Documentation: Making restoration of furniture and wooden objects comprehensible

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Restorers bear a great responsibility. After all, every restoration or conservation intervention means changing the original historical condition of furniture or other culturally and historically significant objects. Therefore, our restorers at ZRW Berlin create professional documentation of the restoration objects and the measures taken. The documentation of the furniture restoration is an integral part of every order.

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Restoration changes the original condition

Any restoration means an intervention that irreversibly changes the original condition of a piece of furniture, furnishing, or wooden objects. In this respect, we must also always understand wood and furniture restoration as a controlled equalization of historical facts.

Therefore, it is of crucial importance that we document the initial condition of the furniture before restoration and that we describe all measures and changes that we make.

What is included in the documentation?

We wood and furniture restorers of the Zentralen Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin document our entire work process meticulously and transparently. The documentation includes

  • the detailed documented survey of the object before restoration (inventory, condition analysis, preliminary survey report, and evaluation of visible and non-visible damage)
  • a detailed description of all interventions during restoration
  • a detailed description of the condition after the restoration

So contact us if you want more than just a professional furniture restoration, but also transparent traceable documentation of the work processes and undertaken restoration measures.

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Why document?

Documentation of the restoration as a guideline  for future measures

Comprehensive and professionally correct documentation is of particular importance in preserving historical monuments and the conservation or restoration treatment of objects of architectural and historical value. In these cases, professional documentation serves the purpose of meticulously recording the

  • measures and interventions carried out,
  • materials used,
  • concentration of products used,
  • techniques used and
  • precise mapping of the treated areas on the object as a whole (localization)

The documentation serves as a guideline for any restoration work that may become necessary later.

If, after some time, a new restoration intervention becomes necessary, the restorer in charge can orientate himself on the detailed protocol of the documentation and may gain valuable information for his restoration concept.

Recorded documentation:

Making restoration comprehensible

As a specialist restoration workshop in Berlin, we base our documentation and mapping on the guidelines and manuals of renowned scientific institutions that define standards for restoration documentation practice.

These include:

These guidelines specify how protocols in restoration documentation should be structured and what information they should contain. Central information and elements often included in such a restoration protocol are:

  • Object identification
  • Object description
  • Technological examination
  • Examination of condition and description of the damage
  • Conservation and restoration measures carried out
  • Recommendation for handling and care
  • Information on materials used
  • Photo documentation

Our documentations are more than written inventories but also include photographs (photographic inventory, photographic documentation), construction descriptions and drawings, catalogs of measures, material lists, and damage mapping. In case we did a preliminary scientific examination, a damage analysis, or color examination on our own or in cooperation with scientific laboratories and institutes, we will also attach these reports to the documentation.

Please refer to the attached PDF files for further examples of wood restoration documentation.

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Commission a restoration with documentation at ZRW Berlin

Would you like to have a furniture restoration, a damage analysis on an antique piece of furniture, an appraisal, or an age determination carried out? Are you planning an elaborate wood restoration and would like to receive sound, expert documentation of the work of our certified restorers? Please feel free to contact us! Dipl.-Restaurator (Univ.) Philipp Westebbe, owner of the ZRW Berlin, will get back to you as soon as possible.

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