Friday, 24 September 2021

Upholsterer scoops top award for third time

AN upholsterer from Nettlebed has won an industry award for the third time in 16 years.

AN upholsterer from Nettlebed has won an industry award for the third time in 16 years.

Gregory Cupitt-Jones, 49, who runs Cottage Upholstery, was honoured with the International Award in Traditional Upholstery by the Guild of Traditional Upholsterers at its annual meeting.

He was recognised for his work in restoring a French sofa, dating from 1887, for a client in High Wycombe.

Mr Cupitt-Jones said he had tried to be as authentic as possible to the original piece.

“The client asked for us to remove all the old upholstery because it was in a very bad state,” he said.

“We took it down to the frame and restored that because it was quite loose.

“The sofa was then filled with horse hair and built up with 10 layers, including the cover. That took me about 12 hours. In theory it should never need doing again while I’m still alive!”

Mr Cupitt-Jones, who will celebrate 25 years in the business next month, was up against master upholsterers from across the country for the award, which he last won in 2007.

He said: “Guild members can enter a piece of furniture they have worked on during the year. Most of them are pieces restored for clients.

“It means that you’re being judged by your peers. That really is the kudos. Having these people judge your work and feel that yours is the best means a lot. I’m very pleased.”

Mr Cupitt-Jones was presented with the award by author and upholsterer David James at his unit in Manor Farm.

Cottage Upholstery specialises in 18th and 19th century upholstered furniture and Empire-style furniture from Europe.

Mr Cupitt-Jones, who started out as a cabinet maker, said past projects had included restoring the pew seats in the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court Palace.

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