Head for heights required

Scaffolding in courtyard of Osterley House (image: Laura Brooks)

Scaffolding in courtyard of Osterley House (image: Laura Brooks)

Kate cleaning frieze whilst up scaffold in the Long Gallery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Kate cleaning frieze whilst up scaffold in the Long Gallery at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

We’ve had the scaffolding inside and outside of Osterley House lately.  Continue reading

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A Christmas round-up

Hajira dusting the Library ceiling at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Hajira dusting the Library ceiling from the scaffold at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

December has arrived and it’s not long ’til Christmas.  The preparations outside have begun with the lights up in the trees near the stables and inside, the decorations for our Georgian Christmas have been going up.  Amidst all of this, the house team have continued the Winter Clean.  Below is a round-up of what has been achieved already. Continue reading

Polished to perfection

 

Volunteer applying polish to fireplace poker in the Family Entrance at Osterley Park House (image: Laura Brooks)

Volunteer applying polish to fireplace tongs in the Family Entrance at Osterley Park House (image: Laura Brooks)

On a lovely sunny Saturday, before the downpours that we have endured recently, two of our conservation volunteers were hard at work in the house, cleaning metalwork.

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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