Oh god. I do love curly maple. So much. It's my favorite. I'm a hopeless sucker for it. I really wanted to keep this piece, and put it in my guest room, but for it to match the rest of the decor in the room it would have needed to stay all wood, which wasn't possible since I needed to do a bit of repair work on it.
Both front feet were missing big chunks out of them, a fact I was not aware of until the moment Carl the Furniture Guy hauled it out of the back of his trailer a couple weeks ago. My heart sank when I saw it. The feet were the best part, so true to the original Chippendale form! When something is that badly hobbled, I can hardly sell the piece, but I neither did I want to keep it for myself, busted feet and all.
It stayed in a corner of my workshop in furniture limbo until the start of this week, when I happened to open a drawer and make the happiest discovery, some thoughtful person had saved every single piece of the broken feet! Now, rebuilding broken feet from scratch is a tall task but repairing broken feet with all the parts?! No problemo. As a dear friend of mine once said, a good repair is better than the original wood is whole. I meticulously fixed these guys, and they're absolutely flawless once more. Such a satisfying thing, to put a wonderful antique aright once more.
I kept the drawer fronts and the top in wood, sanding and re-staining them to play up the exceptional figuring of the maple. I painted the case, sides, and base in a pale shade of dove gray. I kept the original pulls but painted them as well, for a little bit of contrast.