Dismantling the Spangled Bed – Part 2

Last week we looked at the first stage of dismantling the Spangled Bed here at Knole. This involved dealing with the textile elements of the bed ready for wooden frame to be taken apart.



This is what the bed looked like with all of the textiles removed. As you can see the conservators were not able to remove the textile from the bed posts themselves or the tester (the top of the bed). This can be done at a later stage.

In order to remove the tester from the bed we needed to set up two scaffold towers either side of the bed and rest a platform between them to support the tester after it was removed from the posts.

The bed is constructed using simple pegs and so there was no need to remove glue or any other adhesives. It was a straightforward matter to lift the tester up off the four posts. Four people then supported the tester while furniture conservators used mallets to disengage the posts and slide them safely to the ground.

All we had to do now was lower the tester down to the floor and the bed would be gone. The whole process of getting the bed from this….


…to this…


The top of the tester showing the years of dust that had built up.

…took no more than half an hour. Amazing what you can do with a little planning and teamwork!

So now the bed is down and everything is ready to be sent off for specialist conservation.

It’s worth remembering that during the deconstruction of the bed the documentation and recording of the process and different pieces was meticulous. It is so important with historic furniture like this that we know exactly where each and every thing came from. As each part of the bed was removed it was properly labelled so that we could keep a careful track during its various travels.

We’re looking forward to seeing the bed in when it comes back from conservation. Until then we’ll keep you up to date with all the exciting happenings here at Knole!

Knole Conservation Team


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