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Restoration Uncovered - Victorian Antique Japanned Work Table

Restoration Uncovered - Victorian Antique Japanned Work Table
An interesting and somewhat unusual arrival to our humble antique furniture shop arrived a couple of weeks ago: a japanned work table heavily decorated with oriental themed scenery.
I decided this piece deserved a more in depth and comprehensive product description (in fairness every piece we sell deserves that treatment and this is something I am getting better at with every update!) than I often muster while simply trying to get stock uploaded in a there I was, sitting at my favourite Maples & Co. pedestal desk, laptop open and this beautiful little work table by my side ready for 'inspection'...Victorian Antique Japanned Work Table with Velvet Sewing Bag
So my strategy here was fairly simple: start at the top and work down, describing in detail every aspect, feature and point of interest as presented to me. If you have ever tried your hand at copy writing product descriptions you will understand there is something fairly abstract about the is a bit like the feeling you get if you repeat a word so many times it begins to lose with the description there is a limit to how in depth and detailed you should go to keep things relevant and readable: just to say 'it is a work table' is clearly insufficient, we need to go deeper. However at the other end I don't need to tell anyone it is painted/japanned 'with a two inch brush' or indeed 'on a rainy Thursday afternoon by a slightly hungry middle aged man'...and so with my limits set, sitting comfortably on my current, although not favourite, Victorian antique mahogany ribbon back desk chair I began to write...and then I stopped.
'Hang on' I thought to myself...something is not right here. All of this mental preparation to enter a descriptive battle with this piece of antiquity went on ice as I noticed, right on the front and at the top of the table, two small rectangular indents. 'Hmm what is going on there' I muttered, downed tools, completely forgot my strategy, and opened the thing up to take a closer look... 
Victorian Antique Japanned Work Table IndentationVictorian Antique Japanned Oriental Style Work Table Indentation on Left Side
As it turned out, those indents were the original locations for the hinges which allow the top flap to open. After many years of exposure the original 'top side' of the flap had become significantly worn (look after your antiques ladies and gentlemen, they are become a rarer species everyday) as we can see in the picture below...
Victorian Antique Japanned Work Table with Sewing Bag Underside of Lid Showing Damage
So a previous owner thought 'I will simply turn this over, re-fix the hinges to the other side (also ornately decorated with painted scenery). That way when I come to sell hopefully the piece will look its best and achieve a higher price...'
Victorian Antique Japanned Work Tablewith Sewing Box and Oriental Hand Painted Scenery Top of Lid
Of course they couldn't anticipate a super sleuthing, antique furniture describing maestro such as myself to be casting an eye over this 'handywork' all those years later.
Pleased with my attention to detail, incredible observation skills and dedication to resolving the mystery 'of the two weird little marks on the front' I promptly forgot entirely about writing the description and sat there proudly explaining my new found discovery to a partially interested customer (poor soul happened to be passing my little 'office' and asked what I was doing). Then I had lunch...but after lunch I got on with the job in hand and put this description and listing together for the world to see! It is still, despite a coloured history, a beautiful piece of furniture and we hope to find it a good home soon. Take a look at our product page and tell me what you think! All criticism is welcome as long as it is friendly, boosts my ego and doesn't ruin my lunch:)

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