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Boulle furniture conservation underway at Blenheim Palace

Blenheim Palace has announced that three items of Boulle furniture have arrived back from vital restoration.

The significant items being restored include the 18th Century Boulle clock timepiece and pedestal, with an 11-inch twelve-piece enamel cartouche dial, signed Benj Gray & Just Vulliamy and a Boulle pedestal, circa 1740 from the Green Writing Room within the Palace.

Furniture conservator, James Smith, has worked for a few months on stabilising and bringing these pieces back to their original glory. Smith said, “The work on both pedestals included refitting detached or loose tortoiseshell and brass and the worn ebonised areas have been repolished and blended with the original surface. All brass mounts have also been cleaned and lacquered as necessary.”

Kate Ballenger​, Keeper of Palace and Collections at Blenheim Palace said: “Restoring and conserving these items is essential for future generations to enjoy and appreciate. The environmental conditions in the State Rooms have caused significant amounts of lifting and blistering on three pieces of our Boulle collection. These magnificent pieces were showing relevant losses and unstable areas of ebony veneer. There were also panels with significant areas of floating material.”

André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) is thought to be the preeminent artist in marquetry and possibly one of the most remarkable French cabinet makers in history. Although not the inventor of the craft, he perfected the technique of inlaying the most intricate and delicate work in brass into tortoiseshell. As one of Louis XIV’s favourites, he received the title of premier ébéniste du RoiBoulle’s influence in the design and furniture world has lasted for hundreds of years.

Appreciate over 300 years of history and significant artefacts when you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a charity, ticket donations are vital for restoration and conservation projects like these, but also offers the chance for visitors to discover Britain’s Greatest Palace and all it has to offer throughout the year.

Valid Palace, Park and Gardens tickets are required to visit the State Rooms. Buy one day, and get 12 months free when you choose to donate your admission ticket cost to Blenheim Palace.

What’s more, when you travel to Blenheim Palace via public transport, bicycle or fully electric car, you are eligible for a 30% discount off your Annual Pass or Palace, Park and Gardens day ticket (this discount is not valid for Privilege Pass or Park and Gardens tickets). Use the code GREEN30 for discount during online checkout and show your proof of travel by bus, train or bike on arrival.

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For more information and to book tickets visit, Issued on behalf of Blenheim Palace. For more information please contact Cab Campaign [email protected] About Blenheim Palace Home to the Dukes of Marlborough since 1705, the Oxfordshire Estate was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Set in over 2,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscaped parkland and designed by Vanbrugh in the Baroque style, Blenheim Palace is also the birthplace of one of Britain’s most famous leaders, Sir Winston Churchill and it was his father who described the vista, on entering the Estate from the village of Woodstock, as the ‘finest view in England’.

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