Ham House, Richmond, Surrey.
Ham House is a National Trust Property Built 1610-1670, it was once the home of the extravagant Duchess of Laurderdale, and her husband the Duke. It is said that her ghost still roams the halls.
Ham House was renowned as being one of the grandest Stuart Houses in England with a historic collection of textiles, furniture and paintings it is open for the public to visit today and absorb the atmosphere created over the course of the last 400 years. The fabric within the house is all loose hung, as was the technique of the 17th Century. The strong colour schemes were restored and reproduced according to house inventories and original documents.
Ham House was given to the National Trust in 1948 and from this time until 1991 the house was administered by the Victoria and Albert Museum. All of the restoration work carried out by Humphries Weaving was during this V&A tenure, under the direction of Peter Thornton and later Frances Collard. Since returning to the full care of the National Trust some of this work has been reversed by curators including The Duchess’s Private Closet and The adjoining White Closet.
The Duke’s Dressing Room and the Withdrawing Room
The Duke’s Dressing Room and the withdrawing room wall hangings.
Silk and Cotton Damask in crimson for loose wall hangings and furniture cushions for the Duke’s Dressing room and the Withdrawing room. There is also a version of this design in the Warner Archive.
The same design is also used in the Duke’s Closet and the Green Closet within the house
Project reference: 412
The Duke’s Closet
The Duke’s closet is a small room but richly decorated.
A rich black and gold silk and cotton damask for wall hangings, entrance drapes and furniture upholstery. The colour compliments the wood paneling in the room and is trimmed in a contrasting bright red.
The same design is also used in the Duke’s Dressing room, the Withdrawing room and the Green Closet.
Project references: 529 / 552
The Green Closet
The Green Closet wall hangings and furniture upholstery.
Silk and Cotton Damask in green for loose wall hangings and furniture cushions. The same design is used in several other rooms around the House. Including the Duke’s Closet, the Duke’s Dressing Room and the Withdrawing Room.
The Humphries Weaving restoration was carried out under the guidance of the V&A in 1980 and subsequently replaced in the early 2000’s when the cabinet pictures were rehung by the National Trust. The French re-weave uses the same design but a deeper shade of green following the discovery of an original Ham House colour reference held by a museum in the United States.
Project reference: 413
The Duchess’s Private Closet and White Closet
The Duchess’s Private Closet
Under the guidance of the V&A Humphries Weaving wove a scheme for the Duchess’s Private closet that consisted of a purple and gold Mohair camlet for loose hung wall hangings. This was edged with Black and gold damask borders.The original document of this cloth design was held in the Victoria and Albert Museum archive and selected as appropriate.
Project reference Mohair Camlet: 939
Project reference Damask Boarders: 980
These loose hung wall coverings have subsequently been removed and there is now a Green flock wallpaper on the walls.
The Duchess’s White Closet
Narrow woven tissue in sadd and buff for wall hangings taken from a document in the Victoria and Albert Museum. This design has a very modern feel about it despite the documentation of mid 17th Century origins. At this time in some designs there appears to have been as much decoration in the background as in the figure of the woven cloth.
Project reference: 1002 / 1003
These loose hung wall coverings have subsequently been removed and there is now a Buff/Salmon flock wallpaper on the walls. The nail marks from the loose hanging are still visible implying that the flock was in situ before the fabric redecoration.