Perhaps one of the most famous restoration project completed by Stan Saperstein is USS Olympia Naval Sideboard, the symbol of this famous warship serving our Navy from her commission in 1895 through 1957. She was decommissioned and returned to her 1898 state to reside in the Philadelphia as the sole surviving ship from the U.S. Navy's Spanish-American War fleet. Damaged from years of weather at sea, the piece was completely split in half, requiring extensive repair and replacement of crucial parts. As luck would have it, a little research turned up one of the few known pictures of the USS Olympia's sideboard in its original condition (upper right). This photo resides in the US Naval Archive in Washington, D.C. Shown below is a photo of the repaired piece, before being repainted.
The project was done as a joint effort between Mr. Saperstein and a Pennsylvania high school woodworking class, shown at right, a member of the restoration team examines Stanley's repairs to the piece.
More information about the USS Olympia is available at the Naval Historical site.
Restoration of the sideboard is one of dozens of projects Stanley completed before his son Eric took over the business, however he was not as obsessive as Eric is with documenting his work. We'll be posting more in this area soon as museum and historic projects come into the shop, including detailed conservation documentaries on the pieces.
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