Another busy week…

First thing Monday morning we rolled the Reynolds Room carpet and removed it to the Great Hall ready to be photographed.  We are having a replica ‘eyemat’ of the carpet made so that this season visitors will have more access in to the Reynolds Room, but they will walk on the replica not the orignal carpet, which will go in to store for the year.

Rolling the Reynolds Room carpet, an early 17th century Indian carpet, possibly acquired by the 6th Earl from one of the Royal Palaces. Underneath the carpet you can see the heat mat that we were trialing during last year to see if we could control the relative humidity in the room.

Once we had unrolled the carpet on top of a sheet of Tyvek we cleaned it and covered it with more Tyvek to keep the dust off of it.  Once it has been photographed at the beginning of next month we’ll roll it up again so it can be carried up to the store room.

Melinda, Lucy and Lisa cleaning the carpet

A birds eye view!

Covering the carpet with Tyvek to protect it from dust

The rest of the week has been spent cleaning the Billiard Room, Leicester Gallery and Venetian Ambassador’s Bedroom.  A part of this stage of the winter clean involves dusting the picture frames.  As we clean the frames we thoroughly inspect them and the paintings to update their condition report forms.  We use soft pony hair brushes to remove the dust from the fragile gilded frames and direct the dust into the nozzle of the vacuüm as we go, so we are removing the dust and not just displacing it.  The surface of the paintings are not cleaned but we do remove any cobwebs or clumpy dust particles using and a softer goat hair brush.

A painting from the Leicester Gallery, the canvas is in very poor condition. It has missing areas of paint and is mouldy

Our most challenging task this week was to carry a Lely portrait of Barbara Villiers, Duchess of Cleveland down to the Hall.  She has joined a Van Dyck portrait of the Italian artist Sophonisba Anguisciola.  They have moved to Hall, which is environmentally controlled, to acclimatise before leaving Knole to go on loan for exhibitions.

Moving Barbara Villiers to the Great Hall to acclimatise before going on loan

Van Dyck portriat of the Italian artist Sophonisba Anguisciola also acclimatising in the Hall before going away on loan

Emily, Lucy, Sarah, Melinda and Lisa.


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