When the Kitchens at Kew were uncovered, we were thrilled to find that some of the original furniture remained; pieces that had been commissioned when the Kitchens were built at the beginning of the 18th century. The Great Kitchen table, the bakery table and the dresser and shelf are not only historic working kitchen pieces but they also show wear and tear, possibly from the years that the kitchen was used as a workshop.
The items of furniture have survived remarkably well given their age and the conditions in which they have been stored.
The commissioned treatment team have been working with furniture conservation experts to check the condition of the objects and carry out minimal conservation and stabilisation work. The pieces are made almost entirely in pine, with the Great Kitchen table top in elm. There is significant evidence of historic furniture beetle attack on the surfaces of all the pieces and there was some structural instability. We have checked their condition, stabilised the loose boards and coated the fragile wood to prevent further loss.