Savile Club Ballroom Restoration

To commemorate their 150th anniversary, we were commissioned to recreate the original Savile ballroom ceiling decorations.

From the 1889 ceiling only four corner paintings survived which floated mysteriously among the clouds, which were themselves a late twentieth century recreation of the originals. Archive photographs revealed traces of the original decorative scheme and so historic paint specialist Lisa Oestreicher was commissioned to undertake sampling and detailed analysis. Further areas of paint were then removed revealing the precise locations of the original decorations, which were plotted on a point cloud survey and developed into a full decorative scheme.

A team of five artists and restorers worked continuously during August 2017 under the expert guidance of Saskia Huning of Huning Decorations, who also prepared the detailed drawings and pouncing sheets which were used in the traditional way to transfer the drawn detail to the curved plaster in powdered charcoal, prior to painting.

The completed scheme, which in most areas is millimeter accurate to the original, returns a previously missing sense of height and harmony to the room, the remainder of which was restored in 2008.