Tunbridge Ware Box

Tunbridge Ware Box

Oct 15


Here is a fantastic Tunbridge Ware box I recently finished restoring for a customer.


As you can see in the following pictures, it came in missing some of the marquetry. I found more that was loose and coming off.




The keyholes had been plugged in both doors.




One of the irreplaceable knobs was broke on the bottom drawer




Here are some pictures after the piece was stabilized and fully restored.




The escutcheons in the doors had to be made by hand to fit where the plugs were removed.




The knob on the bottom drawer is not available and had to be meticulously repaired to match the others.




This is a fantastic piece that was very difficult to repair.


The customer was very pleased with the restoration.


—– Brandon



An Old Anri

An Old Anri

Sep 24


Here’s a great old Anri nutcracker I picked up off of Ebay about a year or so ago.


It was missing an upper lip and had a few chips in the hat and above the lever in the back.


Again, I was a bit eager and forgot to get good photos before I started on the repairs.


So here are some pictures of it in process:






This was another one of those pieces that you want to do a light restoration on.


Fix the obvious breaks and details, but leave the rest alone to retain the authenticity of the piece.


Here are a few pictures of the piece after it was restored:








 I’m very pleased with how well the piece came out.


—– Brandon

Face repair

Face repair

Sep 17


Just finished repairing a great really old (1700’s) Boxwood piece.


This came in with most of the face missing and a pretty big chunk missing from the front of the lever.


Here are a couple pictures when it came in:






Here’s a photo of it in process of being repaired.


New Boxwood has been attached, carved, and is waiting to be stained and blended.




Here are a couple photos of the piece done:










This was a challenging repair.


I want to thank Arlene Wagner from the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum for sending me reference photos of pieces she has from this time period so I could make sure the details I needed to add were authentic to the piece.


—– Brandon


Bear chewin’ on a Feedbag

Bear chewin’ on a Feedbag

Sep 10


Here’s a fantastic piece I got to restore recently for one of the Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members.


It’s a really rare screw type nutcracker of a bear chewing on a feedbag.


This piece has a ton of detail and is very well done.


It came in with a broken feedbag nub, hole in the base, and chipped ears.


Here are a couple before pictures:






Here are a couple pictures after all the repairs were made:






This was a fun piece to work on and came out great!




Dog with a Rat

Dog with a Rat

Sep 04


Here’s a really rare unique screw type nutcracker that came into the shop recently for repairs.


Both ear tips were missing and needed replaced.


Here are a couple before pictures showing the ear tips missing:






Here are a couple pictures showing the piece after I added new ear tips:






The piece came out great and the new ear tips blend seamlessly with the original.


Anri Clown

Anri Clown

Aug 13


Here’s a really nice older Anri Clown that looks like it may date back to when they were made in the Groden Valley.


This piece came in with an older repair applied to a broken nose and there was a small spot of impact damage to the hair.




Lucky for me the older repair wasn’t done well and came off easily and clean.





A new chunk of wood was added to the broken nose and a small piece added to fix impact damage to the hair.





Here are pictures of the piece after a lot of carving, blending, painting, and staining.








The customer sent final pictures off to an Anri expert in Italy for their opinion before final acceptance of the piece.


The verdict was “Perfecto!”.


The Process

The Process

Aug 06


I’ve had a few inquiries regarding the processes and techniques I use to restore the pieces that come in.


The short answer is that everything is done under high magnification and special lighting.


The longer answer is, wood specific to the piece and a lot of time and skills are used on each piece to make sure it is accurately restored to the highest quality without compromising the integrity of the piece or its age.


A recent restoration I just completed for one of the Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members is a perfect example.


The customer sent in a really nice piece of a man wearing a tricorne hat.


It had damage to the face (nose) and most of the tricorne hat was missing. Damage to these specific details can detract from the piece’s aesthetics as well as its value.


The piece was also missing the feet, but due to this piece’s age they were left alone.


The feet missing does not detract from the value, in fact, this type of damage on a piece this old helps to maintain the piece’s integrity and prove its age.


Here are some pictures of the piece when it came in:








Here’s a great picture of the piece “in process” with many small chunks of period specific European Boxwood joined to it.


Each chunk is roughly about the size of a fingernail.





Here are pictures of the piece completed:









This piece has all the right details in place now that it should, but hasn’t been “over restored” to where the age of the piece might be questioned.


 —– Brandon


Getting a Handle on Things

Getting a Handle on Things

Jul 31


One of the more common breaks I see with nutcrackers are the handles.


This is common if the piece gets dropped.


I’ve fixed a number of these over the years (most recently – Anri Dog & Rolling Eye Anri) some more difficult than others, but all came out great.


Here’s a great piece from one of the Nutcracker Collectors’ Club members that needed the handle repaired.


The original piece was gone, so a new one had to be added to the existing break then carved and blended to match.


Here’s a before picture showing where the handle was broke.



Figural Nutcracker – Rear handle broken


Here are a few pictures of the piece all fixed and ready to be put back out on display:








The piece came out great and the customer was very pleased with it.