Acting as both consultant and conservator from the company HQ in Portsmouth, UK, the Onlyacht team says it can adapt and prepare antique furniture so that it can stand up to the rigours of life at sea. This can involve strengthening, conservation, pest control treatment and display customisation, all whilst retaining the piece’s integrity. Furthermore, using ‘ICON conservation principles’ Onlyacht vows to be able to move items safely to and from the shore.
The company, which has only just entered the market, is attempting to bridge the gap between land-based furniture and yachting, the two of which have historically existed distinct from one another because of issues of weight, proportions and robustness.
Onlyacht’s founder, David Burton believes his solution can circumvent at least two of these apparent obstacles. “By applying techniques used in both commercial and museum conservation and collections management to the yachting industry we are able to solve many of the practical issues associated with using real antique pieces in a superyacht interior”, Burton explains. “We individually survey each item and decide on an appropriate treatment plan. Typically most items will be assessed for structural integrity and then any necessary conservation and restoration treatment will take place. Should the item be at risk from insect pests of any type we holistically treat the object in a hyperbaric chamber to give absolute peace of mind. Should any strengthening be required it will be discreetly and invisibly hidden within the structure of the object and will be reversible, in line with good conservation practice.”
Furthermore, the company’s potential could lie in the obvious benefits that authentic period pieces bring to an interior, over ‘antique effects’. “We anticipate the demand for antique focal items within an otherwise modern design will become an ever-increasing trend”, Burton adds. “It is also the case that there will always be owners that prefer traditional, classic and period style yacht interiors and therefore we anticipate the demand for our service to only increase with time.”
The company already has bases in France and the US, in addition to its UK HQ, and there are plans to be established in APAC by the end of 2014.