Occasional Chairs

MPF Conservation restores, conserves and preserves all types of chairs in their studio in Portland Oregon; this page shows occasional chairs.

Aesthetic style chairs circa 1880, right. Restored finish, buildup and reupholstered in a silk taffeta showcover from Beacon Hill, passementerie from Houlès.

In most cases, the occasional chairs below had a variation of the following performed on them. For the sake of brevity, we will only publish the differences in this list, under “Details”. Frames are often not completely disassembled due to issues in the frame or it is not necessary.

  • Excavated down to the frame
  • Cleaned all innards and set aside if they can be reused
  • Frame disassembled and joints repaired and reglued
  • Tacking margins filled with hardwood pins (see image below right)
  • Historic varnish was amended with several coats of pure shellac and rubbed to patina
  • Seat was traditionally upholstered and built-up with historic or appropriate fibers
  • Cotton batting topper
  • Muslin undercover encased entire chair
  • New showcover

Note: In most instances frames are returned to their historic finish, however, occasionally clients want something a bit different, such as the painted finish shown on the chair left.

All the items below are created with cleaning in mind. Hidden zippers with interior muslin tickings make it easy to remove the decorative covers and take them to a good dry cleaners. Leather cushions are fitted with a fabric back panel to allow air to escape when they are sat or rested upon.

Belgian Eclecticism Louis XV Revival Style Fauteuil circa 1900

Details: Original needlepoint tapestry and brown bouclé outside back showcovers.

For more information on this conservation, visit our blog:

Before, left, and after, right and below.

French Louis XIV Fauteuil circa 1680

This could be confused with a French Regency circa 1715 but for the interlocking double “U” crossed stretchers and modest hooves on the legs.

The fauteuil had many issues in both frame and the traditional buildup. The historic damaged tapestry showcover had holes.

Detail: MPFC rewove the torn textile before reupholstering over the restored buildup.

The style of the needlepoint tapestry is quite like the Needlepoint Fauteuil circa 19th century from the Pittock Mansion, shown right.

Belgium European Beech Wood Fauteuil circa 1900

The frame was extremely compromised in several areas, splits and breaks, and had been fitted with a sprung seat circa 1830. Successive upholsterings had not been kind as the upholsterers did not remove previous tacks, and this has allowed us to place the time frame of the spring seat! However, MPFC found remains of the original tapestry embedded wihtin stuffings and under tacks.

The last showcover was in good condition and our client wanted to retain it while repairing the breaks.

Before, left, and after, right.

Palatinate (German) Walnut Bishop’s Chair circa 1650

European Beech wood is secondary wood.

Details: Showcover is a liserie by Clarence House; trim by Houlès.

Sammy, shop cat extraordinaire, liked the old upholstery showcover best, right. All shop cats have their nails trimmed weekly and are well-behaved, and are allowed to sit on pieces (from homes with cats) before they are upholstered.

Ladies first, above; O Captain My Captain, below.
Before, left, and after, right.

American Southern Victorian Walnut Bustle Style Hoopbacks in Ladies and Captain’s sizes, circa 1840

Family pieces were sentimental and would be passed down to other generations.

Details: Silk stripe showcover is Beacon Hill.

Before, left, and after, right.

Original Stickley Rachet-back Reclining Settle Arm Chair circa 1900

Gustav Stickley (1858–1942), American designer. Note the beautiful detail of the rachet-back in the third image above


  • MPFC protected the original sticker then covered with a piece of acrylic.
  • Showcover in keeping with historic fabric by Beacon Hill

Before, left, and after, right.

French Napoleon II Rosewood Cameo Back circa 1835

The French Napolean Cameo is one of a set of six chairs that also matches a lovely sofa, soon to come. Whomever had upholstered it previously had rounded the seat, which should be relatively flat, and not delineated the cameo back properly.

All items in the set needed to be retrofit as the frames were damaged.

The carved rosettes and bows were at one time gilded, and it can be seen in the before image below left. The gilding was not removed, but so worn it is barely noticeable in after images.

Below, before, left, and after, right.

Proper buildup was created.

New showcover is sculpted shot (with gold thread) silk/rayon velvet from Zoffany. Three different gold trims are from Houlès.

Details of the trim applications, above.

This will be updated after our blog post is live.

Before, left, and after, right.

American Eclecticism Chair circa 1880 with Green Man

Condition issues included broken arm stile, above middle detail, missing decorative turns on top.


  • Turns reproduced and finished to match original polished finish
  • Showcover is a sculpted velvet with metallic yarns by Vervain.

This hand-carved relief carving of a Green man is petite, sitting under the lower lumbar rail. We have another Green Man on the Amasa B. Campbell House page!

Before, left, and after, right.

American Birch Victorian Baroque Revival Chair circa 1890

The chair is handcarved with Baroque Revival applied carvings with an oil asphaltum glaze and shellac varnish.

Details: Sculpted shot (with gold thread) silk/rayon velvet showcover is Zoffany.

Before treatment, left, and after treatment, right.

Mahogany German Gothic Revival Chair circa 1860

These are used in this historic home as dining chairs, however, most dining chairs have minimal upholstery. All needed basic frame work and reupholstery.


  • Historic varnish was amended with pure shellac and rubbed to patina
  • New showcover is sculpted shot (with gold thread) silk/rayon velvet from Zoffany.

French Modern Painted European Beech Wood Chair circa 1950

Painted chair bentwood arms was a garage sale find by our client. She wanted to have fun restoring it, and that we did. Attached pillow top and back, two-color oil painted finish.

Details: Showcover is a Monkwell/Kravet chenille with a large loop bouclé moss fringe by Houlès.

Mahogany British Godwin circa 1870

An Anglo-Japanese style attributed to British architect and designer Edward William Godwin.

Details: Showcover is a two-color waxed pull-up leather by Leathercraft.

Dutch Spindleback circa 1600

The Spindleback was originally lashed woven seagrass, never meant to be upholstered. The primary issues were structural due to pest infestation and dry rot eroding the seat-to-leg tenon. Our repair was extremely innovative!

The chair featured in this article is very old. It was probably well into it’s use at the time Henry Hudson first made his way up the river which became his namesake.  It was originally a woven seat. It was never meant to be upholstered. Once the die was cast, the first upholstering created untold damage to the old and fragile rails, and there was no possibility of going back to its previous woven construction.” Click below to read the rest of the blog post on the treatment of this chair:

Enjoy the slide show above to see the transformation.

Hunzinger “Lollipop” Chair, circa 1880

George Jakob Hunzinger (born 1835 in Tuttingen, Germany), was a prolific progressive designer out of New York. If you google him you will find many images of his furniture.

American Mahogany Baroque Revival Captain’s Arm Chair circa 1840

This was a sentimental piece handed down from the grandfather along with the American Georgian Revival Mahogany Two-Sided Desk circa 1890 shown on the Desk page. Details:

  • Hand tacked decorative nails
  • New vegetable tanned waxed two-color leather showcover by Napa Leather.

American Empire Mahogany Seignouret Chair circa 1830

A family heirloom, this Seignouret Chair from New York had a soiled needlepoint showcover, a seat that was dropping through, and the frame needed treatment and preservation. We removed the needlepoint, cleaned and blocked it, conserved the frame and seat, and replaced the needlepoint.

British Hepplewhite Shield-back Chair circa 1780

Broken arm frame was repaired and restored. Original wool showcover.

Modern Chair circa

Frame finish was damaged and the buildup compromised.

Details: New showcover of black leather from Napa Leather.

Upholstered Objects  includes sofas, loveseats, recamiers, sofa-beds, hassocks and many kinds of chairs. Some lightly upholstered chairs (seat only, as in Dining and Side Chairs or Stools) are found under Wooden Objects. Textiles are found in another section.

Note: Our studio is not open for drop-in business.
Please make appointments by contacting us.