Evelyn Fortune Bartlett originally purchased the four antique shields decorating the Bonnet House Historic Drawing Room from society architect Addison Mizner. These beautiful and unique art pieces, originally from Italy, each measure 48”x35-1/2″ and are 1-1/2″ thick. Originally carved in 3 vertical wooden sections and joined with supporting cross bars, their decorative relief work was sculpted by hand as opposed to being molded. The center landscape paintings are stylistically Italianate, circa 1750s, and feature pastoral scenes and neo-classical ruins. After more than 2 centuries of exposure to changing humidity and temperature, and periodic infestations by a variety of wood consuming insects, restoration work was urgently needed to assure that the shields survive for generations to come.
This exciting project was awarded to William Bock Fine Art in Davie, Florida – renowned experts in art restoration and conservation – and the wonderful news is that all four pieces can be restored with spectacular results, combining restoration techniques both new and traditional. Thanks to advances in wood stabilization techniques, much can be achieved that was previously nearly impossible, and all according to AIC (American Institute for the Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works) practices. For more information about the ongoing progress of the restoration, please visit williamblockfineart.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-four-shields-of-bonnet-house-tale.html.
A visit to South Florida is truly not complete without time spent at beautiful, historic Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been declared a historic landmark by the City of Fort Lauderdale. Bonnet House is located at 900 North Birch Road, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304. For more information and details, please call (954) 563-5393 or visit BonnetHouse.org.