With the excitement of the Christmas season now behind us, Mansion staff shifts focus to the two major conservation projects in the Reception Room and the Parlor. One recent advancement was the re-installation of the Reception Room’s gasolier (originally gas-powered lighting fixture), and the de-installation of the Parlor’s.
The Reception Room’s remarkable 250 lb. gasolier, comprised of more than 200 individual parts, was taken down over three years ago while conservators worked on the room’s walls and ceilings. Last month with the assistance of the Wilson Moving Company, the fully cleaned and conserved fixture was reinstalled in its proper place.
Concurrently, the massive fixture in the Parlor was removed for cleaning. Conservators plan to use a similar process with the Parlor fixture as used with the Reception Room’s, involving a meticulous attention to detail as to not disrupt the beautiful, gold-gilded bronze finish. Decades of gas residue from the original fittings along with ambient soot and grime from the Mansion’s original coal furnace tarnished the once glistening fixtures, which were electrified by the Libby family around 1902.
The maker of these exceptional pieces is unknown, though it is surmised they were imported either from France or Germany, probably by Mansion interior decorator Gustave Herter at the direction of first owner Ruggles Morse. The Reception Room fixture bears the mysterious markings of “L.R.”–it will soon be seen what might be etched in the other!
For a full album of images of this project, click HERE.