This was an interesting project that I worked on a few years ago. The photo above show the panels in the original room at Henwood Priory, Warwickshire, England. It is the only thing I had to go on. One wall had a fireplace that someone must have blacked out before the auction because it was not part of the sale.
( a note: the photos that I use in this blog are rather large so you can see some of the detail. just click on them to see the whole photo and click again to see them actual size )
The story of the panels journey as best I can find is—-They were built in the second quarter 17th century. They were bought by William Randolph Hearst at some time in the past, and shipped stateside and forgotten. Reading some history of William Randolph Hearst, I find that he was a voracious collector and bought so much stuff during his life, that allot of it was lost or forgotten. His heirs found the panels in a barn and had them auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York on April 16,1998. They were bought by our client and stored in a climate controlled cave in Missouri until they found a wood shop capable of sorting the mess out. That was us. They are all made of English White oak.
This project had several challenges.
#1 – Try and preserve as much of the original woodwork and layout as possible. Like a doctors oath, “first- do no harm” :)
#2 – Go through the pile of parts and sort – - – measure – - – figure out what part of the panel system that they belonged – - sort out and discard recent repairs – - – and plot the pieces on the computer. I don’t know if the repairs were made to the panels in england, or if an attempt to install them in America was made. I think it was the former because the repairs, while poorly done, were at least made with English white oak.
#3 – Measure the clients room and adapt the panels to his space – - – which had 3 doors and two windows – - and no fireplace. :) Some of this was started by our designer before I took over.
#4 – Figure out a system for the installation, (which we were not going to do), that would make the installers job as easy as possible and the chunks of assembled panel as large as possible.
#5 – Determine how much was missing and had to be replaced. Build, distress, and finish all of the new woodwork so it completely blends with the original woodwork.
#6 – Have fun !!! :)
I will start it up with the next post.
-- Marshall _ Wichita, Ks _ "Growing Old is Mandatory - - Growing Up Is Optional" :)