Showing its true colours

December 16, 2014
Reverse side of a tapestry depicting the reception of an embassy, wool and silk, southern Netherlands or northern France, c. 1545, at Powis Castle, inv. no. 1181082.

Reverse side of a tapestry depicting the reception of an embassy, wool and silk, southern Netherlands or northern France, c. 1545, at Powis Castle, inv. no. 1181082.

Following a thorough course of treatment, a sixteenth-century tapestry is almost ready to return to Powis Castle. It shows the reception of a group of European diplomats in Damascus. A detailed analysis of the tapestry by Helen Wyld can be found here, but its subject and history still remain enigmatic.

The image above actually shows the back of the tapestry, with its original warm colours.

The front of the Powis Castle 'Embassy' tapestry. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

The front of the Powis Castle ‘Embassy’ tapestry. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

On the front side the exposure to light caused the yellow dye to fade over time, turning the foliage from green to blue – a common feature of these tapestries.

Detail of a head from the 'Embassy' tapestry, after cleaning but before conservation stitching. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

Detail of a head from the ‘Embassy’ tapestry, after cleaning but before conservation stitching. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

As part of its treatment the tapestry was sent to the De Wit royal tapestry workshops in Mechelen, Belgium, where it underwent so-called ‘wet cleaning’.

Detail of head from the 'Embassy' tapestry after conservation stitching. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

Detail of head from the ‘Embassy’ tapestry after conservation stitching. ©National Trust/Rachel Langley

Then it was sent to the National Trust’s Textile Conservation Studio at Blickling Hall for conservation stitching, to remove old crude repairs and improve the overall strength of the tapestry. Soon it will once again be on display at Powis Castle, ready for a new lease of life.

A sense of Romantic humour

November 28, 2014
Two wings of an altarpiece, painted by William Bankes, watercolour on vellum, c.1803. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

Two wings of an altarpiece, painted by William Bankes, watercolour on vellum, c.1803. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

William Bankes, the collector and all-round man of taste who created the house and collections at Kingston Lacy as we can still see them today, was in many ways a product of the Romantic era. He knew Lord Byron, he sketched Gothic architecture and he traveled around the Mediterranean and in the Middle East, picking up works of art and antiquities on the way.

Miniature portrait of a young William Bankes by George Sanders, 1812, at Kingston Lacy, inv. no. 1251251. ©National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

Miniature portrait of a young William Bankes by George Sanders, 1812, at Kingston Lacy, inv. no. 1251251. ©National Trust Images/Derrick E. Witty

Exiled from Britain because of his homosexuality, he spent his later years in that most romantic of cities, Venice, allegedly making secret trips back to Dorset to see his beloved Kingston Lacy under the cover of darkness.

View of Kingston Lacy. ©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

View of Kingston Lacy. ©National Trust Images/Arnhel de Serra

We have recently been able to purchase from Lowell Libson a pair of watercolours on vellum painted by Bankes in about 1804, when he was a student at Cambridge. These pictures were once the wings of an altarpiece which Bankes created for his rooms at Trinity College, as an irreverent set-piece of neo-Gothic interior decoration.

Left-hand altarpiece panel by William Bankes, inv. no. 2900102. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

Left-hand altarpiece panel by William Bankes, inv. no. 2900102. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

The left-hand panel depicts a kneeling knight bearing the Bankes coat of arms, probably a medievalised self-portrait, with the words ‘Domine Labia Mea Apenies’ (Thou O Lord wilt open my lips) coming from his mouth. Above the knight hovers an angel holding a scroll reading ‘Gloria in Excelsis deo’ (Glory be God in the highest), and the scene is surmounted by the Bankes coat of arms.

Right-hand altarpiece panel by William Bankes, inv. no. 2900103. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

Right-hand altarpiece panel by William Bankes, inv. no. 2900103. ©Lowell Libson Ltd

The right-hand panel shows a group of cloaked and hooded mourners around a coffin covered with a pall exclaiming ‘Orate pro anima Wulie’ or pray for Wulie’s – William Bankes’s – soul. In this scene the coat of arms has been replaced by an ominous skull with the inscription ‘Non Deus est Mourton’ – God is not dead.

The ruins of the Corfe Castle, on the Kingston Lacy estate, which William Bankes knew well. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

The ruins of the Corfe Castle, on the Kingston Lacy estate, which William Bankes knew well. ©National Trust Images/Matthew Antrobus

Although the altarpiece was clearly intended as part of an elaborate theatrical joke, which apparently included the burning of incense and the occasional chanting of services, Bankes was also using it to express the various interests and personal characteristics that would find their full flowering in the creation of Kingston Lacy. He was imaging himself as a romantic knight, he was picturing his own funeral as something out of a classic Gothic novel, he was being irreverently ‘Papist’ and borderline blasphemous, and he was indulging his love of Gothic architecture and decoration.

Drawing of Gothic cloisters, by William Bankes, at Kingston Lacy, inv. no. 1252998. ©National Trust

Drawing of Gothic cloisters, by William Bankes, at Kingston Lacy, inv. no. 1252998. ©National Trust

This acquisition was made possible by grants from the Art Fund as well as from the Ervin-DesChamps Fund through the Royal Oak Foundation.

The coffee house redux

November 14, 2014
The Antiquarian Society, cartoon by George Cruikshank, 1812. ©Society of Antiquaries of London

The Antiquarian Society, cartoon by George Cruikshank, 1812. ©Society of Antiquaries of London

Yesterday I had the privilege of presenting a talk about Chinese wallpaper to the Society of Antiquaries of London at their splendid premises in Burlington House. The Society was founded in 1707 and its aims are to support research into the material past, to foster public understanding of our heritage and to engage in the formulation of public policy on the care of our cultural property.

Above is an impression of one of the Society’s meetings in Regency times, but fortunately the Fellows who came to my talk yesterday were not quite so rowdy.

Lloyd's Coffee House, cartoon by George Woodward, 1798, at Calke Abbey. ©NTPL/John Hammond

Lloyd’s Coffee House, cartoon by George Woodward, 1798, at Calke Abbey. ©NTPL/John Hammond

Apart from being wonderfully rude, the Cruikshank cartoon also hints at the very real creative and intellectual ferment that can arise when like-minded people get together and start exchanging and debating ideas – I have mentioned this ‘coffee house’ or ‘liquid network’ effect in a previous post.

Indeed I think there was some of that going on at the Society yesterday, facilitated, as in the coffee houses of old, by the availability of refreshments. I was certainly stimulated and challenged by the questions asked by the Fellows following my talk and by the further discussions afterwards.

And the Antiquaries have taken the coffee house into the twenty-first century, by making these talks available online complete with audio, video and synchronised slides. So for those who are interested, my talk is available here.

A happy ending and a new beginning

November 11, 2014
A pair of black basalt ware vases by Wedgwood & Bentley, 1770-5, in the Library at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

A pair of black basalt ware vases by Wedgwood & Bentley, 1770-5, in the Library at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

It was recently announced that a public appeal organised by the Art Fund to prevent the Wedgwood Museum collection from being sold had been successful.

The Wedgwood breakfast service in the China Room at Penrhyn Castle. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Wedgwood breakfast service in the China Room at Penrhyn Castle. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Because the Wedgwood Museum Trust shared a pension fund with Waterford Wedgwood plc, it became responsible for a huge pension deficit when the company went into administration in 2009.

Black basalt Wedgwood bust of the actor David Garrick (1717-79) in the Book Room at Wimpole Hall. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Black basalt Wedgwood bust of the actor David Garrick (1717-79) in the Book Room at Wimpole Hall. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

As a result, the Wedgwood Museum collection of more than 80,000 pieces was under threat from being broken up. But the Art Fund’s appeal was supported by a large grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, by other grants from private trusts and foundations, and by gifts from 4,000 members of the public.

A pair of Wedgwood earthenware vases, c.1765, in the Library at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

A pair of Wedgwood earthenware vases, c.1765, in the Library at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Ownership of the collection will be transferred to the Victoria and Albert Museum, but it will remain on display at the Wedgwood Museum in Barlaston.

Two black Wedgwood vases on the corner of the fireplace in the Morning Room at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

Two black Wedgwood vases on the corner of the fireplace in the Morning Room at Saltram. ©National Trust Images/Andreas von Einsiedel

The Wedgwood Museum website shows some of the amazing objects in the collection, illustrating the spirit of innovation of the company’s eighteenth-century founder, Josiah Wedgwood, and the ingenuity and elegance of the company’s products.

Wedgwood Queen's Ware cream bowl, decorated with views of Shugborough and Richmond Castle, at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire. ©National Trust Images/Mark Fiennes

Wedgwood Queen’s Ware cream bowl, decorated with views of Shugborough and Richmond Castle, at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire. ©National Trust Images/Mark Fiennes

This post features just some of the many Wedgwood items that survive in the historic houses of the National Trust, from table wares to decorative objects and including classical motifs as well as contemporary celebrities. Wedgwood’s influence is – and remains – everywhere.

Phoenix hunt

November 7, 2014
Phoenix (fenghuang)  in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Nostell Priory. ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

Phoenix (fenghuang) in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Nostell Priory. ©National Trust/Andrew Bush

The omens must be favourable for my colleague Andrew Bush, our paper conservation adviser, because he has recently reported a number of sightings of the elusive and auspicious Chinese phoenix, or fenghuang.

Andrew found one in the Chinese wallpaper at Nostell Priory, which was hung by Thomas Chippendale in 1771.

Phoenix (fenghuang) in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Erddig. The bird was cut out and moved (to allow for a chimneypiece), which accounts for its slightly awkward position on the peony branches.©National Trust/Andrew Bush

Phoenix (fenghuang) in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Erddig. The bird was cut out and moved (to allow for a chimneypiece), which accounts for its slightly awkward position on the peony branches.©National Trust/Andrew Bush

Then he recognised the same bird in the Chinese wallpaper at Erddig, which is thought to have been hung during the 1770s.

Phoenix (fenghuang) in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Cobham Hall. ©Mark Sandiford

Phoenix (fenghuang) in the Chinese wallpaper in the State Bedroom at Cobham Hall. ©Mark Sandiford

And lo and behold there it was again in the Chinese wallpaper at Cobham Hall, where Bromwich, Isherwood and Bradley supplied Chinese wallpaper in 1773.

These phoenixes are more than just vaguely similar: they share the same stance, shape and disposition of feathers, suggesting they are all based on the same master design.

British printed cotton with a chinoiserie design, c. 1775-80, possibly used as a curtain, at Winterthur. ©Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

British printed cotton with a chinoiserie design, c. 1775-80, possibly used as a curtain, at Winterthur. ©Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

But to top all that Andrew has now spotted the same phoenix in a different medium, produced on the other side of the world: it also appears on a British printed cotton, dated to the late 1770s. This textile is now in the Winterthur collection, and is illustrated in the splendid new book Printed Textiles by Linda Eaton. In spite of the more western appearance of the design, the bird is clearly related to the fenghuang in the Chinese wallpapers at Nostell, Erddig and Cobham Hall.

It is tempting to speculate about the exact relationship between these Chinese painted wallpapers and that British printed cotton design. As yet we only have this limited visual evidence, but it is clear that there was some kind of cross-cultural, cross-medium exchange going on.

‘A delight in her business’

November 4, 2014
Portrait of Mrs Mary Garnett by Thomas Barber the elder, c.1800, at Kedleston Hall, inv. no. 108766. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Portrait of Mrs Mary Garnett by Thomas Barber the elder, c.1800, at Kedleston Hall, inv. no. 108766. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

I was recently made aware of this portrait of Mrs Mary Garnett (1724-1809), the housekeeper at Kedleston Hall. She is shown in the Marble Hall at Kedleston, with the guidebook to the house in her hand, as if ready to take a visitor round. Mrs Garnett must have been considered a fairly important member of the household to have had her portrait painted. The presence of the guidebook in the picture hints at the already well-established practice of respectable sightseers being allowed entry to country houses. By all accounts Mrs Garnett was rather good at this ‘public-facing’ part of her job.

Caesars' Hall, the everyday ground-floor entrance hall at Kedleston Hall. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

Caesars’ Hall, the everyday ground-floor entrance hall at Kedleston Hall. ©National Trust Images/Nadia Mackenzie

Several appreciative descriptions of Mrs Garnett’s performance as a house guide have been preserved, but the most glowing and informative was one by James Plumptre who visited in 1793:

‘We entered the house at the Servant’s Hall, by a door under the Portico, put down our names, and were then shewn up into the Grand Hall, where the Housekeeper joined us. Of all the Housekeeper[s] I ever met with at a Noblemans Houses [sic], this was the most obliging and intelligent I ever saw. There was a pleasing civility in her manner which was very ingratiating, she seem’d to take a delight in her business, was willing to answer any questions which were ask’d her, and was studious to shew the best lights for viewing the pictures and setting off the furniture.’

Part of the Marble Hall at Kedleston Hall. ©National Trust Images/Dennis Gilbert

Part of the Marble Hall at Kedleston Hall. ©National Trust Images/Dennis Gilbert

So not just country house visiting and country house guidebooks, but also visitor reviews were already clearly in evidence in the eighteenth century.

The familiar hidden in the exotic

October 29, 2014
Chinese picture used as wallpaper in the Study at Saltram, mid eighteenth century. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Chinese picture used as wallpaper in the Study at Saltram, mid eighteenth century. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

I have been reading the late James Cahill’s book Pictures for Use and Pleasure (on the recommendation of Christer von der Burg), which deals with the so-called professional painting tradition in eighteenth-century China. Traditionally the almost monochrome, semi-abstract paintings produced by scholar amateurs have ranked most highly in the canon of Chinese art. But Cahill makes the case that the colourful, realistic and detailed pictures produced by professional painters are also worthy of note.

Chinese picture showing an aspect of silk production, mounted on the wall in the Chinese Room at Erddig in the 1770s. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Chinese picture showing an aspect of silk production, mounted on the wall in the Chinese Room at Erddig in the 1770s. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

These professional or ‘academic’ paintings were intended for specific occasions or seasons, or to decorate specific rooms. As such they are among the ancestors of the Chinese wallpaper with colourful and detailed decoration produced specifically for export to the west (and it was because Christer knows of my interest in Chinese wallpapers that he kindly alerted me to this book).

Chinese coloured print showing a female figure in the Study at Saltram. ©National Trust/Andrew Bushted crop

Chinese coloured print showing a female figure in the Study at Saltram. ©National Trust/Andrew Bushted crop

Cahill makes the point that many Chinese professional paintings employ techniques and devices originally derived from western painting. During the late Ming and early Qing periods (roughly equivalent to the seventeenth century) some western illusionistic techniques like linear perspective, chiaroscuro and the depiction of interconnected spaces were introduced to China by Jesuit painters working at the imperial court and through the circulation of western prints.

Chinese painting on paper depicting a scene in a palace or mansion, probably mid eighteenth century, at Shugborough Hall. ©National Trust/Sophia Farley

Chinese painting on paper depicting a scene in a palace or mansion, probably mid eighteenth century, at Shugborough Hall. ©National Trust/Sophia Farley

These techniques also appear, by now completely internalised, in Chinese wallpaper or pictures used as wallpaper, especially in the depiction of volumetric shading in costumes and perspective and spatial recession in architecture. Taking that one step further, I wonder if this might have been one of the factors that made Chinese pictures and wallpaper so attractive to Europeans: it was excitingly exotic, and yet it included elements that would, on an unconscious level, have been comfortingly familiar to the western eye.

 

Watts that pattern?

October 14, 2014
Wood block of the 'Oak Leaf' design against samples of the hand-blocked wallpaper. ©Watts of Westminster.

Wood block of the ‘Oak Leaf’ design against samples of the hand-blocked wallpaper. ©Watts of Westminster.

A small exhibition at the Fashion and textile Museum in London features the wallpapers of Watts & Co., a firm supplying ecclesiastical and domestic furnishings which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year.

Selection of hand-blocked Watts wallpapers. ©Watts of Westminster.

Selection of hand-blocked Watts wallpapers. ©Watts of Westminster.

The firm was founded by the architects G. Gilbert Scott, G.F. Bodley and Thomas Garner. The ‘Watt’s’ name is purely fictional, having apparently been chosen because the founders wanted to keep the decorative work separate from their architectural practices.

The Duchess's Private Closet at Ham House, hung with 'Pear' flock wallpaper by Watts. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

The Duchess’s Private Closet at Ham House, hung with ‘Pear’ flock wallpaper by Watts. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Scott, Bodley and Garner were known for their Gothic Revival buildings, but they also designed schools and houses in the eclectic ‘Queen Anne’ style which was popular in the later nineteenth century.

Detail of the 'Ravenna' flock wallpaper by Watts in the White Closet at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Detail of the ‘Ravenna’ flock wallpaper by Watts in the White Closet at Ham House. ©National Trust Images/John Hammond

Early Watts wallpaper survives at Ham House, where Bodley and Garner were involved in restoration and refurbishment work for the 9th Earl of Dysart in the late 1880s. Flock wallpaper in the ‘Pear’ pattern can be seen in the Duchess’s Private Closet, and ‘Ravenna’ hangs in the White Closet.

Michael Hall has written an enlightening article on Bodley and Garner’s work at Ham which was included in the book Ham House: 400 years of Collecting and Patronage.

Proposal by G.F. Bodley for the redecoration of the Oak Drawing Room at Powis Castle, painted by Henry Charles Brewer, c.1902, showing the intended use of Watts 'Pear' pattern silk, at Powis Castle, inv. no. 11807882.2. ©National Trust.

Proposal by G.F. Bodley for the redecoration of the Oak Drawing Room at Powis Castle, painted by Henry Charles Brewer, c.1902, showing the intended use of Watts ‘Pear’ pattern silk, at Powis Castle, inv. no. 11807882.2. ©National Trust.

At Powis Castle a cut silk velvet woven in the ‘Pear’ pattern was used for the upholstery and the curtains in the Oak Drawing Room when the room was remodeled by G.F. Bodley for the 4th Earl of Powis between 1902 and 1904.

Detail of the 'Bodley' wallpaper, originally designed by G.F. Bodley in about 1870, in an updated colourway produced for Cecil Beaton in 1952. ©Watts of Westminster

Detail of the ‘Bodley’ wallpaper, originally designed by G.F. Bodley in about 1870, in an updated colourway produced for Cecil Beaton in 1952. ©Watts of Westminster

Because Watts supplied both domestic and ecclesiastical furnishings, it was better able to weather the changes in fashion than, for instance, Morris & Co., which closed in 1940. Watts’s offering was refreshed in the 1950s and 1960s by Elizabeth Hoare, one of Scott’s granddaughters, who brought in new designers and new colourways – including a ‘think pink’ version of the ‘Bodley’ pattern for Cecil Beaton.

Selection of wallpapers in the Watts showroom at the Chelsea Design Centre, London. ©Watts of Westminster

Selection of wallpapers in the Watts showroom at the Chelsea Design Centre, London. ©Watts of Westminster

There will be a study day on the history of Watt’s & Co. at the Victoria and Albert Museum on October 25.

The weight of family tradition

October 9, 2014

 

Portrait of the Right Hon. Charles Yorke (1722-70) as a young man, attributed to Thomas Hudson (1701–79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 2900098. ©Cheffins

Portrait of the Right Hon. Charles Yorke (1722-70) as a young man, attributed to Thomas Hudson (1701–79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 2900098. ©Cheffins

We have just purchased this portrait at auction at Cheffins in Cambridge. Attributed to the painter Thomas Hudson, it depicts Charles Yorke (1722-70), second son of the 1st Earl of Hardwicke and father of the 3rd Earl. The portrait has now joined the other Yorke family portraits, a number of which are also by Hudson, at Wimpole Hall.

Portrait of the Right Hon. Charles Yorke (1722-70), at the time he became Solicitor-General in 1756, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207788. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of the Right Hon. Charles Yorke (1722-70), at the time he became Solicitor-General in 1756, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207788. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Charles Yorke might be seen as a paradigm of the pressures of family expectation. A good potted biography of him can be found on the History of Parliament website. From an early age he was expected to do well in the law profession. His mother’s uncle, Lord Somers, had been Lord Chancellor, and his father had held the same post for nearly twenty years.

Portrait of Sir Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207887. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of Sir Philip Yorke, 1st Earl of Hardwicke (1690-1764), by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207887. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Charles was indeed clever, was called to the bar and became a Member of Parliament. But he seems to have been indecisive and over-analytical, and those traits became more pronounced as his career progressed.

Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Yorke (1725–60), Lady Anson, sister of Charles Yorke, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Shugborough Hall, inv. no. 1271067. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of Lady Elizabeth Yorke (1725–60), Lady Anson, sister of Charles Yorke, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Shugborough Hall, inv. no. 1271067. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

In Parliament he was constantly veering between the Government and the opposition and couldn’t make up his mind when offered posts. Nevertheless he did become Solicitor-General in 1756 and Attorney-General in 1762 and again in 1765.

Portrait of Catherine Freman (1736/7-59), who married Charles Yorke in 1755, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207789. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

Portrait of Catherine Freman (1736/7-59), who married Charles Yorke in 1755, by Thomas Hudson (1701-79), at Wimpole Hall, inv. no. 207789. ©National Trust, image supplied by the Public Catalogue Foundation

When in January 1770 the Duke of Grafton finally did offer Yorke the Lord Chancellorship he felt caught out between his ambition and family tradition, the apparent instability of the Grafton administration, and his ties to friends and relations (including his brother) who were associated with the opposition. He ultimately accepted the post but the stress had so affected him that he died just three days later.

 

The Baron’s Room

October 3, 2014
Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-98) at Waddesdon Manor, from a privately printed album known as the 'Red Book'. ©Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild Collection (NationalTrust)

Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (1839-98) at Waddesdon Manor, from a privately printed album known as the ‘Red Book’. ©Waddesdon Manor, the Rothschild Collection (NationalTrust)

After featuring some of Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s paintings in the previous post, I thought I might show the man himself.

©WaddesdonManor, The Rothschild Collection (NationalTrust)

©WaddesdonManor, The Rothschild Collection (NationalTrust)

Here he is in his private sitting room at Waddesdon Manor, with his poodle Poupon, in 1897. The photo also shows some of the grand manner English portraits he collected, as well as a pair of wall lights that came from Marie-Antoinette’s apartment in the Château de Compiègne. More about the album containing this photograph can be found on the Waddesdon blog.

The Baron's Room at Waddesdon today. ©Waddesdon Manor, National Trust.

The Baron’s Room at Waddesdon today. ©Waddesdon Manor, National Trust.

The room has been restored to its appearance in Baron Ferdinand’s time, as if he has just got up to take Poupon for stroll in the garden.


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