Edwardian meat safe and Jacobethan stool

This rather lovely meat safe is made of slate and walnut with perforated tin (?) panels to the doors and brass hinges and latch.  The label reads ‘Eureka’.  Measurements?

It was basically in reasonable condition, but had been in recent years stored in a cold outhouse, and the metalwork (steel latch clips and brass hinges and handles) was showing signs of corrosion.  The wood finish was scuffed and dull.  The beading was loose and the mortise and tenons of one side of a door were unstuck (fig.2).  There was extensive evidence of woodworm; this did not appear to be live, but there were loads of larval cases (fig. 3)

I stuck the beading and mortise/ tenons with PVA, rather than Scotch glue, as reversability is not an issue here.  The brasswork was treated with vinegar and the steel with a Dremel wire brush bit.  The woodwork was cleaned with white spirit; a layer of garnet polish was applied and wax polish on top.  The broken hinges were replaced, rather than doing any brazing.

The slate top was dull with surface dirt.  The suggested cleaning fluid for it is water.  It is recommended by slate top suppliers that boiled linseed oil be used to give it a sheen.  Since the meat cupboard is to be used, and this is slate rather than wood, there shouldn’t be the issue of oil attracting dust.

The Jacobethan stool is a nice Victorian or Edwardian fake, possibly using one or two old bits.  There are kerf marks on one of the muntins, which at first I took to be from a machine saw, but on re-inspection they look convincingly pit-sawn, and thus this could be an original bit.  Original to when is hard to say.  There is the occasional circular saw mark on other bits.  The stool has been deliberately patinated – quite well.

The seat was split down the middle and coming away from the frame, owing to three missing nails.  The nail holes had been plugged with wood and wax.  I drilled pilot holes for some new old nails (handmade, right period) and reattached the seat.  I glued the split in the seat.


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