When I was on my way home from classes yesterday, I got an email from Katie asking me me to stay home today because the studio’s been hit with the flu. I hope they all get better soon.
I decided to dive into the books again. Katie had another bit of suggested reading on carriage conservation. This is a lot like furniture conservation, only there’s a lot of moving parts that need to be taken into consideration.
The chapter I read was about what goes in to preserving a nineteenth century carriage interior. The carriage originally came from an auction from a family living in North Devon in the United Kingdom (74). The carriage itself was not in the best condition. It suffered from neglect and was even used as a chicken coop (78). Thankfully, the original makers of the carriage used high quality materials (fabric, wood, etc) to build it.
Before the… chicken coop ordeal… there was evidence that it was treated right in the past. The squab was given a new cover that was held together by buttons rather than the original tufts. The stuffing was the original though (79-80).
Sadly, the damage done to the carriage meant that many of the pieces needed replacement, which is oftentimes the thing that you DON’T want deal with as a conservator. The carpet fragments had to be removed since their tacking was only causing further damage (80), but there was enough of the pattern to reproduce the original pattern of the carpeting (88).
The trimming was the biggest thing that needed to be replaced, but the carriage was brought back to a good, stable condition. This means that the carriage could be ridden in rather than just a decorative display piece (88). Not a bad ending to this story, I say.
Gentle, Nicola. Documentation and conservation of carriage trimming: the treatment of a nineteenth-century carriage interior. “Upholstery Conservation: Principles and Practice.”Oxford: 2001.