William Morris Refit
Our team of craftsmen have been instrumental in the restoration of the former home of Sir Joseph Whitworth, (1803-1887) the English engineer, inventor, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Sir Whitworth, known as the father of precision engineering, employed a key figure in the British Arts and Crafts movement, the textile designer William Morris, to design his dining room along with the English interior decorator John Gregory Crace (1809-1899).
But following a period of use of the building as a boys‘ school, original interior architectural furniture and decoration suffered badly. Wheathills has been involved into returning this historic treasure into a residence which celebrates its original art and craftsmanship.
Our dedicated work was centred on the restoration of the dining room and our aim - without the benefit of recourse to original historic plans - was to recreate the atmosphere of this once grand space. Areas of decorative panelling were missing, remaining panelling had been painted over. Meticulous work ensued to remove paint from panels and doors and to re-create missing panels. Semi-precious stones were sourced and fitted to match existing decorative detail to panelling. Where possible the original finish was restored, where necessary we re-ebonised. The room featured gilt work in 23.5 carat gold leaf and painted line work was struck throughout the designs to emphasise the geometric style of decoration.
The blend of conservation work, restoration, repair and re-creation was a huge but welcome challenge to our team, who created an overall appearance of a soft patination as if we had never been there at all.