
After image of the long sofa.

More can be seen at their website.

18th Century Chair

The Bronck Museum recently acquired this early 18th century chair from a descendent of the 1663 stone house. The chair was covered with red silk and cotton fabric. A companion chair is owned by the Albany Institute & History of Art and still retains its original leather upholstery.

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Before treatment image of the chair

Protected on the reverse side of the red velvet are small pieces of the embroidery threads used to decorate the chair’s back. The design had been worked with chenille threads.

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Nicely attached to the underside of the chair’s seat was this leather fragment (top image). The leather had originally been attached to the lower section of the inside back (middle image). The holes in the leather perfectly matched the holes in the wood frame that were revealed once the red velvet upholstery layers were removed. Leather was a common upholstery show cover for this time period. The chair back also has an interesting slot located just below the crest rail to accommodate the leather/show cover.

11-39 chair Underside of seat BTback_leather

Placing the final touches. Each brass nail head was carefully positioned over its original position.