Not long ago I wrote about the upcoming restoration of a window at the Sinclair Inn Museum in Annapolis Royal. Well, today was the day that the window was removed from the building. A small group of us gathered to assist, watch and document Dr. Chris Cooper of Edifice Old Home Magazine as he removed the window. Before going much further I should state that we are very lucky to have Chris, an internationally renowned expert in window restoration, working on this window. All of his work, including the creation of a wooden trompe-l'oeil window replacement, is being done as a gift to the museum.
At that time I wrote the original post we figured that we were restoring a 230 year old wooden window. This assumption was based on the fact that the window was located in a section of the building which added in 1781. When we got the window out of the building and had a chance to look at it, I could see a smile growing across Chris's face. He carefully examined the sashes, took some measurements and noted some unique features like a extra piece of wood scabbed onto the header. Then, with an impish grin, he announced that "this window is not from the 1780s". Of course, an uncomfortable pregnant pause is proper for moments such as this and Chris did not disappoint. Finally deciding to speak, he told us "This is a recycled window and was made some time between 1690 and 1710".
Again we had a short pause as we contemplated the ramifications of this date. 1710 is the construction date of the Soullard section of the Sinclair Inn which is located along St George Street. The Skene section at the back of the building was built in 1712. Were these windows recycled from from one of the two early sections when the houses were joined and expanded in 1781? Are these perhaps an early form of architectural salvage from another building in Annapolis Royal? One thing is for sure, we were all very excited that these windows were as early as they are.
The photographs in this post document the removal of the window from the numbering of the panes (so they can go back in the right spot) to the installation of the trompe-l'oeil. I have also included some detail shots which will act as the before pictures when the project is finished. In the coming days I hope to get some photographs which document the restoration itself. If you are interested in learning about window restoration for yourself, Chris will be offering a workshop in Annapolis Royal at the end of August.
All for now,