A year on from the fire at NT’s Clandon Park we wanted to update you on our involvement with the State bed there. Periodically through March and April we have been helping with the salvage project taking place. Chris, Minny and Zenzie have been assisting the Clandon team in their excavation of the State bed that we had conserved previously. As you’ll see from the NT’s links below, amazingly the bed survived the fire but then suffered in a ceiling collapse in the days that followed. The NT have now managed to salvage all the remains and although some parts are broken the bed structure itself appears remarkably intact. Chris and Minny helped the NT team dry out the textile elements and do a first round of vacuum cleaning to remove surface debris and lead dust (see Chris in action in link below). The team had to work in difficult circumstances wearing masks and full protective clothing due to the risk of the potentially toxic dust. Retrieved from underneath the bed, we helped to remove the box containing all the associated fragments from our conservation treatment including 60 patches of silk patchwork used to previously patch repair the counterpane. Amazingly these were snug and dry inside their sample bags along with the original curtain rings and tapes waiting to be re-instated on the conserved curtains. Zenzie also helped retrieve a box containing a soggy smelly embroidery which has since proved to be a wonderful survival for the NT (see hidden tresure link below). The rescue of the bed has prompted a contradictory mix of feelings; enormous sadness at what has been damaged or lost and great hope and excitement about the potential restoration of the Clandon State bed.
Click below to watch Chris talking about the conservation work on the Clandon State bed:
Click below to find out more about hidden treasures: