Kiplin Hall Vector

Giving a new home to the Annie Marchant Collection

Not such a 'warm' welcome to start with!

Annie Marchant a ‘lively, talkative and strong-minded woman’ who has bequeathed her extensive collection of Victorian Kitchen and Dairy objects to Kiplin Hall
Annie Marchant a ‘lively, talkative and strong-minded woman’ who has bequeathed her extensive collection of Victorian Kitchen and Dairy objects to Kiplin Hall

During August we announced that Kiplin secured a large collection of Victorian kitchen and dairy antiques, donated to us following the death of the owner of the collection​, a well-known antique dealer, Annie Marchant, from Kent. While saddened by Annie’s death at just 68 years old we are pleased to be able to offer a home to the collection, which will help us tell the stories of the everyday lives of the people who lived and worked at Kiplin, besides the families who owned the estate.

The objects arrived at Kiplin and were carefully checked and listed, temporarily stored in a secure building on site, but not b​rought inside the museum just yet. Storage in the museum is being arranged, creating a controlled environment in which to store the collection while an exhibition is planned in the coming months. We are currently going through the recruitment process to welcome a new member of staff to our team to lead on the Annie Marchant Project for the next 18 months.
But before the objects can come into the museum, they need to be frozen. This process will ensure that the objects do not bring any pests like woodworm ​or moths into the museum. Freezing the objects kills any pests present, without damaging the object. This is carried out on objects that are made from organic materials, like wood or paper that can be a food source for pests. But is not required for all objects, for example those made only of metal or ceramic cannot harbour any problem insects.
Our Warden, Cathrien, has been working on this in the past few weeks. With assistance from Olivia, they have carefully wrapped wooden items ready for freezing. ​Small or fragile items needs to be wrapped in tissue paper first, and then boxed, before finally wrapping everything in plastic. ​Larger, sturdy items like chairs just need to be wrapped in plastic and sealed to prevent any damage being caused by ice crystals forming on the objects, or from condensation after freezing. To ensure any pests are effectively and quickly killed the freezer must reach a temperature of minus 29*C in under 4 hours. If the temperature drops too slowly some insects can respond with an anti-freeze like reaction in their bodies and survive the process. But minus 29*C in 4 hours will prevent any adult insects or eggs from surviving.
The huge walk in freezer
The huge walk in freezer at Leeds Discovery Centre

Your average household freezer is not up to this task, so specialist units are used. Our collection was taken to the walk-in freezer at the Discovery Centre in Leeds, part of Leeds Museums and Galleries. It was frozen for 5 days​, and slowly returned to room temperature before returning to Kiplin. We look forward to showing you more from behind the scenes as this project develops.

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