Throw Open the Doors

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The season is upon us. Open the shutters, raise the blinds, and throw open the doors. Following the winter clean the mansion has had good dose of love and attention from our house conservation team. The floors have been waxed, the pelmets dusted and silver polished. However, we thought that it might be nice to share our work with the visitors. So, this week we have been laying the Dining Room table in front of the public, to give them a better idea of our work, and how the table would have been laid in the 1800s. See also ‘Regency Banqueting Splendour’ for more information.

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Here we have a detailed plan of all the place settings, as well as a booklet of photographs of each place setting for reference.

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During the winter clean the tableware had been stored in these crates, which have now been brought back into the dining room, ready to have their contents returned to pride of place.

In addition to this demonstration we have wide range of new interpretation and displays up for the new season. In response to volunteer and visitor comments we have concentrated on bringing a story back to the Sultana Room, setting it up in the 1930s during the 8th Lady’s own restoration of the room.

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The former Ottoman curtains laid out in the process of being repaired.

The biggest change over winter though has been the return of the Nash Staircase to its former beauty. I shan’t go into too much detail on that though, as there are posts soon to follow, which will concentrate solely on completed work on the staircase. However, I will draw your attention to the, already introduced, new Nash Staircase chandelier, and the new under-stair ‘cinema’, showing a film about the restoration of the Nash Staircase.

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Temporary lit cases for the old and new Nash Staircase chandelier (The new chandelier is due to arrive on the 7th March)

These are just a few of the changes that have occurred over the winter season, and there will be much more to come as the season develops, including scaffolding tours, from April. So come and visit us and see what else has changed…

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Stunning Stained Glass

One of the Nash Staircase’s most striking features is the stained glass inner skylight.

The stained glass skylight and fish scale decorated dome before the project began.

The stained glass skylight and fish scale decorated dome before the project began.

As part of the Through the Roof Project we have been investigating its provenance and having the both this lantern and the outer protective lantern repaired and conserved.  We have been using a company called Holywell Glass to provide the conservation services to restore the stained glass.

In September the outer skylight was removed allowing us access to the inner skylight, the first access for several years.

The skeleton of the outer skylight after the glass had been removed.  This was the first time in over 40 years we have had access to the inner skylight.

The skeleton of the outer skylight after the glass had been removed. This was the first time in over 40 years we have had access to the inner skylight.

It soon became apparent how dirty the glass was.

Hand cleaned area of glass just after the outer skylight was removed.

Hand-cleaned area of glass just after the outer skylight was removed.

In fact it was so dirty the only way to clean the dirt off ready for removal was with the gentle suction setting of a Henry hoover.

The stained glass was so dirty we had to carefully hoover it with a Henry!

The stained glass was so dirty we had to carefully hoover it with a Henry!

The glass was carefully removed and stored to allow key building and restoration work to take place surrounding the skylight and for the glazing bars to be restored.

During November, Steve Clare from Holywell Glass came back to site to reinstate the stained glass lantern. The wooden frame had been refurbished and painted and a temporary deck was installed on the Nash Staircase scaffolding so that Steve could install the glass safely.

The restored and painted timber glazing supports for the inner skylight.  You can also see the working deck which was installed so that work could be carried out safely.

The restored and painted timber glazing supports for the inner skylight. You can also see the working deck which was installed so that work could be carried out safely.

The first job was to carefully clean the glass revealing a beautiful pink colour scheme.

The stained glass before it is cleaned by Holywell Glass.

The stained glass before it is cleaned by Holywell Glass.

A cleaned piece of glass next to one that has not been cleaned.

A cleaned piece of glass next to one that has not been cleaned.

Cracks were carefully repaired, or, where repairs could not be made, replacement new pieces of glass were cut and installed. Lead repairs were also made to the existing frames.

Some pieces of glass were to badly damaged to be repaired, instead a new piece of matching glass had to be cut and installed.

Some pieces of glass were too badly damaged to be repaired, instead a new piece of matching glass had to be cut and installed.

Marking out the size and shape of the new piece of glass.

Marking out the size and shape of the new piece of glass.

Cutting the glass to shape.

Cutting the glass to shape.

Lead soldering the glass into place.

Lead soldering the glass into place.

Cleaning up the solder.

Cleaning up the solder.

The completed repair.

The completed repair.

After the glass had been repaired and cleaned it had to be taken up the scaffold to the skylight.  There is only one way to do this safely – each piece has to be carried up by hand!

Each section had to be carefully carried up the scaffold - that's 6 ladders to navigate!

Each section had to be carefully carried up the scaffold – that’s 6 ladders to navigate and 20 panes of glass to get up there!

Each piece was carefully installed and fitted.

The first panes are in!

The first panes are in!

A view from the working deck of the stained glass.

A view of the stained glass from the interior working deck

Another view from the working deck of the stained glass.

Another view from the working deck.

When the stained glass was all in place, it was covered with wood to protect it until the refurbished outer lantern is installed.

The skylight carefully covered in wood to protect it while it awaits its protective outer skylight to return.

The skylight carefully covered in wood to protect it while it awaits its protective outer skylight to return.

In total it only took two days for all the glass to be cleaned and reinstated.  Looking at the two images below you can see what a difference a simple clean can make!  I can’t wait to see the effect of the cleaned skylight when the scaffolding in the Nash Staircase comes down!

The hoovered stained glass.

The hoovered stained glass before being cleaned.

The cleaned and restored skylight in all its glory.

The cleaned and restored skylight in all its glory.

All the photos is this post were taken by our lovely Volunteer Roof Photographers Richard and Angela Knisely-Marpole.

Let there be light!

We have just purchased, thanks to gifts and donations as well as money the property has put aside, a new chandelier for the Nash Staircase!  This new light fitting is part of the project’s aim to return the interiors of the Nash Staircase and Picture Gallery to their Regency splendour.

Full view of the new chandelier.

Full view of the new chandelier.

Strangely no lighting at all is listed in the 1827 bankruptcy sale for the staircase, however in the second sale two years later a “15-inch bronze frame cut-glass Grecian Lamp, with patent two-light burner, ormolu chains, pulleys and lines to ceiling” is mentioned.  It was unclear if this was the light for this space or it had been left here with other unsold lots.

1827 bankruptcy sale catalog.

1827 bankruptcy sale catalogue.

A recent discovery of an 1842 inventory (on the death of 3rd Lord Berwick) gives a very similar description: “Hanging lamp 2 burners cut glass pan balance weight cord & pullies”.

William, 3rd Lord Berwick.

William, 3rd Lord Berwick.

The light fitting in the Nash staircase that was possibly installed by the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick has been referred to as a ‘dog’s breakfast’ in the past by some experts, however it has now been identified as a typical French lantern from the entrance to a Parisian ‘hôtel particulier‘ (a grand detached town house set back off a street) and was probably brought in a Parisian antiques shop by Thomas, 8th Lord Berwick when he was purchasing other antiques and textiles for Attingham.

Chandelier hung in the Nash Staircase by 8th Lord and Lady Berwick.

Chandelier hung in the Nash Staircase by 8th Lord and Lady Berwick.

This light never did justice to the staircase in either its appearance or in its ability to light the space on dull days.

After a lot of research and investigation, the historic lighting adviser to the National Trust identified a suitable light fitting at a specialist antique dealer in London.

Possibly the most amazing antique shop!

Possibly the most amazing antique shop!

Another view of this amazing shop.

Another view of this amazing shop.

Consulting with the curator and lighting experts to finalise hanging arrangements.

Consulting with the curator and lighting experts to finalise hanging arrangements – this is as detailed as the type of chain and wiring!

The new chandelier is a c.1830 English gilded and cut-glass Regency Colza Dish.

Top of the chandelier.

Top of the chandelier.

Bottom of the chandelier.

Bottom of the chandelier.

As part of the redesign of the outer and inner skylight, there will be a manual winch installed so that we can easily clean the fitting and change a light bulb.  Before the project we used to hook and pull the light fitting towards us with the help of an adapted long handled broom!

We will be looking at additional historic lighting in this space at a later date, as there is evidence to suggest there was lighting underneath the staircase as well as the central hanging light – watch this space.

Rehousing begins!

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Last week we finally began rehousing the first of the photographs. It was quite an exciting moment as this is what various members of staff and volunteers have been working towards for the last few years. As we rehouse each photograph we also assign it an inventory number, scan it, and add it to our collection management system. This means that very soon you will be able to see digital copies of the photographs yourself on the National Trust Collections website.

The reason for the photo archive projects is twofold. Firstly to make sure we know exactly what we’ve got and where it is, but also to ensure the photographs are stored correctly. Before coming into the possession of the National Trust, the majority of the photographs had been kept in suitcases – not an ideal environment! We can also see evidence of light damage, foxing, minor tears and cockling that may have occured from how they were stored and displayed in earlier years. Andy has written a blog about conservation issues with photographs before, but now that we’ve finally started rehousing I thought I’d talk about how we’re combatting them.

Each photograph is first gently cleaned with extremely soft brushes. We use squirrel hair on the emulsion side and goat hair on the reverse to remove surface dirt – it’s surprising the difference this simple technique can make to how the photograph looks.

After scanning and cataloguing, the photographs are put into pockets and given a slip of acid-free card behind for support, on which is written the inventory number. This not only confines individual photos to an enclosed location, but also prevents unnecessary handling when rifling through the boxes for a specific photograph. 

Photographs in a timecare box

The boxes are also acid free and are designed so that pockets hang down from the rings. This ensures that there is no pressure on the bottom photographs. The boxes are then returned to the store where we take regular humidity readings with a humidistat to ensure the room is not to damp or too dry.

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Once completed, this should provide long term storage that will preserve the photographs in a stable environment for future generations.

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Identifying Photographs – Know your ‘Ambros’ from your ‘Ferros’

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As part of the Photo Archive project Rhiannon and I attended a “Historic Photographs Training Day”, in order to gain the necessary knowledge to effectively carry out the re-housing and cataloguing of the Attingham photo collections. In addition to this, the training day brought to my attention the great variety of photographic processes that had been used up to the 20th century. This led me to consider the different types of photographs in our own collection here. 

Daguerreotype (possibly of the 4th Lord Berwick) Daguerreotype (Mirror Effect)

In the last blog we left you with an image of this photograph, on the left, and identified it as a Daguerreotype. Daguerreotypes are commonly considered to be the first type of modern photograph, owing to its ability to hold a permanent image. Invented in 1839 by Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, they remained in use until the 1860s. We are fortunate enough to have several of this types of photographs in our collection, which are quite rare in England as a result of the English patent system requiring licences, which seems to have excluded itself from the French Government’s endeavour to ‘endow [it] freely the entire world’, following their nationalisation of the patent.[1] The recognisable features of a Daguerreotype are: its composition of glass, its mirror-like complexion (demonstrated by the image on the right), and the copper-like appearance of the rear of the plate. Ambrotype

The image above is a type of photograph known as an Ambrotype, or a Wet-Collodion. This form of photography almost completely replaced the Daguerreotype in the 1850s, owing to its reduction of exposure times and comparative cheapness.  Like the Daguerreotype it is also generally to be found on a glass plate, although lacks the mirror effect visible above. Its other distinguishing feature though is the depth of the image, which almost has a three-dimensional effect when examined.

 Ferrotype

Ferrotypes, or ‘Tintypes’ as they are commonly known, are clearly distinguishable from Ambrotypes and Daguerreotypes owing to the material differences. Developed onto an iron plate, this type of photograph has a candidly different look and feel to it, making it easily identifiable next to previous forms of photography. Aside from its metallic texture, the blackened complexion of many Ferrotypes is also an indicator of the identity of this type of photograph. We received a tip as to the surest way of identifying a Ferrotype during the training day though, as part of a practical exercise. The use of a weak magnet was suggested, given the iron nature of the photographs (although I doubt this is common practice with real collections it did help in certain cases where the photographs were mounted on card).

Carte de Visite of the 8th Lord BerwickCabinet Card of the 8th Lady Berwick with her sister Gioconda

Although lasting as a novelty item, the metal Ferrotype was inevitably superseded by the cheaper and reproducible card-based photographic processes from the mid-1860s. The two most common types of card photographs in the 19th century were the Carte de Visite (CDV) and the Cabinet Card, appearing c.1859 and c.1866 respectively. There was little quality difference between the two processes until the 1870s, can you tell them apart? The man identifying feature is generally the size of these photos the CDV usually being roughly 2.5” x 4”, and the Cabinet being 4.25” x 6.5” (as demonstrated below).  Additionally, there are a variety of other ways to identify these photographs, including card thickness and the style of borders and artwork. Note details of the studios on the bottom of the card, while further details are to be found on the rear.

Carte de Visite and Cabinet Card

Comparison of the size between Carte de Visites and Cabinet Cards (8th Lord on the left, and the 8th Lady and her sister Gioconda on the right)

 

A final parting tip if you intend to attempt any identification of your own collections, is that it is always important to look at photographs as objects as opposed to images.

[1] R. Derek Wood, ‘The Daguerreotype Patent, The British Government, and The Royal Society’, History of Photography, Vol. 4, No. 1 (January 1980), pp. 53-9; Steve Edwards, ‘‘Beard Patentee’: Daguerreotype Property and Authorship’, Oxford Art Journal, 36.3 (2013), pp. 369-394.

In the Loop

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Seven weeks into our internships and since we’re no longer getting ourselves lost in what once seemed like an unending maze of corridors, it seems only right that we finally introduce ourselves and give you an update of some of what’s been going on in the mansion. We are Rhiannon, Michael and Alex and we’ll be working at Attingham for six months as Conservation and Engagement Interns.

Dinner by Candlelight!

Us taking a break on our Winter Tour sacrificial chairs in the Dining Room

We seem to have done so much already from working in the stores, to helping out with Halloween, to scaling 10ft high scaffolding with museum vacs strapped to our waists in the name of preventative conservation. At the moment though we’ve had to put the deep winter clean on hold whilst we prepare the mansion for Christmas – Father Christmas’ grotto doesn’t decorate itself you know!

Christmas Preparation

Making garlands in the Entrance Hall

Alongside all of this we’ve also got our own project, namely the Photo Archive Project, which we’ll be working on throughout our time here and which will be the focus of our blog posts from now on. The Photo Archive Project is a major reorganisation, re-housing and digitizing effort which has involved a number of volunteers and staff over the past few years (Here are some links to previous blog post by Andy on the subject – Researching Dates, Conservation Issues, Progress Update). It has now fallen to us to continue these efforts whilst our valiant volunteer colleagues are embroiled in cataloguing the albums, and various First World War projects being conducted as part of the run-up to the anniversary in 2014.

The Photo Archives

Boxes of photos in the store waiting to be re-housed.

The aim is that by the end of our internships, all the photographs of the 8th Lord and Lady Berwick (our primary subjects) will be securely re-housed, digitised and catalogued onto our inventory (Collections Management System). We hope in the near future to be able to share with you some of the interesting and amusing things we have come across in the collection, but for now we will just leave you with this very early Daguerrotype of a mystery gentleman.

1841 Daguerrotype 'Unknown Man'      Portrait of the 4th Lord Berwick

Could this be the 4th Lord Berwick? What do you think? More on this coming soon…

Lanterns and Lead

The Through the Roof Project is moving on at a pace now and in this last week lots has been happening.  One of the most exciting things is the discovery that the area underneath the lead over our two jib staircases is probably original and we have revealed the wooden boards and handmade nails that have not been seen for 200 years.

Removing the original lead on the jib staircases.

Removing the original lead on the jib staircases.

The original boards revealed.  The boards are held in place with hand made iron nails.

The original boards revealed. The boards are held in place with hand made iron nails.

While this was taking place the outer lantern protecting the stained glass lantern on the Nash Staircase was being prepared for removal.

Outer lantern with glass still in place.

Outer lantern with glass still in place.

The outer lantern is being removed to allow us to access the stained glass lantern below, but also to be refurbished and to have a new layer of opening windows added to the base so access to the stained glass will be less complicated in the future.

The glass was removed carefully before each wrought iron bar was removed and numbered.

Removing the glass from the outer lantern.

Removing the glass from the outer lantern.

The glass removed from the outer lantern leaving just the outer lantern bars.

The glass removed from the outer lantern leaving just the outer lantern bars.

All the work was done by Barr and Grosvenor who have an iron foundry and are traditional iron-workers.

After the lantern was removed it gave us access to the filthy stained glass below.

The outer lantern completely removed leaving the stained glass lantern uncovered

The outer lantern completely removed leaving the stained glass lantern uncovered

The difference a clean can make and showing the amount of dirt that has accumulated over the years.

The difference a clean can make – showing the amount of dirt that has accumulated over the years.

The difference a careful hoover on a low suction can make

The difference a careful hoover on a low suction can make.

The glass is now cleaner than it has been for many years!  In the next few weeks a specialist conservator will be on site to remove the stained glass piece by piece.  It will be cleaned and stored ready for reinstatement after the repairs to the wooden glazing bars have taken place and the new lead has been laid. We are also having the glass tested for composition and age as there is a mystery as to when the stained glass was installed – it is not John Nash’s original lantern.

The hoovered glass.  The stained glass will be removed, cleaned and conserved before being returned after the lead is replaced.

The hoovered glass. The stained glass will be removed, cleaned and conserved before being returned after the lead is replaced.

All images come from our very talented Through the Roof Volunteer Photographer Richard Knisely-Marpole.

Keepsakes and Memories

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As well as all of the exciting work taking place on the roof here at Attingham, we also like to put on small exhibitions in the house. Until mid-October we have a new exhibition in the rooms called Keepsakes and Memories which is similar to the Hidden Lives exhibition we had last year.

Keepsakes and Memories displays some of our less well-known objects which are often located in our stores and tells you the story behind them.

One of the highlights includes the silk ‘Coming Out Dress’ of Miss Gioconda Hulton, sister of the last Lady Berwick. This dress was made in 1905 and first worn at a ball in Venice where the sisters grew up.

Bodice section of Gioconda's Coming Out Dress made in 1905

Bodice section of Gioconda’s Coming Out Dress made in 1905

Skirt section of Gioconda's Coming Out Dress 1905

Skirt section of Gioconda’s Coming Out Dress 1905

We are currently cataloguing our historic photographs and it is always wonderful to be able to link collection items with images of the people who owned them, especially if the object features in the photograph itself.

Teresa, later Lady Berwick (left) and her elder sister Gioconda (right) at their home in Venice c. 1905

Teresa, later Lady Berwick (left) and her elder sister Gioconda (right) at their home in Venice c. 1905

Another of the objects on display is our intriguing shell collection in the Boudoir. We do not know exactly who created this collection, which is housed in a cupboard, but it may have been by the wife of the 1st Lord Berwick, for whom the room was painted in the 1780s, or by his mother or grandmother.

The shell collection in the Boudoir which also contains two seahorses and an ostritch egg!

The shell collection in the Boudoir which also contains two seahorses and an ostrich egg!

Pastel of Anne, wife of the 1st Lord Berwick with her son Thomas in her arms c. 1770

Pastel of Anne, wife of the 1st Lord Berwick with her son Thomas in her arms c. 1770

The shell collection is only on display for special occasions and is just one example of the crazy collecting habits of some of the members of the Hill family who lived at Attingham. In the early 1800s Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick spent large amounts of money on purchasing paintings, both old and new, and also spent on antiquities and books. Unfortunately it all caught up with him and he went bankrupt in 1827!

Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick went on the Grand Tour in the 1790s and then spent extravagantly on Attingham in the early 1800s.

Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick went on the Grand Tour in the 1790s and then spent extravagantly on Attingham in the early 1800s.

Finally, you can also see some objects relating to Richard, 5th Lord Berwick who was securing the finances of the Attingham Estate in the mid 1800s and implementing agricultural developments. He bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle and won prizes for his ducks and chickens. We have the medals that he won which we have now displayed in the West Ante Room alongside a rifle which he helped to develop.

Richard, 5th Lord Berwick bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle at Cronkhill and did not live in Attingham Hall.

Richard, 5th Lord Berwick bred his prize herd of Hereford cattle at Cronkhill and did not live in Attingham Hall.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davies.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davis.

One of the medals won by Richard, 5th Lord Berwick for his cattle.

One of the medals won by Richard, 5th Lord Berwick for his cattle.

He was a talented craftsman and patented the Cronkhill rifling technology, named after the John Nash Italianate villa on the Estate where he lived. He also crafted flutes and clarinets.

Rifle which makes use of the technology developed by the 5th Lord Berwick

Rifle which makes use of the technology developed by the 5th Lord Berwick

Cronkhill in the early 1900s

Cronkhill in the early 1900s

You can see all of these interesting objects, and more, any day in the house until mid-October. You never know, they may trigger an interesting memory that you have, or remind you of a keepsake that you have hung onto.

Attingham Hall, Shropshire is full of wonderful objects!

Attingham Hall, Shropshire is full of wonderful objects!

Saraid

Lifting the Lead

I had a fairly restless night’s sleep listening to the heavy rain in the past few weeks and hoping that the Picture Gallery temporary roof was as waterproof as hoped.  After an anxious check,  I can confirm that the temporary roof over the Picture Gallery and scaffolding over the Nash Staircase is indeed keeping the water out.

Waterproofed temporary roof over the Picture Gallery

Waterproofed temporary roof over the Picture Gallery

The scaffolding is now nearly completed with the ‘roller blades’ I talked about in an earlier post providing a defence against wind loading on the building.

'Rollerblades' in position

‘Roller blades’ in position

The top of the scaffolding has a temporary roof and plastic walls to provide a completely dry space for the lead to be removed from the Nash Staircase and Jib Stair flat roofs.

Scaffold before the waterproof roof was installed

Scaffolding before the waterproof roof was installed

View of the completed scaffold with plastic walls

View of the completed scaffolding with plastic walls

Now that the temporary roof is up, we can start to remove the lead to investigate the construction of the Nash Staircase dome and lanterns.

Detail of the ribbed plaster work, dome and inner glass lantern of the Nash Staircase

Detail of the ribbed plaster work, dome and inner glass lantern of the Nash Staircase

The dome itself appears to be made of lath and plaster supported by timber curved beams.  Supporting the lead roof are timber beams and a modern layer of chip board.  There are also modern steel Universal Beams (beams which run horizontally), which seem to be providing additional support for the timber joists supporting the lead above.  The modern additions appear to date from the 1970s, so we are scouring the archives to find out when exactly the work happened.

Internal view of the construction of the Nash Staircase drum

Internal view of the construction of the Nash Staircase drum

Lifting the lead off the Nash Staircase roof revealing chip board

Lifting the lead off the Nash Staircase roof revealing chip board

The outer ‘lantern’ covering the inner stained glass has also been looked at in more detail.  The frame appears to be made from wrought, not cast, iron, but samples have been sent away for analysis.  The frame is in particularly bad condition.

Rusting iron on the outer lantern of the Nash Staircase

Rusting iron on the outer lantern of the Nash Staircase

Interestingly, closer analysis has revealed that the outer glass was probably originally curved!  It is speculated that the glass was originally in smaller overlapping panels possibly with a scalloped lower edge.  This would have allowed the glass to fit better in the frame; the current ‘flat’  glass sits high above the glazing rebate at the base, whereas curved would have sat better within the rebate.

View through the top floor window into the scaffolding.  You can just make out the Outer Lantern.

View through the top floor window into the scaffolding. You can just make out the Outer Lantern.

Putting books back into the West Ante Room.

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The Attingham Re-discovered project which is bringing the house back to life has been going since 2006 and our current focus is the roof project. Yet, alongside this major work, we are still carrying out smaller projects as part of Attingham Re-discovered.

For years we have been working to re-create the Regency appearance of the West Ante Room by re-creating the decorative schemes of the early 1800s and re-creating a Regency carpet and curtains. We have also added to the masculine character of the room by hanging the 5th lord Berwick’s paintings of his prize herd of Hereford cattle and installing the case of stuffed South American birds.

Preparing to paint the walls in the West Ante Room to re-create the appearence of the room in the early 1800s.

Preparing to paint the walls in the West Ante Room to re-create the appearence of the room in the early 1800s.

In the early 1800s the room contained pink silk curtains which we have re-created using fragments of the original curtains found in store.

In the early 1800s the room contained pink silk curtains which we have re-created using fragments of the original curtains found in store.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davies.

In the 1850s the 5th Lord Berwick had his prize herd of Hereford cattle painted by the artist W.H. Davies.

The case of birds from South America certainly add colour to the room!

The case of birds from South America certainly add colour to the room!

This week we have been adding one of the final elements to this room…putting books back into the cases. The West Ante Room would have been an additional library space for Thomas, 2nd Lord Berwick who had a large collection of finely bound books.

Selecting books to go back into the cases.

Selecting books to go back into the cases.

The Attingham team have been very excited as this work has involved several phases of work and lots of planning. The Attingham books from the Outer Library were brought over several months ago in preparation. A large cup of tea and a good biscuit was needed after moving lots of boxes of these books!

The cases needed work to make them suitable to house books again. The glass shelves were removed and wooden shelves put back. The lighting, installed when the cases displayed porcelain, was removed by our electricians. The shelves were adjusted ready for all the different sizes of books that were to be placed on them.

Preparing the cases to house books again.

Preparing the cases to house books again.

We are very pleased with they way the cases look now and so do come and have a look.

Attingham books back in the cases.

Attingham books back in the cases.