On Friday, the Hinton House bed restoration project began to get moving..literally.
The bed was dismantled piece by piece and is now ready for the necessary structural and conservation works.
Technicians rested the canopy on two small forklifts called genies.
Then the rest of the bed was removed from under the canopy starting with the headboard.
The canopy was raised slightly, lifting it off the bed posts.The posts were removed one at a time and carefully wrapped up for storage and study. It turns out that the whole canopy was fixed by very small spikes on the top of each post. It made me wonder how on earth the canopy didn’t fall down. I’ll admit that seeing the posts being removed from the canopy leaving it resting on the lift.
The canopy was then slowly lowered then lifted onto a work surface ready for work to begin.
Now the canopy is at eye level it is possible to see what a mess it is in. The cornices are degraded and the structure is about to collapse in on itself.
For the first time I have been able see properly the holes and parts which tell us that the bed canopy was meant to be up in the air and flying. I suppose it is possible to draw analogies with a phoenix, that dies and burns up every 500 years to rise again anew. The Hinton House bed has been collapsed 300 years after it was made. Over the next year, the canopy will be lifted again, refreshed and renewed.