Based in the San Francisco Bay area since 2000, Tony Smith is a traditional furniture maker and restorer with over 30 years of experience. He has won multiple awards for excellence in artisanship and craftsmanship from the ICAA Northern California chapter. Trained at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, his focus is on English, European, American and Colonial furniture made between 1700 and 1850. He uses historically accurate joinery, materials and finishes.
Tony has completed commissions for private clients, antique dealers, and museums. He can supply designs to suit a client’s needs, or work from designs provided by a client. He will replicate furniture from photographs, or from originals. In several cases, he has “rounded up“ a set of Georgian chairs, accurately duplicating a small number of chairs to make a full set of twelve or more. His broad knowledge of antique furniture comes from a genuine love of the craft. He has visited many collections of furniture in museums, both in the U.S. and abroad, including National Trust Properties in the UK and other significant private collections. He also draws inspiration from his extensive reference library.
His approach to restoration is influenced by conservation techniques used by museums. He trained with the West Dean College –educated conservator, Peter Verheyen in Boston. Peter’s clients at the time included the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, and the Museum of our National Heritage in Lexington. They regularly prepared furniture for the Ellis Memorial Antique show in Boston and the Winter Antiques Show in New York.
After setting up his business in California, Tony prepared the Mrs. J. Insley Blair collection of American furniture for Christie’s that was auctioned in New York in January of 2006. His exposure to furniture from a broad range of historical eras and geographical regions continues to inform his approach to both building and restoring.
A recent commission to reproduce a Louis XVI Console Table for the Salon Doré at San Francisco’s Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum won the 2016 Julia Morgan Award for artisanship and craftsmanship from the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art. The piece, now part of the permanent collections of the Museum, was a collaboration with carver/designer Adam Thorpe and gilder Daniel Boiardi