Casework, Reports and Finance


        St Hilda, South Shields
     Tyne & Wear T.C. Lewis 1866
    Case and front pipe decoration
               by J.F. Bentley

St Katharine, Little Barfield, Essex
Part of the 1688 Renatus Harris case
       (Restored by Michael Young)

Casework and Front Pipes
If the original finish of an organ case or its front pipes has been altered, an effort should be made to discover the original finish and restore this where possible. This may involve french polishing, graining or gilding. The careful application of an original finish is always preferable to substitutes such as polyurethane varnish or gold paint. If the correct finish is too expensive, then no restoration is preferable to a cheap face-lift.

Storage of unwanted parts
All original parts not used in the restoration should be carefully labelled, packed, and stored in safety in the organ or as near to it as possible. One of the safest places is often under the organ bellows.

Financial restrictions, partial restoration
When financial limitations prevent all of a restoration project being carried out immediately, it is almost always advisable to wait until sufficient funds have accumulated to carry out the work in one go. If an organ is restored in stages, it will decay in stages, and work will be prolonged indefinitely. An unrestored organ, though disappointing, will usually be preferable to a half-finished restoration.

When work is carried out on a historic organ, the restorer should make a report before he starts, covering the history of the organ and its present condition, as well as detailing the work proposed. He should also keep a record of the work as it is carried out, as well as taking photographs before and after, and taking measurements of those parts of the organ not normally accessible for inspection. A copy of this record should be given to the church or customer. The restorer should allow for the cost of this work in his estimate. Copies of such records sent to BIOS's British Organ Archive will preserve them for posterity and may provide valuable information for future restorers and researchers.


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