Maritima are among the leading experts in the conservation and restoration of figureheads.
To Conserve or Restore. is the question so often posed and debated.
The conservation of a figurehead requires the minimum of intervention, conserving what remains, rather than restoring missing or badly damaged parts. The dividing line between the two often becomes blurred. Particularly with items such as figureheads, which are often not kept in closely monitored museum conditions. Reason needs to operate when considering which path to follow.
Having restored many figureheads for collectors and museums, I have gained invaluable knowledge as to how they were constructed, and can therefore be sympathetically taken apart, with a good idea of what rot and failures lurk within.
Many figures require the renewal of an inner core to make them structurally sound. With my carving skills this can be achieved by traditional methods. Returning the figures to the manner in which they were conceived, rather then the often used intervention of modern chemicals. With an in-depth contact with so many figures, a practical knowledge as opposed to academic information has been aquired. allowing me to become well acquainted with the individual carving style of past masters, such as members of the Hellyer, Dickerson and Levison families.
By using the same tools (often of the same age) as those used originally, moving as they moved, such glorious shapes. can be re-created.
Here are some of the figureheads that have been conserved or restored, illustrating some of the problems encountered. In taking on a new commission, I can generally give a reasonably accurate indication as to what work will be required and the cost involved.