THAT WICKER GUY'S WORDS OF WISDOM - APRIL 2008
BE AWARE when you shop for wicker pieces to add to your collection.
FIRST GET A WRITTEN STATEMENT OF AGE AND CONDITION FROM THE SELLER. If you get the piece home and find that it was misrepresented, you then have some leverage for return of your money.
WATCH OUT FOR WEAK OR BROKEN STRUCTURAL PIECES. Gently wiggle the front of the arms from side to side. If there is wiggle where the arm support connects to the seat frame, you may have a major problem even if the break can not be seen. Don't believe, "A little glue will fix it". Look under the seat to see if the understructure has been "fixed" with wire, angle irons, boards, etc. Honest repairs are OK, but they should be explained to you.
WATCH OUT FOR EVIDENCE OF INSECT INFESTATION Powder Post Beetle infestation is a common malady. The clues are numerous small holes in the wood and powdery, dusty droppings that look like sand or sugar. Often the beetles will eat the wood away, leaving just the outer shell or paint coating. Tap the wooden structural pieces, usually dowels, listening for a dull sound. It is not enough for the seller to tell you that the piece has been fumigated and the beetles are no longer active. The damage left by their activity can seriously weaken the structure.
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE BUYING. The term "wicker" can mean reed or fiber, among other products. Reed is a woody material and generally lends itself to greater strength, value and ease of restoration. Fiber is a paper product sometimes spun around a wire core, other times with no wire, that was introduced in the early part of the 1900's when the supply of reed was interrupted by WWI. Fiber is acceptable as a wicker product but can be more difficult to restore. One issue with fiber is that if it has not been properly cared for, a protective coating of paint can disguise a deteriorated fiber core. This doesn't mean to not buy, fiber, just check the piece over carefully.
IF YOU FIND IT AND YOU LIKE IT, BUY IT! If you have been looking that just right piece to add to your collection and you find it, buy it! So often, folks will hesitate, sometimes just for minutes, turn around and drive back to the shop and find that the special piece has just walked out the door. Even with our totally online market, we can have a piece in inventory for a period of time, and then three people want to buy it at the same time.
CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE ThatWickerGuy.com for the best selection that we have ever had - by far!
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