Tag: furniture

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Lustrous Surfaces collaborative conservation project

Mr Yang working on mother-of-pearl replacements

Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator Currently, the Victoria & Albert Museum is preparing for an exciting display opening on 1 October 2017 entitled ‘Lustrous Surfaces: Lacquer in Asia and Beyond’. The display will focus on Asian lacquer and lacquer-inspired European objects within our permanent collection and will include objects made in Burma, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, […]

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Logistics of moving a thirteenth-century cope chest

Cope chest on display at the V&A

Dr Nigel Bamforth Senior Furniture Conservator The York Minster cope chest, one of only seven surviving semi-circular cope chests in English cathedrals and a fine example of medieval timber and ironwork, was requested for loan by the Victoria and Albert Museum from the Dean and Chapter of York Minster for inclusion in the ‘Opus Anglicanum: […]

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Garnitures: What a difference a vase makes!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

It isn’t often museum curators have a chance to explore historical decorative schemes using vase sets to research the history of ceramic display, taste and patronage (unless you work for the National Trust). Vase sets, also known as ‘garnitures’ (ie. to garnish or adorn furniture or interiors), come to life when displayed on furniture or […]

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Garnitures : Discovering the Joy of Sets!

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

The idea for the display Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses has been brewing in my head for almost two decades. Ceramic scholars describe matching sets of vases as ‘garnitures’, vessels that ornament or adorn (‘garnish’) a specific location, such as a chimney or the top of a cabinet. I was researching the history […]

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Garnitures: Vase Sets From National Trust Houses

Five-piece garniture, porcelain, Jingdezhen, China, circa 1695,

On 11 October 2016, we are opening the first-ever museum display focused on vase sets, also known as garnitures (from Fr. garnir ‘to garnish’). These are primarily ceramic vases with matching decoration designed for display above a chimneypiece, a cabinet and even over doorways. The National Trust has the largest collection of vase sets in […]

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The Tilliard Daybed

Detail

Zoe Allen and Isabelle Rehault-Wills Senior Conservators   As part of the redisplay of the Europe 1600-1815 Galleries, several pieces of seat furniture were selected for re-upholstery. Among these was a daybed (W.5-1956), or ‘veilleuse’, by Jean-Baptiste Tilliard (1686 – 1766) (Figure 1). This article focuses on the work carried out on the carved and […]

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Armchair Revolution

Arm support for armchair drying

Phil James Museum Technician   This article addresses the approach undertaken to treat upholstered furniture in an ethical and non-invasive way. Re-upholstering an object using tacks would irreversibly alter its condition, risk harming existing decoration and might destroy or obscure traces of original and later coverings. For example, fibres of materials can sometimes be found, […]

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In harmony: sharing skills on a virginal

Furniture conservator Dana Melchar retouching a resin restoration

Fi Jordan, Senior Ceramics Conservator Dana Melchar, Senior Furniture Conservator The conservation of an early seventeenth-century virginal (402-1872) for the Europe 1600-1800 Galleries provided an opportunity for the sharing and development of skills within the V&A Objects Conservation Section (Figure 1). The virginal is composed of materials – wood, leather, glass, enamel and various metals […]

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Where to put your lowly medieval bottom

In my previous blog we saw how chairs are used as signs of power and status. In this blog I will look at other types of seat on which to place on your (more lowly) medieval bottom Medieval houses were generally sparsely furnished so it is not surprising that very few examples of medieval furniture […]

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The Real Game of Thrones – Medieval Seats of Power

Fans of Games of Thrones know how impressive an important seat of power can be. This is also true in medieval manuscripts where images of thrones feature often when depicting earthly and heavenly rulers. You don’t, however, always need a fancy throne like the Iron Throne of Westeros to show your importance; any chair with […]

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