Friday, 10 February 2012

More treasures

Halfway up a very narrow staircase is a cupboard called 'The Betty Dutton Cupboard' (I think all cupboards should have names). It is named after a predecessor of mine who ran the wardrobe for a very long time between the 60s and 80s. Before the staircase existed, there was a step ladder through a hatch into this cupboard and you had to crawl about (it's only about 4 feet high) to find things hidden in trunks and wicker baskets. There was another level that you reached by squeezing through a small gap and hauling yourself up. As you can imagine, this didn't make it past health and safety so we now have the narrow staircase and easy access, smoke alarms and lights!
We still use this cupboard to store things that don't get used very often and Chrissie found some amazing things on her last sorting out session.
 This is a silk dress ensemble, very fragile now, dating from the 1890s. I wonder if it did belong to Queen Alexandra and how it came to be in our possession.  The work on it is incredibly fine and detailed.

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