It's more than enough to be intriguing but sadly it's all I have. Well, almost all I have. One of the portraits that dad had - a small study on board of an unknown woman's head - got damaged when something went badly wrong with a boiler and the cupboard she was stored in got flooded. Since then she had been stuck at the back of more cupboards and had probably come to feel quite neglected. Then over new year she came up in conversation and we agreed that if I got her restored I could keep her (no more cupboards).
A few days after we got home she arrived in the post. Unwrapping her was a nervous moment, partly because it was a long time since I'd seen her and I couldn't remember how bad the damage was, and partly because I've seen how my postman treats books. Fortunately he takes better care of pictures. After that it was a case of finding a restorer.
Dad recommended someone good in the borders but I wanted someone local - once I'd got my hands on her I was impatient to start the process and to get her back, but it also needed to be someone who came with decent recommendations. In the end I called a couple of galleries and when they both suggested the same person I was happy to go to her.
So then it was off to the rather more local Oakham and the expert ministrations of the restorer, 2 weeks later she was ready to pick up and this is what I got back...
I was not disappointed with the result, and even happier that the eventual cost was comfortably below the initial quote. The next step was to get a frame, I remember her on the wall when I was a child, but not her frame. Dad recalled something ornate and gold coloured, and with luck one day I might come accross a suitable period frame, but for now I wanted something reasonably broad but also plain. D doesn't like my choice, but after spending quite a lot of time with the framer exploring different colours, widths, and styles, I'm happy that I made the right choice.
And here she is (sitting on a table, I don't have panelled walls). I really am pleased with the results, she's something beautiful for me to look at which is very satisfying, but it also feels good to have rescued a little bit of family history for posterity (or at least having saved dad the cost of doing so).