A few months ago, one of the regular readers of the Nostell Priory Conservation Blog requested that we have a post focusing on the escutcheons and handles that are a feature of our furniture. Escutcheons are the metal fastenings which surround the keyhole of a door, for a combination of protection and/or decoration.
More than happy to oblige, I spent some time walking around Nostell and taking photographs of some of the more interesting examples. Most were supplied by Thomas Chippendale.
It’s amazing what you see when you take time to look!
Prizes if you can guess which pieces of furniture they are from! (No prizes really…)
The three below hail from the Crimson Bedroom. They are a great example of how something so small can be quite beautiful.
From the chinoiserie furniture in the State Bedroom come the two examples below. The escutcheons are rather insignificant when you look at the lacquer decoration surrounding them. I particularly like the leopard/cheetah!
Delicate double round handles in the Saloon, no escutcheon around the lock. Maybe this drawer wasn’t used very often? It’s from a beautiful lady’s writing table.
I’m sure you can guess the object below…
Below is the super small door handle on the false door in the Library. It would have to be unnoticeable so that it wouldn’t detract from the overall effect when the disguised door was closed.
Also in the Library, the huge writing desk…
The lower cupboards around the room also have no escutcheon (see below). This could be so that visitors’ attentions focused on the wealth displayed in the shelves upon shelves of books, rather than on other little details.
The Medal Cabinet, with a military row of vertical drawer handles:
What’s this piece of furniture, with no escutcheon around the lock? The picture next to it might give you a clue…
It’s the John Harrison longcase clock! John Harrison is the gentleman in the photo to the left of the clock. Did you guess correctly?
An absolutely gorgeous ecutcheon below, extremely elaborate and decorative!
And finally, for something completely different…
We hope you’ve enjoyed having a closer look at some of the details on the furniture here at Nostell. If you have any requests for future blog posts, please let us know and we’ll write one for you!