Firm answer Kremlin call
Thursday 05 July 2012
CUSTODIANS of one of the world’s most iconic buildings have called on the age-old skills of a Bedworth-based company to restore priceless items of furniture.
Workers at Benton and Johnson have renovated a set of state chairs from the collection at the Kremlin in Moscow.
Owned by regalia manufacturers Toye, Kenning and Spencer, they were contacted by the curators at the Kremlin, who discovered they were the only company who could help.
They were able to identify and match the original threads and produce the gold wire to the quality required to renovate the chairs.
Kremlin curator Tatiana Lukashova explained: “This was an incredibly important project for us. As well as being beautiful, the chairs are significant items of state and so it was essential that the restoration project was a success.
“This meant that we needed exactly the right supplier, They needed to have the expertise and flexibility to identify and then manufacture exactly what we needed.”
She added: “Benton and Johnson with their heritage of quality, proved perfect and we are delighted with the results.”
After exploratory contact with the Bedworth-based suppliers of embroidery threads and gold wire, a tiny sample from the original fabric of the chairs was sent to the company which is based in Newtown Road, Bedworth.
Hundreds of years old,the sample contained gold plate wrapped in coloured silk, something Neil Halford the manager of Benton and Johnson had not seen before.
But he began experimenting with ways of wrapping the gold plate and then began an intensive search for matching silk.
A second unique feature of the sample sent from Russia was gold plate with an embossed pattern.
By searching the company’s archives Neil Halford was able to identify a roller and adapt an existing machine to replicate the pattern.
He explained: “This has been an incredibly prestigious project for us. “We were delighted to have been selected and have very much enjoyed the challenge it has presented.
“This project is a testament to our expertise in gold wire - we hold a Royal Warrant to Her Majesty the Queen - and the value we place on delivering the highest quality service.”
The restored chairs are on display in the Palace of the Facets at the Moscow Kremlin which attracts millions of visitors each year.