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At some point in the past, four painted plaster panels had been coated with a resin varnish layer which had discoloured over time.
It’s not known why four of the panels were part-varnished in this way but assume these areas had been exposed, possibly in 1954.

Furthermore, crude black outlining of a section of foliage on one panel was a misguided attempt to strengthen the original drawing, possibly by the same person who applied the varnish. Fortunately, this ‘repaint’ was on top of the varnish so was easily removed along with the discoloured coating.

The conservators dissolved and removed the discoloured varnish - and removed numerous fragments of limewash still covering the painted decoration – prior to applying a protective facing to all six panels. The facing (adhered to the surface with water-soluble animal glue) consisted of one layer of fine-weave silk crepeline and two layers of cotton muslin. This provided sufficient strength to separate the painted plaster from its brick backing. However, in places it was still so firmly stuck, even after over three centuries, that only the paint could be detached.

Initially, only the six panels of the hunting scene were protected with Perspex, with an oak frame surround. It was felt that the remaining panels should be protected, as they were vulnerable, being in an area open to the public. Although Perspex was customarily used in the 1980's, its reflective properties detracts from the viewing experience, moreover it affords no protection against harmful UV fading. To this end the Friends secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2013 to cover all the panels with a museum-grade, non-reflective, UV resistant acrylic, in addition to fitting oak frames to the remaining panels, matching that of the hunting scenes. The panels were given a light clean with further conservation work undertaken, repairing any damage sustained since original removal.

Panel on left prior to treatment showing the discoloured varnish with the amateur attempt at retouching and on the right, after treatment with the varnish, the amateur retouching and the limewash removed