Friday, June 29, 2012
A Resurrected Parlor Organ
This Parlor Organ was in pretty decent condition when it came into our shop. It didn't really have any missing pieces or significant structural damage. The key reason it's owner brought it to us, was because it was black in color. He thought it was painted and wanted it stripped and refinished. We would have happily performed this service for him... but instead we suggested to him an even better rout to go.
You see, once we raised the music stand, we could see a beautiful walnut veneer underneath which gradually faded to black as it got closer to the edge of the stand. We realized that this Organ was actually coated in an original shellac finish. Shellac will oxidize and darken with age, and on this piece, it had oxidized so much that it looked like black paint.
So we used our special chemical blend to clean the shellac. This cleaning/revitalizing process is extremely labor intensive and requires a significant amount of elbow grease. But all that work produces a beautiful reward. Once we had rubbed and rubbed and rubbed, the shellac came back to life and began to glow again. We love being able to preserve a historical finish such as this. It isn't always feasible but when it is, we sure like to take advantage. This Parlor Organ is one example of a restoration job done very right!