Friday, 8 November 2013

Bring out the dust sheets!

It was a busy day in the house yesterday as we began the winter clean. The house is now closed over the winter so that we can do a thorough clean of the collection. Everything, from top to bottom; which means ladders, scaffolding and crawling around on the floor. Furniture, sculpture, paintings, floors and carpets... everything in the house is going to be dusted and polished (where appropriate!)

For myself, Michelle and Caroline, conservation assistants, as well as some of our conservation volunteers, it is our first winter clean at Petworth House, so we were quite excited to get going.

We have started with Oak Hall, which would have been the servant’s entrance to the house (it's where the underground tunnel emerges) and is the first room visitors see. The pictures below show what we’ve been up to so far.

Caroline cleaning the Chinese chest at the top of Oak Stairs with a pony-hair brush.

Lots of equipment in Oak Hall

Cleaning the Exeter Carpet. We took it out of the Grand Stairs where it has been this season so we would have more space to clean it. Our volunteers, Tash and Emily, vacuumed both sides of the carpet through a gauze to create less stress on the fabric.

We then rolled the carpet - people power meant it was easier than anticipated! It was covered in acid-free tissue before being rolled around a carpet roll and protected for the winter.

Dusting the weighing chair (my favourite item in Oak Hall!)

Dusting the picture frames. Late in the day, so extra light was needed!
I’ll be posting throughout the winter clean, so keep an eye on the blog to see how we’re getting on. In a few weeks time, we are running snapshot tours of selected rooms in the house where you can see for yourself the work we are doing, how we care for the collection and meet the conservation team. Take a look at our events page for more details.
Conservation Assistant

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