Jul 092012


It will come as no surprise to you that, during the course of a year, we receive a good deal of work at Snelling Associates relating to glass replacement – with some of this requiring specialist glass repair and the actual ‘blowing’ of new glass!

Of course, one of the problems with antique furniture and objets d’art is that the original glass is not the modern (and very anodyne) ‘float’ glass that has now become standard.  The latter has no imperfections, needless to say, and is much better for day to day life.  However, it lacks ‘life’ and when a piece of broken ‘blown’ glass is replaced by ‘float’ glass then then it is glaringly obvious (if around it there are other pieces of ‘blown’ glass’).  Indeed, the integrity of a piece of antique furniture can be spoilt.

So, what can you do when a piece of ‘blown’ glass is broken?

Well, the answer is to bring the broken piece of glass or, better still, the whole unit to our workshops.  We are often able to replace your broken piece as we have a small store of old, ‘blown’ glass that we can cut to fit into your unit.  This means that the replaced glass will look almost the same as the original piece.

Sometimes we receive a real problem, with the image above illustrating a very special family heirloom – a 150 year old wine decanter that was broken.  As you can imagine the owner was distraught.  Well, fortunately, we work closely with a specialised glass expert who blows glass and he was able to repair the decanter!

So, all is not lost if you do break either something that is made from glass or that has glass within it.  Almost invariably, we can remedy the problem.

That said, sometimes the problem lies not just with replacing broken glass with a fine match of similar glass.  Often actually re-fitting the glass can be very fiddly. Removing battening that has been in place for years can be very awkward and require considerable skill, if the unit concerned is not to be damaged.

Equally, when glass is broken it is usually due to some kind of heavy impact that also damages the surrounds of the piece concerned.  It is then that our skills as furniture restoration specialists in Surrey come into their own – as we are able to not only refit the glass carefully but also we can remedy any other damage.  If this requires re-colouring or French Polishing or detailed woodwork then all of this can be achieved – resulting in your treasured piece of antique furniture or objet ‘d’art looking as good as it was when first made…

Peter Snelling