After a long, cold winter the conservation team are taking every sunny opportunity to get out and do some of our more pleasant outdoor jobs. For those of you that don’t know Knole well we have a portion of our collection outside exposed to the elements 365 days a year. This includes a pair of prehistoric elk antlers that measure 7 foot from tip to tip, a lead fish tank and a considerably array of busts and other statuary.
When the winter is finished battering our poor outdoor objects we swoop in at the first sign of a sunny day to give them some tender loving care. Our first mission (as always) is to give everything a good dust and clean. We work our way along the loggia making sure that every piece is carefully dusted. You’d be amazed at the amount of dust a pair of antlers can hold onto over a year!
Some of the busts in particular have fallen foul of pigeons over the last year so we have been very carefully cleaning off their droppings where we find them!
For the antlers, this is all the help they get. Once they have been de-cobwebbed and dusted we leave them alone. Step two for the busts and lead work in Stone Court and Green Court is to provide some kind of protection against the elements. We do this by applying a thin layer of microcrystalline wax polish developed by the British Museum which protects and damp and dust. Long-time readers of the Knole conservation team blog may know that this is something that we regularly use inside the house as well as out. It provides a protective barrier layer and can be applied to almost any surface! We make sure we get into every nook and cranny on the detailed statues ensuring they have the best possible protection. With the application of this wonder substance we’re done!
Knole Conservation Team