Saving the world at Charlecote
Spinning globes... can you resist giving them a whirl and pointing out places you know or the constellations you recognise? But of course, over 200 years of whirling and prodding causes a great deal of damage.
Thanks to our generous visitors in 2017 we raised just about enough through our raffle ticket sales to fund the £13,000-worth of expert repairs needed for the two Bardin globes in the library.
A world of difference
Two years later, the globes have been returned as good as new, each globe having taken around 100 hours of expert restoration work.
We had not imagined that so much detail would be visible once the old vanish was removed and we are now seeing these globes as Mary Elizabeth and her husband would have done when they first came to Charlecote.
Two centuries of damage
The rotating middle span of each globe had become worn with spinning round. The varnish had become brown and darkened and much detail was no longer visible. Historic repairs caused more problems with glues and additional layers of varnish causing further splits and staining. One of the globes also had an interesting rattle where a bag of lead shot inside it for weighting had split.
Our conservators’ work
In early 2018 the globes were packed up and sent off to our specialist conservators' studio in London (an external conservator approved by the National Trust).
The globes were lifted out of their stands and the varnish removed so that repairs to the structure and paper covering could be made. The brass stands had uneven lacquer and corrosion removed and new decorative brackets were made. Then everything was re-assembled.
The Bardin globes date from around 1800 - one is a terrestrial globe of the world at the time and one is a celestial globe of the stars.
They are named for their makers; Wright and Bardin being renowned London globe-makers in the late 18th century. At the time the globes were made Napoleon was marching across Europe and Captain Cook’s discoveries were becoming more widely known – people were starting to take a much greater interest in their place in the world.
Our research group has not yet discovered exactly when the globes came to Charlecote but it is possible that they were acquired by George Hammond and Mary Elizabeth Lucy for their newly-built library in the 1830s.
Just the (raffle) ticket
Did you know that every Special Places raffle ticket you buy at Charlecote is match-funded by the National Trust and your donation is therefore doubled?
We don't always have volunteers available to sell raffle tickets. If you'd like to buy tickets, please ask in the Servants' Hall shop.
Our volunteer raffle ticket sellers are an important part of our volunteer team – we’d love to hear from you if you’d like to join us.