This week we are re-hanging the chandelier that originally hung in the Boudoir. The House of Beasts exhibition which has now been removed included a chandelier with birds on, to represent birds in a gilded cage.
The chandelier that hung in here previously has been in storage for a year, and so we are using the opportunity of it being down to clean it, it collected quite a lot of dirt over the last few years! There is also some electrical work that needs to be done before it can be re-hung. The chandelier is being re-wired, and fitted with new LED candle lamps. These will last longer, use less electricity and have a lower UV output, so will be better for the longer term.
We have also been carrying out some conservation work on the chandelier, to ensure that it is re-hung in the best condition. To clean the pieces, they have had to be individually removed to minimize damage, and laid out as you can see below. We have then been cleaning the pieces using cotton wool buds, de-ionized water and a mild detergent, while avoiding any metal parts of the chandelier. They then have to be dried and polished using a lint-free duster to avoid smear marks. We aim to give chandeliers a deep clean every 5-10 years, but annually try to give them a light clean, and this is a good opportunity for this.
We have all had to be careful in handling the chandelier to avoid any accidents! The chandelier was carried carefully on the wood, as seen below, and then placed back into the box that it has been stored in all year. While working on the chandelier we have looked after each of the pieces, and it will be carefully re-hung. This will prevent any unnecessary strain being put on any part of the chandelier.
Now the chandelier has been cleaned and re-wired, it can be re-hung. To do this we will be putting the scaffolding up in the Boudoir and the chandelier will be sparklingly clean and re-hung for the public to see once again!