A customer presents us with a small, very time-worn photo of her recently departed husband. It is dog-earred, cracked, badly stained and faded. Flaking yellowed adhesive tape is holding together pieces of the portrait.
"This is the only picture I have of my late husband who I would like to remember with a portrait which will hang over the fireplace. Can you work from this?"
"Restorations of this nature are our specialty," I assure her, and I produce several samples to demonstrate the diversity of problems that can be dealt with.
"I'd like the picture to be in color, but all I have is this old black and white," she continues, "and I never liked him in that stupid hat, can you take off the hat?"
"Of course we can take off the hat. Now I'll need some information about the coloring. What color was the suit?" "Brown herringbone. " "What color was his shirt and tie?" "The shirt was tan and the tie was striped burgundy and gold. " "His complexion and the color of his eyes?" I continue. "He was very ruddy and his eyes were blue. "
"And his hair? Is it wavy, straight, brown, gray?" For the first time the woman looks at me with mild disappointment and skepticism.
"His hair? You'll see his hair when you take off the hat!"