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The Drapers’ Company is a charitable organisation dedicated to helping the disadvantaged. It is one of the historic Great Twelve Livery Companies and was founded during the Middle Ages. The company has owned Drapers Hall, located on Throgmorton Avenue in the City of London since 1543. The Grade II* Listed building includes four finely decorated main rooms used for hosting functions and events. The largest room is the Livery Hall, which provides a space capable of seating 276 for dinner beneath a collection of royal portraits and dramatic ceiling paintings depicting Shakespearean scenes by 19th century artist Herbert Draper.
We were approached by conservation contractor Coniston Ltd. to undertake a decorative plaster restoration and repair package in the Livery Hall, and to model, manufacture and install 28 plaster lids for large urns on display around the room’s balcony.
We utilised a small group of traditionally skilled plasterers to carry out restoration of the Livery Hall’s beautiful decorative ceiling mouldings. This required rubber squeezes (impressions) of existing plaster enrichments to be taken in order to create moulds to remanufacture and restore specific areas of the ceiling to its former glory. The fibrous plaster enrichments were manufactured in our workshop and installed on site. Other areas of the ceiling received plaster restoration and we also provided capital repair works to the North and South Elevations. Our final task was to complete some gypsum repairs upon conclusion of other building works as a finishing touch.
To manufacture the plaster urn lids we were provided a drawing (see below) from which a model was masterfully hand crafted for approval by the client. This confirmed, a rubber mould could then be taken and the casting of 28 identical lids commence. Once complete, they were installed and secured on site to the client’s satisfaction and decorated with gold gilding as seen in the photographs.
Find out more about the Livery Hall on The Drapers’ Company website.