Hatfield House, Hertfordshire.
Hatfield House was completed in 1611. It was built by Robert Cecil, first Earl of Salisbury and son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I. The main architect of the house was Robert Lemynge but Simon Basil, the Surveyor of the King’s Works and Inigo Jones also contributed to the design.
The Estate has been in the Cecil family for 400 years and is currently the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family.
The Long Gallery Furniture Restoration
Restoration of upholstery on early 18th Century chairs in blue. The unique design, redrawn from the last remaining repeat of damask at Hatfield House, in a Chinese style attributed to James Leman of Spitalfield.
The project was first approached in 1983 when the design was found featured on the 1709 crimson bed. The costs of weaving new bed drapes in the damask pattern of some 427 yards long were too expensive and could not be justified.
However in 2011 with the use of the latest Jacquard looms we were able to create a cost effective custom woven silk cloth for the restoration of Long Gallery furniture. The design is attributed to James Leman based on findings at the V&A collection by Natalie Rothstein. From the last remaining full repeat of the design we redrew the pattern to once again bring the history to life. The reupholstered chairs are now on public display in the long gallery.
The restoration project ‘One in a Million’ was a feature in the Hudsons Guide 2014 and also the subject of an academic paper by Joan Kendall, Head of Conservation at Hatfield House.
Project reference: 2179