What goes on behind the scenes at Standen House, an Arts & Crafts family home

Leave a comment

All Tic-Toc at Standen!

Winding the Clock in the Drawing Room

Winding the Clock in the Drawing Room

Hi, I’m Caroline, one of Standen’s part-time Conservation Assistants, helping with the daily, weekly and annual conservation tasks within the house.

One of the first jobs I was introduced to was checking, winding and resetting the clocks. It’s one of the many routine weekly  jobs which do not take too long, but you need to be mindful when handling each clock, especially looking for any changes which may affect the workings of each one.

We do this every Tuesday morning so we can keep an accurate record of how each clock is performing. We note the minutes each clock is ahead or behind and

Benjamin Bulline Table Clock

Benjamin Bulline Table Clock

how many turns of the key the springs or weights need to keep the clock running. Any problems are reported to our Clock conservator, who comes to visit  annually.

As you can imagine, each clock has it’s own personality and it does not take long to know which clocks run slow and those that keep perfect time! If I could take one home, it would be the Benjamin Bulline Table Clock (circa 1770) located in the stairwell. It’s an oriental design with beautiful ornamentation.

J.W. Benson Clock

J.W. Benson Clock

Another clock I’m really fond of is the J. W. Benson clock which sits proudly above the fireplace in the Morning Room, due to its chimes. This clock always runs ahead of time so we need to reset the time by winding the hands forward, hence we get to hear its delightful charm!

Whats your favorite clock in the House?

Caroline, Conservation Assistant

Leave a comment

A few of my favourite things…

This week’s blog post comes from Alison; one of the six-strong House Team.

I’ve been a Conservation Assistant here at Standen for two years. My job is to carry out the daily cleaning of the house, as well as assisting with the “deeper” conservation cleaning. Working so closely with the collection has enabled me to become better acquainted with some of the objects, so I thought I’d share with you a few of my favourite things.Alison - stockings box 2

Stockings box

Brightly coloured stockings box, kept in the Westbourne bedroom

The first thing that came to mind when it was suggested I might like to write something for our blog was a brightly coloured decorative box (for stockings!) which I discovered about a year ago in one of the dressing table drawers in the Westbourne bedroom. I like it because it’s unusual and looks like it has been hand painted. It helps me imagine the daily life of the family while they were living here. This, in turn, reminds me why we take such care when looking after the collection.                                                    Larkspur bookcase

Larkspur - bedside lamp

I also like the bedside lamp from the Larkspur bedroom for similar reasons. It’s a practical everyday item, but it’s also delicate and pastel-coloured – subtle and pretty in a house full of bold colours and large, imposing furniture.

I prefer the small bookcases from the Westbourne and Larkspur bedrooms to the huge bookshelves downstairs, because they seem slightly less intimidating. They make the bedrooms look like restful places, for more relaxed reading – perhaps on the daybed – as opposed to the arguably more intellectual reading which appears to have taken place downstairs.

Bedroom Corridor print

Along the same themes as the bookcases,  I particularly like the print with the two ladies from the Bedroom Corridor, which seems to depict reading as a not entirely studious pursuit!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing a few snapshots of some of the collection up close.