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Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Information on refurbishig a rattan baby buggy

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Buggy
Buggy  
I puchased this buggy in southen Germany and would like to have it refurbished to be used as a bassinet for my grandbabies. Do you have any information on where I an locate someone to do this work here in Europe?. To my observation the following needs attention: 1. Wheels need new rubber 2. Wicker/rattan needs deep cleaning and restoration (basicaly intact with only a few pieces loose) 3. Recover inside bed and hood 4. resurface wheels and frame 5. replace bed mattress. Also any information on its origin and date of manufacture woud be iteresting. Thanks for your help,
Gwen

Answer
Gwen that's a lovely baby buggy you have there, but I don't know of anyone in Germany that does wicker repair, sorry. You will just have to ask around. Perhaps you will be able to find a basketmaker or an upholster that would be willing to take on the restoration for you.

Without close examination, I'm not sure what the actual body material is made of, so not comfortable advising you on cleaning either. It appears to be some sort of plastic, rubber or vinyl though, and if so, could be washed down on the inside and outside on the hood. And perhaps even on the sides with water from a hose?

A new mattress can be made and maybe the lining inside might need to be replaced also. As to replacing the rubber on the wheels, you might be able to find automobile hose to fit and then glue on with epoxy. This will give you the look, but probably won't stand up with active use, but for a bassinet, it will probably do just fine.

I'm guessing you haven't found a manufacturer's label that would help us determine its age? My guess would be in the 1930s-1950s with design elements borrowed from earlier eras.

For more information and hints and tips on caring for your wicker furniture, you can visit the Wicker FAQ and Articles-How to Care For Wicker Furniture pages on my website. Links to my website are below. Hope this helps!  

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The Wicker WomanŽ-Cathryn Peters

Expertise

I will answer any questions having to do with antique wicker furniture, wicker furniture repair and restoration, chair caning and all other types of chair seat weaving techniques and patterns. I DO NOT GIVE APPRAISALS or free WHAT IT'S WORTH valuations, nor do I buy/sell wicker furniture at this time.

Experience

Since 1975 I've been repairing and restoring all types of wicker furniture from the 1880s-1940s, with a special interest in the Victorian era. I'm proficient in the repair and restoration of all types of chair seat weaving; hand-twisted cattail and bulrush, paper fiber rush, chair caning of all types, Shaker tape, Danish cord and seagrass. I also teach chair seat weaving at folk schools, basketry conventions and private individuals or groups. I also offer consultations, and will demonstrate and lecture on the craft topics of chair seating, wicker repair and basketry. I am also web master of WickerWoman.com, online since 1999 and founder and moderator of the Seatweaving & Chair Caning Forum since 2004.

Organizations
Founding member and first President of The SeatWeavers' Guild, Inc. (TSWG 2007-2011), Seatweaving & Chair Caning Forum founder and moderator (2004-present), charter member of the National Basketry Organization, numerous regional and state basket guilds, and member of the Basketmakers' and Chair Seaters' Association (BA) located in the United Kingdom.

Publications
Woman's Day Budget Decorating Ideas 2006, Country Living August 2004, Finishing & Restoration Magazine, October 2002, Barbara Brabec's Handmade For Profit, Homemade Money-Starting Smart! and Homemade Money-Bringing in the Bucks!, Collector's Journal, Basketry Round-Up #2 by Shereen LaPlantz, Splint Woven Basketry by Robin Taylor Daugherty, 101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women by Priscilla Y. Huff, Ralph & Terry Kovel's Yellow Pages of Restoration Experts, Small Town Minnesota from A-Z by Tony Andersen and monthly Wicker Furniture columnist for Minnesota's The Old Times newspaper in 1993 & 1994.

Education/Credentials
High school graduate, self-taught, and "school of hard knocks" for all the rest!

Awards and Honors
I've been involved in several unique wicker restoration projects such as weaving two wicker chairs for the Johnson Wax Replica Sikorsky S-38 Amphibian Airplane in 1998, then two more in 2000 for Buzz Kaplan, owner of Born Again Restorations, the company that created the replica Sikorsky, and did the restoration of all the wicker furniture in the Itasca State Park, Bemidji, MN during their Centennial celebration in 1995. I've also served as Chair Seatweaving Mentor to an apprentice through the Minnesota State Arts Board Folk Art Grant program in 2000, been the recipient of a McKnight/Arrowhead Regional Arts Council (ARAC) Career Opportunity Grant in 2004, and the recipient of a McKnight/ARAC Emerging Artist Fellowship in 2005.

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