Inside and out

Kate cleaning chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

Kate cleaning chest of drawers in the Yellow Taffeta Bedroom at Osterley Park (image: Laura Brooks)

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. Continue reading

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)

It’s not all glitz and glamour …

Oh, the glamour of the winter clean!  Despite it being practically Christmas, the house team was still hard at it last week, cleaning antique dressers, drawers, moving chairs and even removing algae from the portico steps!  It’s all part of the continuous effort to conserve Osterley and its collection as well as to prevent damage occurring in the future.

Dresser drawer mid-clean in Entrance Hall, while South Lobby is also cleaned.

Clean of South Lobby taking place, with dresser drawer in Entrance Hall (image: Laura Brooks).

Volunteer dusting the inside of a drawer from the South Lobby, in the Entrance Hall.

Volunteer dusting inside of a drawer in the Entrance Hall.

Judith and brush, cleaning portico steps.

Judith cleaning algae off portico steps (image: Laura Brooks).

This is why Judith was furiously scrubbing away the algae from the portico steps, with her trusty bucket of water and brush on Thursday.  Algae could be damaging to the steps because of the potential for erosion, not to mention a possible health and safety issue, so just like everything else, they needed a good clean too!

It really does make a difference!

Bucket of water on soapy portico steps.

Bucket and the portico steps (image: Laura Brooks).

This will be it now for the blog until the New Year, so Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!