Friday, November 7, 2014

Remembrance Day - Homage to my Father

The final product
When my mother passed away 2011 I inherited my father's medals from the Second World War. They were in an old oak case that had seen better days. My father was a history buff and liked to display various historical items and he did so with a number of things as well as  with this particular medal case.

When I inherited the case it was in pretty bad shape and reconditioning was definitely required. It seems that it was once part of a display cabinet that my father had acquired through the Governor General's Foot Guard museum in Ottawa. The first photo is the end product of my restoration.

Dad's notes for display items in the cabinet
The second shows the notes that were originally in the case. I did not follow his number scheme and simply arranged things in a slightly different order something a little more presentable with dad's medals on the top and my grandfathers WWI medals on the bottom.

Nearly complete
The third photo shows the case just about ready to be hung with most things arranged as they should. The next photos show what I started with. I ended up cleaning everything up and applying a mission oak stain to the frame topping it off with a clear coat.

Damage, wear and tear over the years
In addition I bought new felt cloth to replace the old cloth and the result is very striking. The old felt had faded considerably. Luckily the case was never exposed to the sun and the medals, especially the ribbon sections, were in museum condition.

Before the restoration
The second last photo shows the case and contents prior to the restoration. If you enlarge it you can see the different between it and the final outcome.

The back panel
The last shows one of the most challenging parts of the reparation, getting the back panel off. There were dozens of finishing nails that had to be gently pried out. I replaced them with wood screws. All in all I am happy with the results. Finally I had a brass plaque made commemorating the case to my dad.