Restoration Intern Lantern Ad-Lib

27 August 2015

In April 2015 these beautiful lanterns were installed in the library. It had required a little ad-lib and imagination from Dr Jonathon Foyle who had worked from only two 1813 and 1820 drawings of their original designs. Dr Jonathan Foyle made projective reconstruction drawings of them and they were made by Wilkinson PLC (nothing to do with the supermarket) who ‘had never seen anything like them’, or so they exclaimed. Now they take centre stage in the library once more.

Historically this room would have been lit mainly by three oil lanterns with additional lighting by table candle sconces. Today, as a key learning space for Stowe School, modern lighting has been added as part of the restoration of this room four years ago.

Now it seems apt that, as paint analysis suggested, the central ceiling roses should be gilded in order to reflect the lantern light and extend their spangling shower of golden light.

During restoration, SHPT made the decision to follow a ‘less is more’ policy, but with the addition of the new lanterns, maybe this has been transplanted with a new maxim: ‘Go the whole hog.’