Yannick Chastang

Art Expertise and Conservation of Decorative Arts


Yannick Chastang, is an accredited conservator (Institute of Conservation) and expert in all types of veneered furniture and bronzes, including gilded bronzes, ormolu and sculptures.

Yannick Chastang has an international reputation as a leading specialist in European marquetry furniture, decorative arts and bronzes.

He trained from the age of 15 at the Ecole Boulle and subsequently at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris. He gained work experience in private workshops in Paris and the USA, before being employed as a conservator at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and at the Wallace Collection in London. From this extensive exposure to fine quality furniture and bronze he developed a passion for and an understanding of historic French furniture, sculptures, paintings and other decorative arts. His museum work provided him opportunities to closely study some of the finest pieces of art ever made.

Yannick’s conservation of a Leleu secretaire, while at the Wallace Collection, was the runner up project at the Pilgrim Trust’s 2002 National Conservation Awards. In 2000, Yannick Chastang designed and installed the “Conservation Gallery” at the Wallace Collection, as part of their major refurbishment project. In 2001, Yannick Chastang curated a marquetry exhibition Paintings in Wood: French Marquetry Furniture and wrote the accompanying book.

In 2003, Yannick Chastang opened his own studio dedicated to the study and conservation of decorative arts.

In winter 2021, Yannick spent three months at the J. Paul Getty museum on their Getty Scholars Program to research and analyse metal marquetry and gilt bronzes.

Yannick sees himself as a “practical conservator” who takes a “common sense approach”. He is equally comfortable employing traditional materials and techniques or using modern methods and scientific analysis. For added quality control, he prefers to prepare his own products: including protein / animal glue, cleaning gels, lacquer and waxes. At the same time he is keen to use scientific research and practical experience to safely improve the conservation process. He was the first conservator in the late 90s to develop a less damaging steam cleaning process for gilded bronzes (now widely used at the Louvre and other major institutions); he was instrumental in developing today’s techniques of marquetry rehydration, gel cleaning, vacuum clamping, silicone heating equipment for marquetry, new pietra dura conservation techniques and improved-efficiency fish glues.

Yannick loves to explore what science can offer and he has invested in scientific equipment and in developing reference databases. He is the only private conservator in the UK and Europe to have two portable Bruker X-ray Fluorescent analysers that are calibrated primarily for the analysis and dating of gilt bronzes and sculptures. He also has two Olympus microscopes that are mainly used for iron, wood, paper, fabric and pigment identification.