Look at this, it looks a bit messy, but in deed there are many interesting things on display

after a couple a customer came.



let’s go:



red circle: a couple of books about painting, we talked about few things with customer.

blue circle on left:  a magnifying glass and two items in silver to check the hallmarks.

blue circle on right: the piece of fabric to clean the silver.


black circle: a piece of leaf of rosewood, shown to the client to explain how it is put on the furniture structure.

green circle: a compass, a scissors and a piece of a leaf of brass, I explained the customer how I made the cover for the back of the mantel clock.


orange circle: some shellac and a strong solvent (acetone) to melt it.

white circle: a piece of marble use to make some shellac sticks(after the piece of marble has been heated up) and the shellac sticks in the pot.


 yellow circle: the repair of a broken curved foot.

violet cirlce: a box of colored wax sticks used to feel some small holes or small veneer missing spots.




The intruder


Please look at the photo, and tell me which one is the intruder according to you,

from left to right, we have wax, two ethanol based varnish, one water based varnish,

then a nitrocellulose based varnish (the Tamiya spray).



We could think that the intruder is the Tamiya spray  but for me there is in fact no intruder.

Historically speaking,  the nitrocellulose varnish started to be used in cabinestry around 1920, almost 100 years ago (« Bois:guide des finitions » page 48/ « Les secrets du vernissage » page 14) so it is not a anachronism to use it nowadays for example on the Art Déco furniture.

Now technically speaking, even if the components are not as natural as the « pure » traditional ethanol based varnishes, it is still  working on the resin/solvent system (like ethanol based varnishes) which means that the shiny layer remains after the solvent evaporated. So even on the technical side it is crosser to the traditional finishing than the modern ones.

The only refraining point I could see, indeed not see, is what is inside the varnish. Actually it seems difficult to know exactly what are the components.

Personally I never used it yet, I will make some few tests and then see.



Recently I finally figured out the era a nice item I have was made.

It is about this table:


I always been confused with it and previously I wrote it was made at beginning of the 20th century.

Well indeed with a new look at it, this is not 20th century.

Few days ago it suddenly came to my mind and I think it is end of 19th century. The quality of the manufacture is still excellent:

the bronzes are screwed not nailed and they are also marked and numbered.

There is no veneer at all, hot hide glue was used to assemble pieces and the finish is a ethanol based varnish.

I would say most probably (to not say definitely) this was made by a great Parisian furniture company during the second half of 19th century.

We are here in the same range of quality as Krieger, Mercier or one of these furniture makers which were known for the quality of their products during the period 1850-1900.

You may see it there :



Maison Kriéger (日本語訳)


Few months ago, I wrote few lines about the Maison Kriéger.

Today I am giving some more information about it.

数ヶ月前、私は「Maison Kriéger(メゾン・クリガー)社」についての話を少し書きました。



Above is the Maison Kriéger  workshop located at the faubourg Saint-Antoine, in Paris around 1884.(« L’ameublement d’art francais 1850-1900″ page 41 )

The company started in the middle of the 19th century till about 1945 (« L’ameublement d’art francais 1850-1900″ page 310 ).

It was specialized in the furniture but later on also developed the decoration.  Around 1920-1930 about 1000 persons were working at the workshop.









The company used different marks to sign its pieces, among others, some are below:





According to Emile Bergerat (« L’ameublement d’art francais 1850-1900″ page 41),

in 1878 the Kriéger company was the biggest furniture company in Paris and was famous all over Europe.

At the end of the 19th century the workshop was like a factory covering a surface of two hectares . Good quality piece and also exceptional pieces were produced.

Emile Bergeratの著によると、メゾン・クリガー社は、1870年のパリで最も大きな家具制作会社であり、ヨーロッパ全体においてもとても有名な会社でした。


Table  à thé aux chérubins

Table à thé aux chérubins

Krieger booth at the Exposition universelle de Bruxelles in 1910

Krieger booth at the Exposition universelle de Bruxelles in 1910

Among others prizes, the company got the silver medal at the 5th exhibition of the Union centrale des Beaux-Arts in 1876, and also the grand prix at the Exposition universelle internationale de Paris in 1889 (« L’ameublement d’art francais 1850-1900″).

Ok, most probably you wont get their top pieces which were made for the aristocracy and rich customers of this time, but it is also precised that the company was using  quartersawn oak for their furniture structure and also well selected mahogany(« L’ameublement d’art francais 1850-1900″ page 310).

So this is the most important point for a person who may buy a normal Kriéger piece cause this guarantee the stability of the wood hence the quality of the furniture.


1876年centrale des Beaux-Artsにおいて行われた博覧会にて銀メダルを獲得、また、1889年パリ万国博覧会では家具製作の技術などを披露し、各国を差し置いてグランプリを獲得しています。

もちろん展覧会で展示されたような家具は一部の上流階級に作られた、ほんの一部の特別なものではあります。しかし、メゾンクリガー社が手がけた家具全般にquartersawn (柾目びき)という製材技術が用いられていられたり、厳選されたマホガニー材が用いられていたりと、一般的な層のものでも大変クオリティーが高いものであることがわかります。









Small trick


Sometimes, really easy thing can be use to fix things that seems to be an issue.

Today’s example is when the piece is not stable, so one of the foot is too long compare with the three others.

We are not talking able looseness in the junctions parts between the tenon and mortaise.


If these parts are all good, the matter is just the length of one foot.

So to fix the issue, you have either to add length to a foot or remove length to another foot.

People who are not familiar with  restoration will first think about making concerned foot shorter and finish the job like this.

Indeed, it is a mistake and it is a mistake for at least 2 reasons.

First reason is that when you say restoration, you have to think REVERSIBILITY.

Which means that what you have done on the piece can be undone, in the future, without damaging the wood.

Now if you shorten a piece of wood, it can not be undone. The wood you removed is gone and it is gone. You could eventually glue  a thin wedge later on, but original wood would still be gone.

The second reason,  is you did not understand the reason of the issue properly. If all the foot are tightly set in there places, and if one foot is shorter than the other ones, it is simply because  wood, with time passing and conditions, will move, getting shorer, longer, twist, etc… So for example due to the place it was cut out, a foot can shrink a little bit more than the three others and then bring the slight instability.

Now lets say the new owner place is just a bit more humid than the previous owner’s place.

Then, if by mistake you shortened one foot to make the piece stable, once it will arrive to the new owner place, the concerned foot may take back a little bit of length, and so the instability problem you thought you have sorted out it indeed back.

So what I do when I am concerned by such case, I simply add length to the concerned foot, by fixing a small wedge, not even with glue,

but with a double face scotch tape. So that even the owner can remove it easily if necessary.

It is fully reversible, you did not remove any wood, and it is also invisible ( which is by the way a important principle of restoration).

reversible wedge


La fauteuil crapaud (ou crapau)


I recently put on my website a « crapaud » armchair,


When I was looking for some info about that type of chair, sometimes it pops up as Louis-Philippe and sometimes you find it in Napoléon III style.

These two periods are very closed but  if we refer to Havard dictionary, the « crapaud » armchair started during the Louis-Philippe period.

On page 1065, tome I, it says  » It is usually admitted that the fabrication of this low chairs does not excess 50 years « , as the dictionnary was first published in 1890, and considering that it took him few years to write the book, these 50 years he is talking about would bring us to around 1840, which was Louis-Philippe’s reign.

Havard page 1065










Roubo氏(後記”フランスの有名な家具職人たち”参照)によると、その用途的分類を無視して言うならば、アンティーク家具は二種類に分けることが可能だと言います。 それはその構造によって分けることです。
もう一つは、骨組み材プラス パネル材を使ったもの。例えばチェスト、ワードローブ、ライティングデスクなどです。
私はホームページのカテゴリーを、一般的な用途的分類にRoubo 氏の構造的分類もプラスして作成しています。













少なくとも18世紀、 もしくはそれ以前より、アンティーク家具や天然木を使う家具に使われていました。
ワックスは仕上げ材として弱いと言われることもありますが、何十年も前に造られ、 現代まで素晴らしい状態で残されているアンティーク家具たちを見れば、アンティーク家具を丁寧に正しい状態で使用している上では、ワックスが弱いという説は否定できる部分もあるでしょう。















this is not wine but a fresh varnish I just finished to prepare

you come and smell yourself, lavender, lemon and other good fresh smells..




denomination mistake


”パミスパウダー” のページで「demi commode デミ・コモド」と紹介したこちら

正しくは 「chiffonnière シフォニア」 「table en chiffonnière シフォニアテーブル」の間違いでした

I recently wrote about this small chest below:



I wrote it was a « demi commode »,

I made a mistake, the correct denomination is  » chiffonnière » also called « table en chiffonnière ».