"Restoration" is a word which can be interpreted in a variety of ways: for some, it can simply mean reconstructing the various pieces of a manufactured instrument, like a puzzle, without questioning its past, why the work is being carried out or what the future holds for the instrument in question. Perhaps its sole aim is to end up on a shelf or in a showcase.
Alternatively, one can go beyond this: to restore, or rather to research the original characteristics of an instrument, is to attempt to reconstruct it with complete respect for the methods and materials with which it was originally made.
The objective of a restoration may also be to rediscover and therefore recreate the instrument's hidden and, perhaps, compromised functional characteristics.
To restore is to oblige the restorer to enter into another world and to research the cultural provenance of the object, to correctly place it in its original historical and stylistic context and thus to recreate precisely this during the restoration process.
The word 'restoration' may also be interpreted in a purely conservative context; in as far as possible to maintain the original characteristics of the instrument in order to be able to accurately re-read its past. Alternatively, we can simply restore the functional characteristics of the instrument with a view to rediscovering its expressive potential. But should this type of restoration take place even at the cost of drastic amputations or irreversible modifications?
For some, restoration is equivalent to committing acts of vandalism. Those whose instrument is being restored, sometimes at minimum cost, may not be in a position to understand the true implications of a cheaper restoration and may consider the lack of damage to the contents of their wallet more satisfying than, perhaps, the restoration of their instrument in a true sense.
Restoration is an act of cultural sensibility, which may also imply not spending a cent simply because at that particular moment in time the more intelligent decision may be to not intervene in any way.
We would be happy to discuss with you the various alternatives relating to the restoration of your instrument which may be old, broken, battered or simply abandoned.
For more information regarding the restoration of instruments or their accessories, please contact Lorenzo Frignani's workshop.