How many people does it take to move a ceramic?

Well when it is this big…

16 Cartoon C 58a

…4 people!

With objects this size, we try not to move them unless we absolutely have to, as the more they are handled the risk of physical damage occurring increases.  However in this case, it was definitely necessary.  To protect the Cartoon Gallery from dust and debris during the next phase of our essential building repairs, we have installed a wooden screen across the west bay window.



Work is underway to both the Cartoon Gallery and King’s Room windows to repair the mullions and the lead work to prevent leaks.  This is part of the last stage of our external building repairs, ensuring Knole is watertight for the first time in centuries.

Knole Dec 2011_032

One area where the stone mullions are badly cracked.


Leaky windows in the Cartoon Gallery back in January 2012.

Before the screen could be assembled we had to move the Chinese sideboard, and the ceramics that sit on top of it, out of the way.



Getting the vase in to the crate.

With a padded out crate ready on the ground, four of the team ‘hug’ the vase to bring it down off the sideboard.  Using a small trolley we wheeled the crate further up the Cartoon Gallery where they would be safe and out of the way for the screen to be built.


Moving the ceramics was made easier by using small trolleys.

After successfully moving the ceramics, the next challenge was the sideboard!  We did this by placing ‘sliderz’ under each foot which enabled us to push the table along the floor.  With a bit of skilled manoeuvring we had the sideboard turned and moved up the gallery.

16 Cartoon KNO F 118

Having made some space in front of the window, we now had to build our scaffold tower.  We had decided to leave the curtains in-situ, but cover them with tyvek to protect them from being rubbed up against.  Using the scaffold tower was the only way we could reach the top of the curtains to secure the tyvek in place.



Then our lovely contractors who built and assembled the screen for us, used the scaffold tower too.



Once the screen was in place we slid the sideboard back in to position, as it would have taken up quite a bit of space being in the middle of the room.  The vases are being left in their crates to one side until the work is complete and the room can be reinstated to its usual appearance.


Lucy, Emily, Melinda, Zena and Sarah


3 thoughts on “How many people does it take to move a ceramic?

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