Restoration for Loggia urn

January 13 2022 | Garden History

An 18th century urn has been returned to Hever Castle’s Loggia after restoration work.

The urn, which is one of a pair, is made of Porta Santa marble and part of the socle (or plinth) had become damaged.

Former owner William Waldorf Astor had bought the urns in December 1906 from San Giorgi for 14,000 lira.

The original marble was from an Italian quarry which has now been decommissioned so Cliveden Conservation who undertook the work had to source a similar alternative marble.

Julia Gynn, Cliveden’s Conservation Manager for the Decorative Arts section says “it was structurally unsafe with numerous fractures in the socle” and restoration took 2 ½ to 3 months.

Eventually she tracked down a Breccia marble which was: “the closest one we could find which matched the colouration of the urn.”

The new socle was then turned by a machine and hand carved.

The newly restored urn was returned to the Loggia on Monday 13 December and the second urn which was not as badly damaged will be restored this year.

Curator Alison Palmer said: ‘The urns have been a part of the Loggia since it was first built by William Waldorf Astor so we are relieved that they are back where they belong. Removing an item from display is always a tough decision but due to the damage it needed to be restored. I am delighted that it can once again be enjoyed by our visitors.”