“Since the suite needed to be functional as well as historically accurate, it was clear that a full understanding and prior experience in use of traditional upholstery materials and techniques were critical to the accurate restoration of this historic upholstery. The laborious task of sourcing of proper quality upholstery materials by Ray Gurney – horsehair, wadding/liners and jute/cotton webbing – was vital as this would contribute to the furniture’s long term conservation, stability and provide a higher degree of comfort for guests. This was a fundamental consideration as the suite would be in regular use in
the drawing room of Government House for functions hosted by the Governor, the State Government, and other organizations. The furniture and its upholstery needed to meet associated practical requirements to be structurally sound, comfortable to sit on and capable of sustaining regular use over a long period of time.
After extensive investigation, the commission was awarded to Carlos Rodrigues of Provincial Upholstery, who had a deep knowledge and familiarity with traditional upholstery materials and methodology, extensive professional experience training and working in Portugal on significant European 18th and 19th century period furniture and more recently for the Sydney antique trade. During the course of the project Rodrigues’ extraordinary eye for detail (particularly in combining the evidence revealed by the historic photographs with his practical skills and knowledge of upholstery techniques) and standards of craftsmanship, were integral to the project’s success”.