Stichting Ebenist, 11th International Symposium for Wood and Furniture Conservation, Amsterdam, November 2012

Stichting Ebenist is an organisation of conservation professionals in the Netherlands and their conferences in relation to wood and furniture conservation are established now as the premier such event globally, attracting an international audience, similarly speakers. The theme for the 2012 conference is Reproduction and Reconstruction in Furniture Conservation. Delegates for the upcoming conference will be getting a Temple Newsam double whammy: a paper on the re-construction of the Queen Anne State Bed, from Ian Fraser, Temple Newsam’s furniture conservator:
And a paper from Temple Newsam’s retired senior curator Anthony Wells-Cole into the research and virtual re-construction that he has been working on in relation to the 17th century Japanese lacquer columns and mouldings of the Temple Newsam lacquer secretaire, and upright piano, both supplied in the 19th century, and kept in the Chinese Room. The Japanese lacquer columns and mouldings once formed part of a highly elaborate balustrade in the bedchamber of Amalia van Solms, wife of the Stadholder of The Hague. They lived in Huis ten Bosch, a palace in The Hague, The Netherlands. Commissioned by the occupants, and probably the first European commission of Japanese lacquer work, the components arrived in the 1630s, were installed and stayed there until the Napoleonic Wars. French troops overran the Low Countries, and Huis ten Bosch was ransacked. The Japanese lacquer components, war booty, start turning up in the furniture trades in London and Paris in the 19th century, and being added to pieces of furniture. A fascinating backstory, and one of the aims of Mr Wells-Coles’s research has been trying to visualise what the bed balustrade looked like in Huis ten Bosch. Of outstanding quality, the scenes depicted on the columns tell the ancient story “The Tales of Ise”.

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