Alex and Sheila Thomson established Thomson Antiques in 1964. Several years later they opened their restoration workshops committed to restoring fine antique furniture to the highest level of excellence. In this tradition their son Peter and his wife Josie Thomson have expanded Thomson Antiques' activities to include the conservation and restoration of historic building interiors (the joinery) and the conducting of fine antique furniture conservation and restoration educational courses.
PETER THOMSON - Over forty years ago after serving his apprenticeship in the family business, Peter completed his training at West Dean College, near Chichester, receiving a B.A.D.A diploma in the conservation and restoration of fine antique furniture. This sparked off a great love for antique furniture that culminated in the privilege of being asked to conserve and restore some of the finest antique furniture in the world. In 1980 he was invited to teach in the USA and later in the UK.
Previous clients include Sotheby’s, the Jordanian royal family, museums, private collectors and antique dealers in Britain and America. Peter also worked for the National Trust, the photos at the top of the page show some of the historic houses in which he worked. They include Lanhydrock, Cotehele, Arlington Court, and Saltram House where he worked as a conservation consultant and restorer, restoring trust furniture on site and at his own workshops. Also pictured above is another important historic property, (dating back to the 13th century) Place House, where Peter and Josie Thomson worked as conservation consultants and Josie, supported by students from our furniture restoration course carried out conservation work.
JOSIE THOMSON - Completed her training in the conservation and restoration of fine antique furniture with distinction 14 years ago. She is a master craftswoman, specialising in refinishing techniques. Her ability to render a difficult antique furniture repair invisible is unsurpassed.
We have now relocated to Exeter and are offering our fine antique furniture conservation and restoration service in the South West of England, we will also consider taking on suitable work from anywhere in Britain, Europe or America.
We are experienced in the conservation and restoration of antique furniture and historic building interiors of the highest quality and will advise on all aspects of care including sustaining the right environmental conditions and treating/preventing woodworm infestation.
We specialise in the conservation and restoration of the finest English furniture and joinery. If a piece of furniture is important to you then it will be important to us and will be restored to perfection regardless of its age or value. We meticulously preserve the original colour and surfaces of any piece we are restoring and always repolish with the finish appropriate to the pieces age and origin. Thomson Antiques has restored thousands of pieces of antique furniture since 1964 and below is a small cross selection of projects for you to see.
We relish the opportunity to take on projects considered to be beyond saving. The first of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is one such project, a pair of 17th century Beech chairs, (pictured below). They were left in an attic for many years, when found again they were infested with wood worm. The damage was so severe that not a single joint remained intact and every part of the chair had a spongy feel. The inside of each component had been hollowed out by the woodworm beetles and if squeezed too hard between the fingers would crush into dust. The chairs had been in our clients’ family for many generations and it was our pleasure to restore them for generations to come.
(Photos below may not be a completely accurate colour rendering)
Photos below show the chairs before, during and after restoration.
The second of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is a fine 18th century walnut veneered chest that had been in a house fire, you can see from the photos below, it required extensive re-veneering.
The third restoration project we would like to show you is a fine 17th century marquetry table, you can see from the photos below the piece had fallen apart and there were multiple splits and extensive veneer damage.
The fourth of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is a fine 18th century long case clock by Samuel Rudge. The clock case had fallen from the roof rack of a moving car and was very badly damaged.
The fifth project we would like to show you is the renovation of an art deco property interior. It was an unusual project for us because it did not involve our usual kind of work. We were commissioned to replace most of the properties panelling and to make art deco furniture. We have included this project because it shows the extent of the work we can do.
The sixth of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is a pair 19th century library chairs, re-upholstered in green leather.
The seventh of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is a 17th century cushioned frame mirror of olive wood and softwood.
The eighth of our completed restoration projects we would like to show you is a beautifully carved 19th century walnut chair that had been infested with woodworm and the bottom half of the right leg needed to be replaced.
Photos below show a 19th century Pembroke table, before, during & after restoration
The tenth restoration project we would like to show you is a Morris dancer’s horse, restored with love and at no cost for our friendly Morris dancers in Cornwall, long may they dance!