Estate Auction

Hi all – if you missed out on the Harmon Estate sale – you can still get in on the action! Cabin Fever took over the estate when I returned to Seattle last year. They have been slowly selling the inventory over the months following the sale in June of 2014. BUT! They have saved some of the best stuff for their annual Expo and the upcoming sale on March 22. Check out the inventory here.

image(2)2

The Harmon Workshop

Sale Announcement!

KEEP AN EYE ON THE HARMON ESTATE SALE PAGE – AS THAT IS THE OFFICIAL NEWS AND INFORMATION PAGE ON THE SALE. IT WILL BE REGULARLY UPDATED WITH A LIST OF CONTENTS AND THE SALE INFORMATION, ETC.

 

Estate Flyer6

5è Partie. A French Horse Racing Game – Diagnosis and Suggested Treatment by Ségolène Girard

Restoration of a 19th c. lottery game by M.J & Cie.

5è Partie. A French Horse Racing Game – Diagnosis and Suggested Treatment by S. Girard


Seg is speaking !

And sorry for the delay – the end of my third year is full with the preparation of the two next years : those of my master’s thesis, and long-term internships. Hopefully, I will get the chance to study in England to follow the path of Brittany, and hopefully at Brittany’s future workshop that promises to be filled with any restorer’s dreams, thank to the amazing job she is doing !

Let’s now get into the real process of restoration of my horse racing game.
After a full report of the deterioration it suffers of, and having took many pictures to complete it, I began thinking about options on what would have to be done on the game.

Capture d’écran 2014-04-03 à 23.05.05

It sort of was a personal project I did on my own, so of course, there are things that after a year I know I would have done otherwise with experience. But I am glad I got the chance to work on that piece so soon, since it has been a challenge the all way long. Also, considering that with only a year +1 I am already reconsidering my choices, and designing new options if I had to deal with a piece like this again, I feel it is very promising, and that this “stepping back” will grow with each year gained in experience.

As a two years student in restoration and conservation of paper works, I envisaged quite advanced actions :

– The game will be dismantled, drawings made to build it back.

– All of the pieces will be treated separately, and first dusted.

– I would then unstick all of the black papers, in order to repair the tears and gaps, and gain in flatness. Also, this would allow me to flatten the cardboard lid, before sticking the papers back. The golden papers, too oxydised would be removed and replaced by new ones. I felt that their now green colour was not rendering back the cheerful aspect of what that of game fortune used to give. If it has only been for the colour, I might have let them, considering them as part of the story the game came trough, but anyway, they were too incomplete, brittle, and could not offer their former protection to the edges.

The lid needs to be flattened, and the paper cleansed

The golden edges are not gold anymore, and they are leaving the sharp edges vulnerable to wear and tear

– The cardboard lower part, covered with mould, will be removed and replaced with a non-acid cardboard used in restoration.

Mould on the lower part of the game, after dismounting it

– The base, made out of wood, will be decontaminated because of the insects before putting the papers back.

Insect holes on the wooden base

Did you know you can recognize the insect that lived there only by the shape of the holes it leaves behind him ?

– The metal parts will be treated against rust.

Rust on the plateau of the base (inside view)

– Lead painting will be stabilized to prevent it of more flaking.

Flaking paint on the hoop

These actions resume what I dealt with the same way that I would now do it.
The only part that caused me trouble at that time, and that I would have done differently if I had had the time and funds is the treatment of the felt on the plateau. I decided to remove it because of its faded colour, and it was sometimes so thin you could see through it. Also, I wanted to access the metal parts to treat them against rust. It was a very hard choice to make ; choosing between which part to favor, and which to sacrifize. Anyway, I will probably have more time to study these types of problems in the future when I will be my own master on board !

Up next: 6è Partie. A French Horse Racing Game – Conservation (Part I)

Previous: 4è Partie. A French Horse Racing Game – A bit of History (Part II: Lottery Games)

 

Day No.7 – Now that’s a demagnetizer !

A Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer, a watch was placed inside of the core and the slide was then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:  The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer

 

A Boettger and Wittig Demagnetizer, a watch was placed inside of the core and the slide was then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:  The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

The watch is placed inside

 

Patent US699863

Patent US699863

 

To use, a watch is placed inside of the core; the slide is then moved in and out to change the polarity of the magnet, as described in patent number 699863:

The slide and comb thereon constitute a pole changer, and in practice the same is actuated to cause frequent reverses of the direction of current that goes through the electromagnet. A magnetized watch, tool, or other device is placed in the hollow core of the electromagnet… the pole changer is operated to effect its function… the result being demagnetization of said device.

pic2467a

Oddly enough, or maybe not oddly at all given the circumstances, Dennis had a collection of demagnetizers. This was my by far my favorite though.

Here are some other goodies from today’s work:

P1120802

Gorgeously golden aged lacquer on an antique microscope

 

P1120808

Pocket meter with original leather case

 

P1120829

A sample of the level collection

 

P1120793

Lovely little drill press

 

P1120796

Extra Schaublin 102 headstock

 

P1120773

Engine turned background

 

P1120771

Watchmakers lathe transmission drives

 

 

Day No.6 – Happy Holidays

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday filled with warmth, good food, and contentment. I found myself missing the familiar holiday celebrations. My Grandmother decorates the house with over 200 Santas (yes, 200 – I counted them a few years back and she adds more every year…), my cats have their little holiday feast and a toy cat-stravaganza, and the family has a celebratory gift opening followed by Champagne. That said, I was very welcome here and enjoyed the family’s tradition of having a breakfast Brandy Alexander! I may keep that one.

My little Christmas trees back in Seattle

My little Christmas trees back in Seattle

 

Meanwhile work at the shop carried on…..

Antique loops & eye glasses

Antique loops & eye glasses

 

Accessories!

Accessories!

 

Silver smithing tools

Silver smithing tools

 

 Calipers

Calipers

 

Mini toy steam engine

Mini toy steam engine