Halford Restorations
Jamie Halford BA(Hons)
Restorer of Antique Furniture
Bishop's Stortford Hertfordshire


Fine quality pieces of all periods are treated with the appropriate balance of conservation and restoration. The exact choice of action, methods and materials depend on the context of the item being worked on, not all pieces can be treated the same, as their value or importance may depend on entirely different aspects.

Many conservator - restorers describe a spectrum: Pure conservation may aim to understand an object and  halt further degradation, whereas extreme restoration may involve complete rebuild to 'factory condition' using extensively replaced parts, as may sometimes be encountered in some classic car restorations.There are trade-offs in moving between the extremes, for example loss of originality and information in return for form, function and aesthetics.

The example of the clock case below shows an entirely new case for an old movement, built using period construction methods and given some degree of patination to simulate age.  This could be described as faking but these same skills are applied when objects require an undetectable repair of a broken or missing part. Often if you can detect a repair it is a poor repair, perhaps due to lack of appropriate skills, tools, knowledge or materials. But a repair may equally be constrained by a need to compromise on cost and to protect other original aspects of a piece. Minimum intervention is generally preferred, shifting treatments towards the conservation end of the spectrum.

Some items have specific histories or rarity, these may be museum pieces or could well be objects of value to a family which need to remain in a recognised form or retain signs of specific personal use. At the far (conservation) end of the spectrum the priority is to halt further degradation, components may be re-assembled, returning an objects form but not necessarily intending to turn back the clock of decline.

As conservation moves towards restoration it may reintroduce structural integrity with consolidants and support to enable display and handling, or re-introduce missing elements or representations of them, to give understanding of original form. Most restoration projects fall somewhere between these extremes.

There are highly specialised areas of conservation and restoration to various types of object and material and it is important for an individual to know the limits of what their skills, knowledge, tools and materials can achieve before passing the task on to a more appropriate professional. 
Jamie has experience with a wide range of items generally relating to furniture and wooden items and their related objects and materials. Also longcase clocks and similar scale movements (large bracket and wall clocks etc.) but is less likely to be able to assist with smaller clocks. Please use the contact us button in the navigation bar for an inquiry, if Jamie cannot help he will try to refer you to a more appropriate contact.

Picture of a new case for a Regency period chamfer top bracket clock

A demonstration of cabinet making skills: Customers frequently underestimate what can be achieved in terms of quality and competency. A restorer aspires to replicate the skills of the original craftsperson of the piece, and of course replicate age/patina when necessary. To demonstrate this, here is a complete (new) 'chamfer top' case made for an 8 Day twin fusee movement, made using early 19th century period techniques, old timbers, and suitably fabricated brass fittings. This example is not intended to deceive but to illustrate cabinet making skills used in restoration.

A Triptych Reredos from Hockerill college chapel, Bishop's Stortford.

You can read more about this restoration project in  Ecclesiastical and Heritage World, follow this link.

Triptych reredos

This panel received the British Antique Furniture Restorers Association conservation award 2010, 'Best spread of skills' award, demonstrating framing, cutting complex mouldings, carving, turning, polishing, gilding, metal work, engraving,  silvering and veneer inlay.

Examples of restoration work, to be updated (these images are 10+ yrs old)