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        Photo

        There is a great mystique that has grown around caring for high quality reproductions as well as original antiques. The fact is that both are remarkably maintenance free, and they both require only occasional cleaning and waxing. One should be careful not to place either near sources of heat or cold, or in areas of high humidity.

        Original antiques and fine re-creations are built of relatively wide boards of solid wood, which will expand perpendicular to the grain when humid conditions exist, and likewise contract in low humidity. Good cabinetmakers will take this seasonal movement into consideration when building furniture and make allowances for the movement. There are some places where it is not possible to so this, however, such as the sides of chests and other case pieces. In these cases, the side panels are tenoned into the legs with the horizontal grain of the sides meeting the vertical grain of the legs at right angles. As a result, the sides are not allowed to expand and contract and hairline cracks often develop after a period of time. Such hairline cracks are a natural outcome of the authentic construction technique, and should not be considered a defect. Similarly, under very high humidity conditions, some drawers may tend to be somewhat stickier than others; a condition that goes away when the humidity drops or the drawers ?break in?. It is important to remember that the wood was at one time alive, and even after it has been made into furniture it continues to be a very dynamic medium. An authentically crafted reproduction will behave just as an original, and small movements in the wood should be expected and considered an integral part of the aging process.

        Apart from regular dusting, an occasional waxing or polishing is all that my furniture requires; once every six months to a year should be sufficient. The debate continues as to which wax or polish is the best. Most antiquarians have agreed that any good quality wax is suitable for antiques and replicas alike. Aerosol furniture polishes, which usually contain silicones, should not be used.

        In summary, my furniture is designed and built to stand the test of time. It is far more rugged than most furniture being built today, and will give many years of pleasure with only an occasional need for care. Please feel free to use it, enjoy it and pass it on to future generations.

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