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Tagged with historic furniture

Decant Day, 9 November 2016: Packing up the Cottonian Collection

By Susan Leedham, Cottonian Collection Researcher As we near the halfway point of Decant (ready for building work to start in the New Year) it was time to move one of our most important pieces – our nationally designated Cottonian Collection. The Cottonian Collection was gifted to the people of Plymouth in 1853 for our […]

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Make Do and Mend?

By Emma Philip, Curator of Fine Art When the ‘big one’ was taken apart for conservation, we found this wooden Oxo crate had been sawn up and used to repair the underside of two of the lower units.  We don’t know for sure, but it is feasible that these additions date from the initial transfer […]

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Wood From All Over the World

By Emma Philip, Curator of Fine Art The large bookcase (actually a pair of two bookcases originally – see below), was made in 1757 by Thomas Wood of London.  Each of the lower cabinet doors is veneered, inside and out, with rare specimen veneers from all over the globe. Over time and with changes in […]

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On the Road

By Emma Philip, Curator of Fine Art At the end of September I visited the workshops at Tankerdale’s base in Hampshire to meet the rest of the team and see for myself the large bookcase undergoing conservation treatment.  Here is Robin from Tankerdale, hard at work on the veneered cabinet doors (and of which more […]

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The Plaque is Back!

by Emma Philip, curator of Fine Art One of the 10 items conserved as part of this project is our rosewood occasional table made around 1825. We haven’t yet got to the bottom of how it entered the Cottonian Collection, but its date would suggest that it was one of William Cotton III’s purchases, perhaps […]

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The Big One’s Little Mystery

By Emma Philip, curator of Fine Art Following on from my last post, once we’d finally managed to clear all 300+ books out of the largest bookcase, Allan and Chris from Tankerdale set about dismantling it into its 16 sections; eight glazed top units and eight low cabinets with veneered doors. When they got to […]

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All Change Please…

By Emma Philip, curator of Fine Art On Monday 29th July we began work on the biggest changeover of furniture yet in the Cottonian Gallery.  The biggest bookcase in the collection, wittily christened as ‘The Big One’ to those of us on the project team, was off to conservation at Tankerdale. ‘The Big One’ contains […]

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What a difference!

Monday 8th April was a very exciting day in the Cottonian Gallery.  We accepted return delivery of our first two pieces of furniture from treatment at Tankerdale.  As you can see from the photos, the tortoiseshell collector’s cabinet and the wave-front cabinet have been transformed. Click on the thumbnails for larger images. Thanks to the […]

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Dr. Bowett’s visit

Back in early February Dr Adam Bowett, one of the UK’s foremost experts in historic furniture, came to look at the furniture held within the Cottonian Collection.  After spending a day investigating from the inside out, he had many interesting observations to share with us – not least, the ‘wood of death’. A New Pair […]

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