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A stitch in time for Fairfax House

Following their recent successful completion of conservation and restoration works in Ripon Cathedral, St Nicholas, Newcastle and Manchester Central Library, York-based Andrew G Podmore & Son have been involved with the York Civic Trust at Fairfax House.

Reputedly the finest Georgian town house in England, Fairfax House was designed by York's most distinguished eighteenth-century architect, John Carr. It was saved from decay and returned to its former glory by York Civic Trust in 1982-84.

Podmores were entrusted with the task of sorting through boxes of loose veneers, mouldings and carved sections that had been collected over the years after being dislodged, broken and loosened with the ravages of time.

This was a somewhat time-consuming task - matching detached sections to each individual piece of furniture and reinstating on site, it became the ultimate giant three dimensional jigsaw. Most of the work was carried out during opening hours, providing the public with a unique view of the conservation work witnessing the skills of the craftsmen and even the smell of the boiled bone glue.

Podmore's next task was the repair to the 18th century mahogany writing table (pictured), after a design by Thomas Chippendale. The top had shrunk across the grain over the years which had led to the side mouldings splitting the top and loosening the front column capitals. The mouldings were removed, the splits closed and mouldings re-glued in place. All the work was carried out without disturbing the existing finishes.

Andrew Podmore are delighted to be involved with the ongoing care of this important collection.

See further stunning examples of furniture restoration and bespoke joinery at

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