I recently acquired an 18th century kast that has been completely disassembled for storage purposes and kept in a barn for many years. The piece is very dirty. I am planning in cleaning it myself. The question is: since we (the seller and of course me) don't know what type of wood this piece is made of, what would be a proper cleaning method? Seller mentions oak as a possibility but does not seem very likely. Could chestnut be an option? Piece is coming from Pennsylvania. Antique store near my home suggested to use a hose and a bristle brush but I am worried that would hurt the wood. I plan to have it professionally restored but I would greatly enjoy the cleaning part. Hinges are original and present. Thank you in advance.
Answer The "kas" can be cleaned up using furniture paste wax after washing gently with a soft brush like a shoe brush then dried well.
i cannot attest to the age and you should not rely on the sellers statement. to determine age, tool marks and construction methods must be determined and compared to knowns.
if you will send pictures of the wood, close up and in focus, where i can see the grain i might determine the wood species.
In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls.
You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser.
It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.
I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.
Organizations Professional Refinishers Groop, Int.,
Antiques Dealers Association
Education/Credentials BA Florida State University
BA University of West Florida 1971