NPS McLoughlin House

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MPF Conservation treated 31 objects in the McLoughlin House over a two year period.  All are shown below on this page the Lacquered Sewing Cabinet,
the Melodeon, and the Victorian Balloon-back chairs.

For a brief history of the McLoughlin House, go here.

Go here to see the interesting conservation of
Marguerite McLoughlin’s Lacquer Sewing Cabinet Ca 1830.
The Chinese Lacquer Sewing Cabinet was a gift from a grateful member of
the Fort Vancouver community for the sewing she performed, and is one of the few items in the collection which belonged to the family.

Visit the page on McLoughlin’s Prince & Co. Melodeon, Ca. 1852,
a gift from John McLoughlin to his granddaughter.


MPFC conserved twenty one Victorian Balloon-Back Chairs Ca. 1833 for
the McLoughlin House. Half of the chairs were associated with either
Dr. John McLoughlin or Dr. Fraser Tolmie.
To view sample treatments of the chairs, go here.

Recamier or Fainting Couch

The pink recamier or fainting couch has some serious structural problems, but they were not going to be addressed in this treatment.  Triage is part of what has to be performed when so many dollars are approved and there is more work than funds.  However, this is not a working piece, so the risk in not removing the showcover, repairing the understructure, and replacing the showcover is minimal.

Instead, the very dry feet were treated to pigmented wax applied, allowed to sit, then the excess removed and buffed.

The feet are all hand-carved, so while the design in basically the same, there are variations.  Below, the underside showing us how the frame is built.

Washstand from the Steamship S.S.Beaver

The washstand located on the first floor of the McLoughlin House
originally came from the S.S.Beaver, the first steamship to operate in the
Pacific Northwest, shown befor treatment in it’s display, above.

The Beaver was built in Blackwall, London, and sailed to Fort Vancouver in 1835; the Beaver shipwrecked in 1888 near Vancouver, BC.  The washstand may have come to the McLoughlin home via the family of Dr. William Fraser Tolmie, and it is said this is his signature, left.

The finish thoroughly cleaned and waxed.

Before and after treatment, above and below.


Rosewood + Birds-eye Maple Veneered
Wardrobe, Ca. 1833

MPFC conserved the tall wardrobe for the McLoughlin House.
The outside is beautiful rosewood veneer,
and the inside is a golden birds-eye maple veneer.
The wardrobe was not associated with the house
but with John and Marguerite McLoughlin’s granddaughter,
who donated the piece to the home.

Several elements were structurally damaged, including the cornice,
which was missing altogether, above left.
Mitchell repaired the cornice prior to the finish treatment.

The finish was compromised, above.

We treated the alligatored finish largely because it was
so compromised it was going to drop off.

Layers of shellac were added to the cleaned original finish.

The image left, is important so you can see the narrow stairs which Mitchell and Adam carried the armoire to the bedroom on the top floor.

Above left and right, on a terribly hot day, the top crest was added to the treated armoire.

The lovely bedroom, with pieces after conservation.

Before, left, and after treatment, right.

Caribbean Mahogany Pivoting Game Table

The pivoting game table is part of the McLoughlin family collection and originally lived in the dining area.

The table was seriously damaged, far more than the NPS suspected, and due to lack of funds, MPFC was unable to properly treat the cracked base, causing many issues in the veneer and the tilt of the table.  The NPS also chose not to have us replace the historic felt.

Before, left, and after treatment, right.

The lovely finish after treatment, bottom.

Drop Leaf Table

Above, drop leaf table before;
the table was a finish project.

Before, above, and after, below.

Lovely drop leaf table, after treatment, below.

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