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I'm not an expert at antiques (esp. furniture) but over many years have collected hundreds of items from thrift stores and consignment shops; naturally if you were to have this recovered it would lose its' present intrinsic (and spiritual) value. If you committed yourself to never selling this yes you would be free to recover it. The fact that you're asking if you could recover it to me indicates that you might have a desire to do this. If you believe that you might have a desire to sell this I wouldn't recover it as some people wishing to purchase this would greatly prefer to have it in its' original untouched condition. Obviously someone who purchases this could later have it recovered if that suits their fancy. You might instead be able to have it recovered but have the shop doing this work save all of the original fabric. You might find that this might sell for 5x the amount if left in "as-is" condition rather than transforming it into "as-new" condition. Just my opinion.
I was wondering because when I saw a few of these online, they appeared to have already been recovered, newer fabric, and definitely w/o the fringe. Seeing as how the fabric is basically all intact, other than a small tear on corner, may just repair the tear????? Or not?????
Looks like Paul Gee is the moderator for the antique furniture section of the site. Maybe you could pose your question to a more specific group of individuals that would know more about the pros and cons. Like Mark said, however, if you want to keep it and change it, then go for it.
I would probably try to repair the tear discreetly and leave it alone. Nice find.
I would absolutely keep the original upholstery. Because it even has its original label, that will help to maintain its value. Recovering it will affect the value in a negative way. Such an exciting find to get an authentic French prie dieu!
I wouldn't touch it. Doing so will lower the value considerably.