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Restoration examination: material determination and damage analysis

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Damage analysis is an integral part of any examination of findings. Thorough damage analysis is a prerequisite for developing a well-grounded conservation and restoration concept for your furniture, work of art, or wooden object. To identify previous repairs and conservation measures and determine the used materials, we rely on non-destructive spectroscopic examination.

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Material determination and damage analysis are the basis for a conservation oriented approach

We rely on our expert knowledge and decades of practical experience in the conservation and restoration of wooden objects and furniture from all stylistic periods. However, there are always situations in which our human senses reach their limits. Even in that event, we have a solution at our disposal to obtain the necessary data to develop a conservation concept or a restoration strategy that is appropriate for the object in question. Various spectroscopic methods are available as non-destructive or low-destructive scientific analysis methods.

The spectroscopic examination is very well suited for material analysis. The reliable identification of materials is of decisive importance in damage analysis, and for the subsequent development of an individual restoration concept or conservation strategy.

The right knowledge is key:

Therefore, material identification and damage analysis are essential

In most cases, we do not know the aging, repair, and restoration history of objects. No matter whether you are dealing with furniture, wall paneling, or a wooden work of art, you cannot necessarily tell at first glance when an object may have suffered damage and been repaired. Therefore, we do not know which materials were used to fill defects, close cracks, and seal surfaces.

In compliance with our philosophy, it is our highest priority to preserve the historical substance of a piece of furniture or wooden object. Therefore, the more meticulous and precise our damage analysis, and the more precisely we can determine which materials were applied and for what purpose, the easier it will be for us later on to

  • develop a suitable restoration and conservation concept,
  • select suitable materials
  • apply suitable conservation and restoration techniques,
  • prepare suitable care instructions and designate preventive measures to protect the object in the best possible way for the future.

The material analysis allows us to trace the object's damage and repair history.


What spectroscopic examinations are possible at ZRW Berlin?

Basically, as the Zentrale Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin, we have access to various spectroscopic laboratory procedures thanks to our cooperation partners. These are each suitable for different areas of application and for clarifying different questions:

Here you can learn more about two spectrometric methods we frequently use, UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopy and FT-IR spectroscopy (Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy):

Findings examination and material determination by ZRW Berlin

After we have inspected your furniture, interior, or wooden object in need of restoration on-site, we will be happy to advise you whether further scientific examination for damage analysis and material determination seems necessary, reasonable, and appropriate.

If interested, please send us an inquiry via our contact form and include some general and detailed photos of your object so that our team of wood and furniture restorers in the Zentrale Restaurierungswerkstatt Berlin led by Diplom-Restaurator (Univ.) Philipp Westebbe can get a first impression. We will get back to you as soon as possible to arrange an appointment for an on-site assessment of the object at your home in Berlin or Brandenburg - without obligation and free of charge!

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