Waddesdon Manor Bespoke Winter Covers

Bespoke winter covers were required to protect the carved marble figures of the Fountain of Pluto and Proserpine.

Project overview

Project Overview
Waddesdon Manor, is owned by the National Trust and managed by the Rothschild Foundation.  The late Victorian landscape garden is home to an extensive statuary collection which is protected with covers during the winter months. Cliveden Conservation was commissioned to design bespoke winter covers to protect the carved marble figures of the Fountain of Pluto and Proserpine by Giuliano Mozzani (d. 1735), situated in the centre of the south parterre.

Summary of work carried out
The previous covers were not providing adequate protection, in part because the fit was not tight enough. The loose nature of the previous covers was exacerbated by the form of the marble statues, which include swirling drapery, sweeping arm gestures, curling fish tales and water horses with outstretched legs. In addition, the material of the previous covers did not provide adequate thermal protection.

To provide better thermal protection and a more secure fit, Waddesdon Manor wanted to explore a Cliveden Conservation three-layered Winter Cover system. A visit to site enabled Cliveden Conservation’s senior accredited conservator, Kris Zykubek ACR, to assess the fountain in more detail. He concluded that the standard fit of the winter cover, which normally comes in a rectangular or cylindrical shape using the widest points of the object, would have too much excess material. This provided an element of risk, not just through the winter months when the cover would be placing additional weight on fragile limbs and extremities, but also during installation and removal. For this reason, a bespoke design was required.

Each of the marble statues was carefully measured and the covers were designed under the guidance of Cliveden Conservation using CAD software. Tailored sleeves were introduced to fit the extended elements of the statue, without the need for additional material. The covers were manufactured using a three-layered moisture impermeable system which is windproof, waterproof, insulating and provides UV protection.

Results
The bespoke winter covers now accurately fit the statues and provide thermal protection from freezing and wet conditions. The covers help to slow down the rate of deterioration, such as damage related to frost, weathering and a build-up of dirt and organic growth. Waddesdon Manor were so impressed by the cover that they are now phasing out all the old canvas covers and replacing with Cliveden Conservation Winter Covers, which are more practical in terms of maintenance and fitting and provide better insulation.

The client also reports that the Velcro fastenings and tie straps have been quick to put on and easily adjusted to the shape of the statue. With over a hundred pieces of statuary requiring fitting and removal of covers, this has speeded up the process for the estate team.

Image credit: Waddesdon Manor

Project details

Client:

Waddesdon Manor

Specialist Contractor:

Cliveden Conservation Winter Covers

Category:

Winter covers

Cliveden Conservation Winter Covers protect the carved figures of the fountain.

We put the covers on South Fountain and couldn’t be happier with the result! We love how tailored they are which is very sympathetic for the statues and particularly good because that area of the garden can get very windy. The Collection department here are very admiring of them too.

Matthew Waters, Deputy Steward, Waddesdon Manor