Repairs and Restoration
All repair and restoration work is done at Winsome Valley, the home of Eshelby Pianos, by Deon. If there is anyone else involved in any section of the work, the progress is guided, monitored and reviewed.
What is the difference between repair and restoration?
Deon distinguishes between repairs and restoration, since repair work is quite different to accurate restoration. Antique guides and collectors constantly stress the importance of good restoration, which should be a combination of minimal work, the use of correct and contemporary types of material, and a need to remain as close to the original as possible in correcting any problem.
Any repair work should be undertaken in such a manner that it can be undone in the future, should this step be necessary. The aim of restoration is to maintain the correct criteria required, and to prevent deterioration. It should not be done to falsify age or quality, or to hide defects.
Due to the nature of piano restoration, parts such as hammerheads, felts and so on, inevitably have to be replaced due to wear, but replacement parts as close to the originals should be used. These replacement parts should be of the highest possible quality so that the original overall quality of an instrument is not compromised, and to maintain the correct sound and touch characteristics of the instrument.
Piano makers take pride in producing a certain sound, which is probably why its first purchaser chose that particular make. Given this, the consensus among restorers is that work need not be made invisible to hide the fact that repairs or restoration was necessary, but rather to maintain the original character.
Occasionally, due to a lack of understanding, or because an unscrupulous dealer wants to inflate costs, pianos are unnecessarily over-restored – something which cannot be remedied later.
You need to remember that the instrument in your possession will eventually be passed on to your heir, consequently it is a duty to both value and correctly maintain it, just as one would any other exceptional item of furniture or artwork.
This, of course, has the added benefit of the piano keeping a good monetary value. If no one cares, the day will eventually come when there will not be a good original example in existence.