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Wolf’s head returns to Beauport

May 7, 2012

A driftwood carving of a wolf’s head has returned to the south elevation of Beauport, Sleeper-McCann House.

The carving was removed in 2010 due to its deteriorated state. After careful consideration of conservation versus replication, Historic New England staff decided to archive the historic element and recreate the wolf’s head from a denser wood material that could withstand the harsh exterior elements. The recreated wolf’s head was carved based on the original and has been reset on the south elevation of the house, keeping watch over the terrace gardens.

The wolf’s head is one of many collection objects on the exterior of the house. Other exterior pieces include ceramic decorative birds, other driftwood carvings of mythical creatures, and stone landscape elements.

Exterior collections can be just as problematic as exterior building elements because they are exposed to the same harsh conditions, and are often more susceptible to those conditions due to their intricate designs and details. Sometimes objects become too deteriorated to leave on the building for fear of complete loss. In these cases, items can be removed and archived, and a new piece can be manufactured out of a substitute material.

Please consider supporting essential preservation projects at our historic properties with a gift to the Preservation Maintenance Fund.