During one of our recent Conservation in Action days, we focused our attention on the lovely satinwood chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom.
One of our Conservation Assistants, Kate, aided by two volunteers, set up a table and covered it with protective bubble wrap, which acts as a cushion, and acid-free tissue.
Having consulted the condition report for the chest of drawers, to make sure they knew if the object had any weak points before moving part of it, Kate and a trusty volunteer carefully removed one of the drawers and placed it on the protective surface on the table. The next step in this process was to inspect the drawer for new signs of deterioration (woodworm, mould, cracks and other breakages, etc.). The space inside the chest, where the drawer had been, was also inspected as much as possible, for any worrying signs of damage.
Once all these important preliminary checks and observations had been made and noted down on the report, the cleaning could begin.
The drawers were dusted inside and out with a pony-hair brush and vacuum. The inside of the chest was also dusted using a vacuum but a banister brush, instead of pony-hair.
As ever, during sessions like this, our visitors were free to come in the room, see what we were doing and ask questions. We hope they enjoyed seeing and learning about how the house team take care of Osterley’s collection.