Posted 3 years ago
This Turtle top was my first, although I very much prefer dome tops by far. Just couldn't say no. No makers name. It is 34 long 24 tall by 20 deep...lots of die-cast trim, complete example of the interior, linen lined and nothing wrong with the leather exterior but for maybe two or three character marks. Nickle plated patent date 1886 & 1887 lock. Both original handles, with some remnants of the original gold tinning on trim and nails. It will be my first to start.
I was fascinated by the leather work and wanted to bring this back close enough to original to allow the pop affect of the dark tool pattern. I have restored just about every texture and material from wooden crates to tin toys to paper, but not leather. After reading tons on restoring leather , cleaners , waxes , soaps which would only darken as a whole and lose the pop of the original layout, which I didn't want. I found its best just to use my own thoughts and experience. So the out come was simple, with a 180 & 220 finishing sand paper to strip the old dirt and dried what ever laying on top. With anything, the bottom edge and top will take the brunt of time (dirt and age wear). This is normal with furniture as well. So in the photos you can see the original color under the lid band. That was the target. The bottom edge you don't see much detail of the original layout. But with simple and little effort,... in behind all that dirt still holds and is achievable the original foundation of color and pattern. After which a simple medium brown shoe polish, which I have
done on sample swatches, will pull this back as close to original with a nice a finish as one could get without huge expense and effort. the wood will have to come off though to keep your sand to a minimum and allow even flow of sanding strokes so as not to harp on any specific places over and over turning it to suede, such as inside corners where it would meet the wood. But even a mild touch of suede if happens, the shoe polish will override it.