Repalcement Carving (wheat ears, leaves and fir cones) Grindling Gibbons 1693, From Trinity College Oxford,CASE STUDIES
TRINITY COLLEGE CHAPEL REREDOS LimewoodThe lime wood reredos carving at Trinity College Oxford, has been described as some of the finest work of Grinling Gibbons mature period. It was carved in 1693 as the centrepiece of the Grinling Gibbons/Arthur Frogley woodwork in the chapel. The carving was painted in the early 18th century, perhaps due to difficulties cleaning the bare lime wood that characterizes Gibbons work. Severe attack by common furniture beetle had left the carving in a very delicate state. We removed the carvings from the wall, consolidated the worm damaged areas and replaced any missing tendrils and stalks that conferred a structural benefit. In addition, detailed 19th Century photographs of the reredos showed elements of carving that have now been lost. Some of these losses unbalanced Gibbons design intention, and it was decided to reinstate these elements based on the photographic evidence and with careful reference to the surviving carving. These circumspect replacements have been left unpainted, so it is clear on close inspection where missing carving has been replaced.