Among the more rare and unusual objects in the Newport Mansions' collections is this Chinese-made household shrine, which is now being treated in our Conservation Studio. It was imported for David King, a China Trade merchant who owned Kingscote, in 1885 and is usually on view in the North Sitting Room.
The shrine, which is 32 inches tall, consists of approximately 150 wooden pieces, all held together with traditional Chinese joinery techniques – no nails, no glue. Over the years, some of the intricately carved pieces became separated, split or broke. Now our Objects Conservator Carola Schueller is re-adhering broken joints and ornamentation, stabilizing the structure and reassembling the shrine so it can return to display when Kingscote reopens May 16.