A restoration isn't a restoration when it isn't performed. Who, when or where the restoration is done merely affects the quality of it.
The real issue here, like the concept of "originality" is, like all philosophical issues, the creation of men. There is nothing more noble about an "original" work than a well restored one, merely because the idea is put forth on the "Antique Road Show." "Originality," like all qualities, has its devotees, and they love all "original" things, even when that "originality" doesn't reflect intrinsic merit, but, merely time co-operating with chance. Furthermore, such ideas vary within groups of various collectables, collectors and countries. European furniture dealers and collectors don't share the views of their American counterparts about restoration. Furthermore, when I visited Mr. Alberto Masi lately he displayed no shame in a "Feria" bike he had restored. It wasn't "original," but, so what, it was beautiful and most any collector would have coveted it, save those that demand "originality."
Personally, unless bikes are in very fine condition, I much prefer a restoration-a well done one, of course.
George Hollenberg MD
> The short thread yesterday about expert restorations and how
> much respect they receive (or not) has suggested another thought
> to me. Is a bike refinished by the original builder a
> restoration or an original?
> I have an early 80's Matt Assenmacher refinised by Matt. Also
> a Richard Sachs refinished by Joe Bell who likely painted it in
> the first place. And Doug Fattic is currently offering for sale
> bikes he built for his inlaws which he plans to refinish before
> delivery. And I think Peter Weigle occasionally modifies and
> refinishes frames he built several yeras earlier.
> So are these originals or restorations? If the same hands
> finish it a second time, is it then again "original"?
> Antique furniture, like bikes, is much more valuable in
> original condition. But what if the original craftsman
> refinished the piece during his lifetime? Would this decrease
> the value? And how, 100 years later, would anyone know it had
> been refinished?
> Or to site another analogy, some of the great masters were
> known to produce paintings over top of an earlier works of
> theirs with which they had presumably not been satisfied. Does
> this make the final piece not original, simply because there is
> another underneath? If DiVinci had painted the Mona Lisa on a
> recycled canvas, would it then be "nonoriginal"?
> Jerry Moos
> Big Spring, TX
George Hollenberg MD