JONATHAN BURDEN INC.
180 Duane St.
You think that scuffed corner on your Paul McCobb dresser annoys you? One of Jonathan Burden’s clients chartered a plane to fly his hurricane-damaged furniture from the Cayman Islands to Burden’s Tribeca studio. This, Burden concedes, is extreme. But the English-trained expert restorer is in high demand—whether by the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation (for its Chinese furniture) or the Newark Museum (for restoring a collection of music boxes). Burden generally works on furniture that’s hundreds of years old. But it turns out that the varnishes used in the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries are very similar to those used on prime forties and fifties furniture, and so are the restoration techniques. That’s why he’s the shop of choice for the Tribeca mod-furniture gallery R 20th Century, and that’s why he’ll gladly restore your water-damaged rosewood Borsani desk or Gio Ponti sideboard. But don’t expect a full-on stripping and refinishing, unless the piece is a disaster. “We’re not into refinishing as much as conserving what is there,” he explains. “You lose the value if you take off an old surface.” Prices are really case-by-case, but a job like conserving the damaged surface on a small desk starts at about $1,800 and could go as high as $5,000.