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IMPERIAL MONTEREY IMPERIAL MONTEREY

Imperial "Monterey" Collection for the

Crater Lake Science and Learning Center at

Crater Lake National Park

CRATER LAKE NPS SUPERINDENDENTS HOUSEMPFC was privileged to conserve and restore an entire collection comprising three dozen pieces of original Imperial Furniture which was purchased in the early 1930's for the original Superintendent's House at Crater Lake National Park, shown right in its original state.

SUPERINTENDENT'S HOUSEA note about the use of the term "Monterey:" It is true that there is only one real Monterey Line, which was made by Mason Manufacturing Company in Los Angeles. However, their line sparked a series of other companies, notably Imperial, Del Rey, Brown & Saltman, and Coronado. IMPERIAL MONTEREY FURNITUREAs we are now nearing a hundred years of history of these fabulous lines, more people are coming to call the various lines "Monterey," as in a genre of furniture that is reminicsent of Mexican, Dutch, and cowboy lines. We use the term because people search for images, and they often don't know the name of their manufacturer. By using the genre, they find more out about their own collection.

History

IMPERIAL MONTEREY LABELThe Imperial furniture line was made in Los Angeles, California; the superintendent bought his from Montgomery Ward in Portland, Oregon. The line was typically made of mahogany and characterized by heavy iron strapping, with a painted finish similar to Old Wood in the Mason line, using rottenstone as a grain filler.

The furniture had been in storage for many years, and was again be put to use in the Superintendent's home, but this time for visiting scientists who come to use the home in its new life as the Crater Lake Science and Learning Center. Unlike museum pieces, these pieces are to be working pieces in a setting with scientists in hiking gear and backpacks; for this reason the project includes elements of restoration with an eye to durability, using conservation techniques when possible.

Restoration Project Changed Hands Mid-Point

imperial montereyThe furniture restoration was started by another firm, who eventually backed out of the project. The original finish was coated by the firm with an inappropriate material which was undermining the painted finish, while not sealing the open grain or dealing with the splintering, and left it extremely shiny. MPFC had only a few weeks to repair the damage. We removed the inappropriate material, which had already damaged the historic old finish, and chose to repair and protect the original finish with a layered wax treatment known as a mechado. We were unable to finish the final rottenstone dusting which would have added the "old wood" dusty appearance. For more information and to correct erroneous rumors regarding the project, go to this page.

Note: It is our hope that the NPS will eventually allow MPFC to complete the treatment by adding the rottenstone to allow the finish to again have its matte ash-antique topcoat.

The frames were repaired utilizing appropriate conservation and age-related techniques; in most cases the stuffings were beyond cleaning and reutilization..

LAYERS OF FABRICLatigo strapping leather was used instead of hand-treating leather as was originally done, due to time.

New cushions cores were constructed and historically accurate covers were tailored. New red and brown aniline dyed leathers were chosen as the show cover, tailored to fit the pieces in order to be more durable, and while not original to these pieces, was in keeping with the tradition of Imperial FurnitureIMPERIAL MONTEREY WINGBACK.

Prior to our involvement the original hemp lariat was discarded; unfortunately, MPFC found out close to delivery, and was unable to obtain the correct rope on short notice. We made do with jute rope for the opening, and hope to be able to change the rope on the project in the future.

IMPERIAL MONTEREY LIBRARY TABLEThe new upholstery and new strappings, and the creation of new cushions, were all restorative. MPFC created a modification on the sofa due to a previous break by adding replicas of the iron strut on the back panels, in order to render it viable for further use, also restorative.

For before and after images and information on our participation in the Period-Appropriate Design of the interior of the Science and Learning Center, click here.

For more information about Crater Lake National Park visit the NPS site.

 

Imperial Sofa with Hinged Side Table

IMPERIAL MONTEREY SOFAIMPERIAL MONTEREY SOFAThis sofa has a hinged side table and wide panel arms. There were two splits in the back panels, and missing cushions. After much consideration, MPFC replicated the back struts and added two more to stabilize the broken back for daily use.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY SOFAIMPERIAL MONTEREY STUFFING
The last upholstery was gray mohair, and we could see all the upholstery fabrics going back to the original, shown top right. The finish was as described above.


Imperial Wingback Paddle-arm Chair

The finish was as described above, and inappropriate handling and stacking crushed deep gouges in the arms. The original upholstery was hidden under layers of re upholstery, shown above in the second image of the sofa, below.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY WINGBACKIMPERIAL WINGBACK CHAIRIMPERIAL WINGBACK CHAIR

 

Imperial Long Rope Bench

The Imperial Long Bench had a rope structure to hold the cushion. The original cushion had several old upholstery fabrics going back to the original.The original ropes, in adequate condition, were thrown out by the original firm, not by MPFC.
Monterey StuffingsIMPERIAL MONTEREY LONG BENCHIMPERIAL MONTEREY LONG BENCH

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY BUFFETImperial Prohibition Buffet

The buffet was a magnificent piece, in poor condition.
The back and drawers were broken in several places.
The top and sides had numerous deep gouges and dings.
It had unusual features, like a hidden pop-up prohibition bar
that is accessed through the top drawer!
IMPERIAL MONTEREY BUFFETIMPERIAL MONTEREY BUFFET

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING TABLE + BENCHImperial Expandable Dining Table + Benches

The table had problems with the
mechanical attachments for its expansion capabilities, and the finish was as described above. The matching benches had similar finish problems.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING TABLE + BENCHES

 

Imperial Strapping Armchair + Five Imperial Strapping Chairs

The finish was as described above.
The original strapping was disintegrating on all chairs.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY STRAPPING ARM CHAIRIMPERIAL STRAPPING CHAIR
IMPERIAL MONTEREY STRAPPING CHAIRIMPERIAL MONTEREY STRAPPING CHAIRS

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY HUTCHIMPERIAL MONTEREY CORNER HUTCHImperial Corner Hutch

The corner hutch was in good structural
condition, but the finish was as described above.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY HUTCHIMPERIAL MONTEREY HUTCH

 

Two Imperial Paddle-arm Chairs with Cushions

The size of these two chairs was generous, and so they seem to be chairs to sit on in a living room rather than a dining room. The finish was as described above. The original upholstery was hidden under several layers of reupholstery.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY ARMCHAIRIMPERIAL MONTEREY ARMCHAIR

 

Imperial Tilt-top Table

The piece was in good condition, though the finish was in poor condition and needed protection and hinges needed to be stabilized. It had a locking tilt-top!
IMPERIAL MONTEREY FLIPTOP TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY FLIPTOP TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY FLIPTOP TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY FLIPTOP TABLE

 

Imperial Side Table

This side table has no drawers. The joinery was stable, but the finish was as described above, with many splinters and pigment losses.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE TABLE

 

Imperial Vanity Bench

The small vanity bench is constructed like the dining chairs, which became part of the library. The finish was as described above; the upholstery was second generation.
IMPERIAL VANITY BENCHIMPERIAL VANITY BENCH

 

Two Imperial Library Tables

These two table's had several gouges and splinters from storage, and the The finish was as described above. After treatment the color of the finish was beautiful.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY LIBRARY TABLESIMPERIAL MONTEREY LIBRARY TABLESIMPERIAL LIBRARY

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING CHAIRSThree Upholstered Imperial Dining Chairs

The finish was as described above. The upholstery appears to be from the 1960's, and was not found on any of the other upholstered items.


IMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING CHAIRIMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING CHAIRIMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING CHAIRIMPERIAL MONTEREY DINING CHAIR

 

Imperial Desk with Ball Feet

The desk has small ball feet, only found in one other item, the side drawers below. The finish was as described above
IMPERIAL MONTEREY DESKIMPERIAL MONTEREY DESKIMPERIAL MONTEREY DESK

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE DRAWERSIMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE DRAWERSImperial Chest of Drawers

The chest of drawers has small ball feet, which was only found in one other item, the desk above. The finish was as described above.

 

Two Imperial Side Tables

IMPERIAL MONTEREY SIDE TABLEIMPERIAL MONTEREY TWO SIDE TABLES
IMPERIAL MONTEREY TWO SIDE TABLESIMPERIAL MONTEREY TWO SIDE TABLES

 

IMPERIAL MONTEREY  MIRRORIMPERIAL MIRROThree Imperial Mirrors

The mirrors were in good condition, though the finish needed treatment. Fortunately, the rope used to hang the mirror had not been discarded, and was in good condition, so it was to be used again.

 

Imperial Short Chest of Drawers

Finish was compromised; losses on top as can be seen in the left photo. Finish treatment was replicated so it would match the other damaged pieces.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY SHORT CHEST DRAWERSIMPERIAL MONTEREY SHORT CHEST DRAWERS

 

Imperial Tall Chest of Drawers

Drawer glides were repaired. Finish was compromised; losses were extensive.
IMPERIAL MONTEREY TALL CHESTIMPERIAL MONTEREY TALL CHEST

 

Additional pages offer information on specific wooden objects;
to view, go back to wooden objects.

CONTACT

We offer a free one hour assessment in your home or office
toward the restoration of your antique, contact us for an appointment.

Contact Information

dkatiepowell [@] aol.com / mitchellrpowell {@} aol.com
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503.970.2509 / 541.531.2383

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