The UK is known for its rich and varied history, including many well-known battles.
This wealth of history means that items of weaponry that survived earlier periods of conflict have become popular with collectors.
When working on antique weapons, as with all items we restore, we know how important it is to retain the character that tells the story of their past. As such, we only carry out restoration where repairing areas is considered beneficial, such as to increase the value of the piece or to return it to use. Wherever possible, our efforts are concentrated on preserving these pieces of history, rather than restoring them to as-new condition.
Made up of multiple components, antique firearms such as shotguns and rifles are a favourite for many collectors.
At Farcroft Restorations Group, our first task when working on an antique firearm is to identify the type of gun it is – the outcome of which will determine our approach to conservation or restoration of the item.
With a design dating back to the 1600s, muzzleloaders are loaded by the open end of the barrel (the muzzle). Their age means they are most often collected for their history, rather than to use today.
As their name suggests, cartridge-firing guns shoot ammunition bullets. Using the same mechanisms as today’s firearms, even the most antique examples – which may date back to the 1800s – are often able to be used today thanks to their safer, more reliable design.
Whichever type the firearm, our weapon restoration team has the gunsmithing experience to carry out repairs ranging from faulty ejectors to complete refurbishment.
Without the complex mechanism of a firearm, swords and knives are much simpler to maintain in good condition, with much of the work concentrated on looking after the metal that makes up the blade.
But, with the likes of military swords still having a service to fulfil today, including featuring in events like Remembrance Day ceremonies and parades, proper care and attention is needed to restore their functionality and the beauty of their appearance.
The majority of our knife and sword restoration services focus on restoring the finish of the metal, removing rust and grease, extracting old and tainted varnish, refinishing aged brass, and repairing handles for a sturdy grip.
Left unchecked, some of these problems can ruin a blade, so we recommend collectors inspect their blades regularly and have them checked by an expert if they show signs of deterioration.
In particular, owners of antique swords and knives must be alert to rust, especially of the red-toned active kind. Without proper treatment, active rust will corrode the metal, resulting in permanent damage to the blade.