Conserving the Chocolate Kitchen

Conserving the Chocolate Kitchen

Cocoa beans

Both of our chocolate rooms had been used for storage for many years but were in a remarkably good state, requiring only minimal conservation work.

In the Chocolate Room, some of the historic plaster was falling off the walls. This was repaired using traditional materials and methods. We scientifically analysed the paint in the room so we could exactly match the paint colours from Mr Tosier’s time.

Find out more about Thomas Tosier, George I’s personal chocolate maker >

Small samples were taken from the walls, ironwork, and woodwork. They were then set in resin, highly polished, and examined under a microscope. The chemical compounds in paint show the different eras of paint and can suggest what colour the decoration was. The colours you see in the rooms today are the same that Mr Tosier would have seen in the early 18th century.

Before:

Chocolate Kitchen before conservation

After:

Chocolate Kitchen after conservation 

The 18th century fireplaces in both rooms had some damage and rust and were repaired by an expert metal conservator – Mr Tosier could still roast beans on the fireplace today!

The folding table in the Chocolate Kitchen is an 18th century original and, amazingly, still works. After 300 years, the only damage was one failed hinge that was expertly restored by our team at Hampton Court Palace.

Find out more about our Conservation Team >

You may also be interested in...