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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006

    Default 1850's sea chest

    SWMBO has been cleaning up her recently deceased mum's place and a couple of weeks back we decide to bring home a circa 1850's camphor wood sea chest that has been in the family for at least that period.
    From what I can see and given its age, it's in pretty good nick except that in the last 40 years it has been in a corner in her mum's bedroom and the cleaners only applied whatever furniture polish they had on hand to the front, top and the exposed side. As a result the the other side has slightly dried out and lost its sheen.

    My question is, is there anything that can be applied that can rejuvenate the dried wood?


    Here's the side that has sort of dried out - sorry it doesn't really show up in this photo.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007


    The sort of piece normally described under Anglo Indian Bob. Pretty sure it was sold a lot in the UK . It turns up all the time through local auctions here.

    History Of Anglo Indian Furniture In India - Collectors' Corner Exports

    A dry side can be wiped over with a linseed oil and turps mix 20 / 80 mix for a quick fix . Its a good all over reviver as long as the piece isn't a heavily waxed piece from the earlier days of waxing only for a finish . You tell by scratching it with your finger nail and if it does what the side of a candle would do, don't oil and turps .

    That'll be a shellac or varnish finish by the looks so O&T should be good .

    Next level is to start waxing it for an easy fix . Wax on and buff off same as shoes are done .

    The good fix is a revive with shellac . A fine cut back with fine paper washed with O&T buffed dry and then a rubber of diluted shellac built up.
    If you've never done french polishing then its a bit of a learning curve . learn to do it properly and its the best way of being able to adjust a finish to just where its needed to be, and to finish with the level of shine that's right . Beginners struggle and struggle and struggle as can be seen from acres of forum pages all around the world with FP. That's when its from raw wood up . Reviving dry finishes is a bit easier .

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