Our company has been around since the 1930’s, passed down generation to generation. The amount of experience and knowledge gained through the years and passed down to the next family member about the craftsmanship of upholstery and refinishing is immense. We like to compare it to inheriting that box full of hand written recipe cards from a great grandmother, full of the secret ingredients that set it apart from the rest. We have inherited those secret ingredients in the art of upholstery and furniture refinishing in Bellevue. Our eyes have seen the most incredible pieces of furniture carried through our doors, ranging from uncovering intricately carved wood chair frames that have been hidden under upholstery since the early 1900s, to refurbishing an old trunk that once carried one’s entire possessions from Finland after World War II.
Having said all of this, we were lucky enough to have a most cherished piece come into our hands recently, one in which we had not seen before. A customer called in to tell us he had an heirloom that was sitting in his family’s garage in Midwest; a rocking baby cradle with an intricate crank mechanism that was in utter disrepair and a missing handle. He was hoping to return it to its original functioning state so he sought out the experts at Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing to complete this dream of restoring it. We had it shipped from the Midwest, all the way to Seattle to be assessed by our experts.
This is not something we could order offline or walk into the local hardware store to find the missing part. We received the precious piece to our production shop and took some time studying the original vintage mechanism. The cradle rocking system had a spring mechanism that went from one end of the cradle to the other, and was not functional. We ended up restoring the old spring and reengineering the system. We re-tightened the whole mechanism, and used a weight in the cradle to simulate the weight of a baby. We made adjustments and technical refinements to follow and were able to return the cradle and crank to its original functioning state. We also re-created the missing handle that replicated what would have been used originally, stained to blend with the existing finish patina.
The frame and spindles were also loose and wobbly, in need of re-gluing and strengthening– another area of work we take pride in. All joints were re-glued and the entire stain finish was touched up to its former glory.
Queen Anne Upholstery and Refinishing has a knack and a passion for working on items such as this one, where we need to step back a few generations into the shoes of the former craftsmen who created the furniture we are privileged to work on, to recreate and restore the beauty and quality of antique, vintage, or specialty one of a kind items.