historic archive


Lost Art Limited have developed a significant collection of historical postcards, which have proved useful in a number of respects for the development and execution of restoration projects.

In addition to providing a useful historic record of the past appearance of structures of historical importance, postcards can also be useful in providing a reference as to the state of a particular location or structure prior to restoration. This can then be used to gauge the accuracy of a particular restoration.

The above postcards show the original benches installed in People’s Park, Grimsby. As one of the earliest public parks, the location is of significant historical importance and when restoration work was undertaken it was vital that accuracy was maintained to all aspects of the project.

From the postcards, we were able to identify the benches as being an original Coalbrookdale Foundry rustic style design. Lost Art Limited had a copy of this pattern of bench in our collection, offered as the Whitworth Bench.

Armed with this information, we were able to offer exact replicas for the project, with the following image illustrating the newly produced and installed benches back in an original location.

Similarly, the bandstand in South Marine Park in South Shields had been removed but as part of the major restoration of the park, a replica of the original structure was required. Postcards of the original bandstand were a vital part of the reconstruction process. Although the bandstand was easily identified as having been produced by the MacFarlane Company at their Saracen Foundry, it was soon apparent that the bandstand also featured some bespoke features not included in other sources within our archive, such as our copies of MacFarlane catalogues. Close examination of the available postcards revealed the detail of the unusual components, allowing us to fully reproduce the original bandstand.

The postcards also showed the original benches installed in the park and these were identified as being the Squirrel bench, originally produced in Glasgow by The Sun Foundry. Lost Art Limited were also able to produce a pattern for the casting of the bench supports and produce 60 replacement benches in a variety of lengths.

The postcard above illustrates the fountain in Albert Park, Middlesbrough. This is followed by an image of the same fountain prior to its restoration by Lost Art. The upper sections of the fountain had been lost and whole structure is seen to be in a rather sorry state, rather than the glorious centrepiece it had been intended as.

Using the postcard as a basis for our planning, we were able to identify and source or produce the required components, enabling us to produce an award winning, fully restored fountain.