During the winter months when the house is closed we take a closer look at the condition of some of the more fragile pieces of the collection. We then begin to investigate what can be done to stabilise their condition, meaning that they can be kept on display for years to come.
Recently we have had some help and advice from visiting specialists looking in particular at some of the textiles in the house, and some of the gilded pieces.
The lacquered cabinet in the Chinese Room is in excellent condition for its age, and is therefore showing up the gilded stand it sits on. The stand has become extremely delicate and even the slightest touch causes sections of the gilding to flake away, revealing its wooden core.
Another piece form the collection that is unfortunately suffering in its old age is a rather unique item that is in a private room: a lambrequin. This textile decoration, sometimes known as a pelmet, is usually only found over the tops of windows or over a fireplace, but ours rather unusually surrounds the whole room, rather like a textile frieze.
With this specialist advice we can begin the conservation of these pieces, preserving them for generations to come.