Monday, 9 September 2013

Basildon Park - dining room back to normal

After my post about putting Basildon Park back together again after the filming, I thought you might like to see the Dining Room looking it's normal self again.



This is the Dining Room "as it normally is", and not when it has been cleared for filmingStill no idea what the filming was I am afraid, but as soon as I find out and am allowed to tell, I will - it was probably some boring advert!!

 

The china that you can see on the table was once owned by Sir Frances Sykes, the first owner of the house in the 18th Century.  The china was found for sale in auction in Scandinavia by Lady Illiffe (the last owner of the house) and bought back to the house only a few decades ago.  It is the only thing in the house that was owned by Sir Frances Sykes (well, apart from the actual house of course!!).


We know that it belonged to Sir Frances because it has his crest on the china. It is famille rose Chinese porcelain, and obtaining it would have been quite an exercise in patience. You ordered it, then you had to wait for the order to get out to China, for what you wanted to be made (and that could take a long time if you ordered a large service). Then you had to wait for it to be shipped back round the world to England. No popping out and getting another one if you had an accident!  You might think that the knives have been laid round the wrong way.  This is actually deliberate as Lady Illiffe liked them this way round so that the makers name was not shown.


This is a small selection of Lady Illiffe's china.  Until the start of this year we told visitors that the china was Worcester Grainger.  However, some of our volunteers did some research on the china and found that it caused some controversy when they started to try and track down the exact maker.  We now believe that it is by Ridgeway.  Whoever made the china, it is very beautiful and it looks lovely when the dining table is set with this service.


Here you can see the special drugget that I mentioned in my previous post, this is the special carpet that goes down to protect any surface underneath - in this case the antique dining room carpet.


Here is the carpet on the other side of the room where we don't walk.  You can see how well the drugget matches the carpet.  Most of our visitors never even notice that they are not walking on the carpet.  Even when you point it out some of them don't believe you until they bend down and feel it!


You might have noticed the columns at the end of the room.  They are actually wooden, and painted to look like marble, as in times gone by it was actually more fashionable to have the painted effect rather than the real thing.  This showed that you could afford to pay the artist to come and do the painting for you.  Here is a close up of one of the capitals at the top of the columns - they are Corinthian columns (gosh I know too much about this place, no wonder my brain is too full to remember my shopping list!).


A little view of the ceiling - yes, I admit, I am obsessed by ceilings, but you would be too if you had these to look at all day.


And finally... some views of the gardens from the Dining Room windows.  It was such a lovely day when I was taking these pictures I just couldn't resist!  I never can resist a flower or two...

 
 

Hope you had a good visit!

Amy

Basildon Park know that I exist because I volunteer with them, but that is all. I am just sharing this with you because Basildon Park is part of what I do and love.

12 comments:

  1. What a fascinating post! I love seeing these stately old homes you have there. The china is beautiful.

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    1. It is so amazing working there, I discovered new things just last week - which I will share with you soon, but I need some more photos first! - so you are always learning which I love. Glad you like it too.

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  2. Amy! This is amazing. I once had the idea to visit all the National Trust properties....this has truly inspired that notion once again. How lucky you are to be able to volunteer here and live amongst all this glory. Wonderful, wonderful, post. Think I'll make a cuppa' right now. Cheers!

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    1. Gosh, visiting all the NT places would certainly keep a body very busy! No idea how many there are, but even if you did a couple a day you would be hard at it for a long time I should think. Glad you liked the post - thank you for your comment.

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  3. hi amy,
    what a beautiful place. i love old homes and china!!!
    have a nice week,
    love regina

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    1. It is lovely Regina, but I have trouble with the china, as I know a certain amount about that, but nothing about the paintings and most visitors are more interested in the paintings, so nice to meet a fellow china fan!

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  4. What a wonderful virtual tour! I envy you looking at these beautiful objects all day, I would daydream about what it might be like to actually live there...ya think they ever wandered the house in their jammies, wanting a midnight snack? ;-} Chrissie x

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    1. Not sure about wandering around looking for a midnight snack, but the thought made me laugh. In the olde days of yore the kitchen was in a different building, so that would have been a long wander to get some food! When we have volunteers in the kitchen making cakes and biccies it is so tempting to sneak off and grab a snack though I have to say, of course I would never do that.....

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  5. I love seeing inside Basildon Park! And so interesting about the china, I am often researching china patterns, so fascinating. I have one plate and one egg cup that belonged to my great-great grandmother, from around 1850 I guess, so different to 1900s china. I hope the filming was for another period drama, there haven't been enough lately! Except Downton, of course ...

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    1. It would be good if the filming was for a drama wouldn't it! I wish that we knew, it seems as thought it has been ages since they did the filming in July/August, but it isn't really, so I expect it could be a while before we find out :( As soon as I do though, I will let you all know - rest assured!!

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  6. A MILLION thanks for including Basildon Park in your blog!!!! I have always wanted to see where you spend your days and now I can! Lucky me!!

    xo

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    1. You are more than welcome Janet! Hope that you are enjoying seeing it, there is more to come, as I have a few posts that I am working on - need to get the photos I need and sort them out.....

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