Back to work

Laura cleaning the French ebony cabinet in Childs' Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Laura cleaning the French ebony cabinet in Childs’ Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

We are well into the new year now and the team at Osterley have certainly had a productive start to 2015.

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Surprise in one of the lacquer cabinets

While condition checking and cleaning one of the lacquer cabinets in Mrs Child’s Dressing

The Lacquer cabinet (with a drawer missing) in Mrs. Child's Dressing Room at Osterley Park.

The Lacquer cabinet in Mrs. Child’s Dressing Room at Osterley Park.

Room, a couple of unwelcome visitors were discovered in a bottom drawer.  A few woolly bears (no longer alive) were found amid a pile of suspicious looking fragments. The base of the lacquer drawer was also patterned with golden blooms that may have been a result of previous mould damage, or some sort of damage to the wood layer underneath the resin layers. All the other drawers and the shell of the cabinet were in great condition, so the discovery of the problematic drawer was completely unexpected and poses some interesting questions. Could the drawer have contained something which attracted the pests and caused the damage to the surface?  Could this explain where the dust fragments we found came from? Continue reading

A peek into the Housekeeping Store

Housekeeping Store at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Housekeeping Store at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

A Happy New Year from the team at Osterley.  We all hope you had a good break.  The house team have been back at work for almost a week now and have got stuck into continuing the Winter Clean.  More about that next time but we thought we’d share with you some pictures of our housekeeping store which houses our essential equipment for cleaning Osterley House.

Trolley in Housekeeping Store at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Trolley in Housekeeping Store at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Dust covers, museum vacs and other equipment in storage at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Dust covers, museum vacs and other equipment in storage at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Notice board, long-handled and cloth dusters, radiator brush and vinyl and cotton gloves at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Notice board, long-handled and cloth dusters, radiator brush and vinyl and cotton gloves at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Set of drawers for cloths, brushes and stationery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Set of drawers for cloths, brushes and stationery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Box of acid free tissue at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Box of acid free tissue at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Housekeeping Store (with parts of the scaffold in the background) at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Housekeeping Store (with parts of the scaffold in the background) at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Before you view this last shot, please be warned, these are insect traps which we have collected from around the house, therefore you may spy an insect or two.  Look away now if you cannot abide insects of any kind.

Used insect monitors in housekeeping store

Trug with collected insect monitors from around Osterley Park House (image: Laura Brooks)

Putting the State Apartment to bed

Curtains let down in Tapestry Room at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Curtains let down in Tapestry Room at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

By now, lots of properties have started their winter clean for 2014/15 and Osterley is no different.  Having got a head start in September, thanks to the Conservation in Action that we carried out during London Open House, we have now finished in the Drawing Room and the State Apartment, and the rooms are sleeping peacefully, waiting for the new season.

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Finding Woodworm

Old woodworm holes in the Kitchen at Osterley Park and House (image: Laura Brooks)

Old woodworm holes in the Kitchen at Osterley Park and House (image: Laura Brooks)

On Tuesday, one of our conservation assistants and a volunteer filmed a short video about some woodworm that had been found in one of the wooden cupboards in Osterley’s Kitchen. Continue reading

Open House London and Conservation in Action

Drawing Room armchairs ready for Conservation in Action at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Drawing Room armchairs ready for Conservation in Action at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

A few weekends ago, Osterley was part of the Open House London event and the team used this opportunity to get a head start on the winter clean and run Conservation in Action at the same time. Continue reading