BAFRA - The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association


The British Antique Furniture Restorers’ Association (BAFRA) is a nationwide organisation of the most skilled and experienced craftspeople engaged in all aspects of furniture conservation and restoration of the best quality. It was founded in 1979 in order to safeguard the interests of connoisseurs and dealers in antique furniture by assuring that the highest professional standards are maintained in a world where there are many unqualified and inexperienced people involved.  Numerous historic houses, livery halls and collectors at every level have benefitted over the past forty years from the assurance that BAFRA can bring.

All applicants for full membership of BAFRA have to go through a rigorous assessment procedure by a visiting examiner to assess the level and diversity of their skills, their knowledge of furniture history and design, and their business credentials. Their workshops are also assessed and must satisfy the highest professional standards. All accredited Full Members are required to have at least five years of experience as conservation/restoration professionals (the average is currently 23 years). There are also regular on-going checks through continuous professional development to keep abreast of advances in skills, knowledge and technical developments. All members are bound by the BAFRA Code of Ethics.

The membership includes a wide range of specialist restorers in fields such as carving and gilding, marble and stone, clocks and barometers, mechanical music, lacquer work and japanning, carpets and textiles, and upholstery.

Various categories of Associate Membership are intended, for example, to assist students and graduates in working towards accreditation. They also include teachers at colleges in the UK and members working outside the UK, of which there are a number in various countries. In addition, there is a Friends’ membership for members of the public who would like to support BAFRA and attend some of the events.

BAFRA runs training courses in various aspects of furniture conservation and seeks to promote study and research in the field, whilst maintaining public awareness of the importance of traditional values of craftsmanship. As public awareness of the need for informed and sympathetic preservation of our heritage has markedly increased in recent years and the British conservation profession is held in high esteem throughout the world, the need for bodies such as BAFRA has only increased.

Over decades a huge amount of work has been carried out on fine furniture by unqualified and unskilled people which has sometimes caused irreversible damage. At the very least, undoing botched restoration can be time-consuming and expensive and frequently accounts for a considerable part of a conservation job which has to be done before new work, which will last, can begin.

BAFRA has a new website ( which, amongst other things, should make finding the right restorer or conservator quick and easy. Members are listed alphabetically, by county and country, and by their general and specialist skills. There is also a link to our Head Office who will do their best to help you and answer any questions (

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