There are so many amazing items of furniture and other objects at Knole that it’s a challenge to pick one favourite. The King’s Room especially has more than one spectacular object to choose from, but the ebony cabinet in particular is definitely one of the most stunning.
It is a beautiful piece from the outside but the inside is even more exquisite. We don’t get the chance to look at it very often, so it’s a real treat during the winter clean.
Believed to be built in Paris circa 1650 it has several secret drawers and compartments. One secret compartment is hidden behind a drawer; it contains a small box that houses a noted written by Vita Sackville-West.
The note reads: “Dada, Mama and Vita looked at this secret drawer on 29th April 1898, Vita”.
We dust the outside of the cabinet with a pony hair brush and inspect the inside for any change in condition or evidence of pest insect damage. There are some old common furniture beetle (woodworm) holes on the top of the cabinet and on the decorative rim of the base. There is no way of telling if there might be a live infestation but we will monitor it over the year for any signs of frass or fresh holes.