Should a Restoration Look Like New?
By David Evans
I too have read (well, not *all* of the words yet!) the wonderful
new Reblitz/Bowers book and I have to agree with Jonathan Holmes that
*everything* looks like it was built yesterday. I knew several of the
illustrated instruments when they were in UK and Belgium and other
parts of Europe, and they now look over restored. The Limonaire organ
once in Cornwall looks like it has been stripped and re-painted --
a pity, since it was largely original when it was over here.
There is a distinct difference between Restoration and Conservation,
a point that has been missed by many restorers in many different fields
of collecting. Historians of the future will have great difficulty in
conducting accurate research if we alter everything because we think it
Jonathan mentioned the matter of re-voicing organs. There are now
virtually no examples of circa 1890 fairground barrel organs by such
makers as Gavioli in existence thanks to restorers who feel it their
duty to re-build them as book operated instruments with twice as many
registers and four times as much gaudy front. Fifteen or twenty years
ago there were many original examples. We seem to be destroying
history as fast as we can.
Personally I prefer to learn from history and conserve it as much as
Happy New Year!
(Message sent Sun 30 Dec 2001, 13:56:32 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)